Arthur Bunyan Caldwell.

History of the American Negro and his institutions; (Volume 4) online

. (page 24 of 48)
Online LibraryArthur Bunyan CaldwellHistory of the American Negro and his institutions; (Volume 4) → online text (page 24 of 48)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Union Baptist Convention of N. C. He has been active in
church building and erected new houses of worship on all
his pastorates. He organized all the churches he has served
except Kernesville. His has been a fruitful ministry and
has resulted in the addition of at least two thousand new
members to the church of his choice.

In politics he is a Republican but is not identified with
the secret orders. He owns an attractive home on a large
lot in Hickory valued at about $4,000.

Notwithstanding his early difficulties, Mr. Goore has


done a remarkable work for the race, and believes that its
further progress lies along the line- of better education.
Christian training, and ownership of homes which s'houF
be made pleasant and attractive for the boys and girls. Al-
though it is as a preacher that Mr. Goore is best known,
he has also had considerable experience as a teacher.

Perfect Robert DeBerry

A great leader once said that, "A lazy indolent church
tends toward unbelief; an earnest busy church, in hand-to-
hand conflict with sin and misery, grows stronger in faith."
The realization of this fact has given rise to what, in recent
years, has come to be known as the institutional church,
which, while not neglecting the stated services, seeks also
to serve immediately, and in every helpful way, the com-
munity of which it is a part. Among the colored ministers
who are trying to render this all round sort of service is
Rev. Perfect Robert DeBerry, pastor of the First Congre-
gational Church of Raleigh. He is a native of Montgomery
Co., having been born at Mt. Gilead in 1879. His parents
werer Caleb and Parthenia (Ingram) DeBerry. Caleb De-
Berry was the son of Edmond and Clary DeBerry. Rev.
DeBerry's maternal grandfather was Randle Ingram.

As a boy our subject attended the local graded school
after which he went to Peabody Academy at Troy. As his
means were limited he served as janitor rather than miss
the opportunities of an education. He was converted at the
early age of ten and entered thei ministry soon after he was
twenty. He entered the ministry while still in school at
Troy. His first pastorate was country work out from
Troy, in which he was engaged the last three years he was
in school. He then passed to Talladega Seminary where
he combined some college work with his Theological course
and was graduated in 1907. While pursuing this course he
preached at Shelby, Ala. one year and was for another year



associate pastor at Talladega College. After his graduation
he went to Dorchester Academy at Thebes, Ga., for three
years as pastor and chaplain. From Georgia he went to
Lincoln Academy, Kings Mountain where he remained for
two years as chaplain and pastor. In July 1911, he came
to his present work at the First Congregational Church,
Raleigh, where he is recognized as one of the constructive
men of his race. He is young, vigorous and progressive.
In nine years he has developed ihis congregation from one
of the smallest of the denomination in the state to the larg-
est. His work has been recognized by both white and col-
ored and especially by his denomination. He is a member
of the Foreign Mission Committee and has for twelve years
been Secretary of the State 1 Convention. He is also Presi-
dent of the National Convention of congregational workers
among colored people. He has traveled well over America
and believes that in a general way "the greatest need of
the nation at present is a new spirit of brotherhood and co-

On June 8, 1903, Mr. DeBerry was married to Miss
Dulcina B. Torrence, a daughter of Henry and Violet Tor-
rence of Kings Mountain. She was a teacher before her
marriage. They have two children, Pallie and Perfect R.
R. Berry, Jr.

Gaston Alonzo Edwards

The subject of this biography, Prof. Gaston Alonzo
Edwards, educator, philosopher and registered architect of
N. C, is now (1920) President of Kittrell College. He was
born at Belvoir, N. C, April 12, 1875. After laying the
foundation of his education in the local public schools, he
attended the A. & M. College at Greensboro and later Cor-
nell University, Ithaca, N. Y. Returning to his home state
he established the mechanical department of the Institution
for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind at Raleigh in 1901-1902. In



October, 1902, he was called to Shaw University as Teacher
of Natural Science and Supt. of the Men's Industrial Depart-
ment. Such was the character of his work at Shaw that he
remained with the institution for fifteen years. While
here he also continued to work at his chosen profession,
architecture, and his fame as an architect spread through-
out the country. He was the first Negro to design and con-
struct buildings for the American Baptist Home Mission So-
ciety. He cares but little for the frills and fads of archi-
tecture, but adheres strictly to the three Fs in designing,
Fit, Firm and Fair. As a result he enjoys a liberal patron-
age from the white people as well as from his own race.

On March 25, 1915, the General Assembly of N. C.
passed an act requiring all architects to be examined, li-
censed and registered. Prof. Edwards not only passed the
board successfully but enjoys the distinction of being the
only registered Negro architect in North Carolina.

On June 12, 1912, he was commissioned by Gov.
Kitchen as a delegate to the third annual session of the
Negro National Educational Congress held in St. Paul,
Minn., in July of the same year. Prior to this, on May 27,
1909, he had received from his Alma Mater the degree of
Master of Science, being the first graduate of that school so
honored. On May 23, 1920, Allen University, of Columbia,
S. C, conferred on him the degree of Master of Arts.

In the spring of 1917, by a unanimous vote of the Board
of Trustees of Kittrell College, he was elected to the presi-
dency of that institution. The man and the opportunity
were fairly met and under his administration the school
has taken on new life and is destined to become one of the
permanent institutions of the race.

Robert Owens Langford

Rev. Robert Owens Langford, now (1920) stationed at
Winston-Salem, is one of the most progressive and effect-
ive men of the C. M. E. Connection in N. C. He was born
at Huntsville, Ala., Oct. 15, 1878. His father, Nathan
Langford, was a laborer, and his mother, before her mar-
riage, was Miss Minerva Harris. She was a daughter of
Henry Harris and Henry was the son of Jennie. One the
father's side, our subject is descended from Isaac Lang-
ford, who was the son of Charlotte Langford. These were
all of unmixed African descent and before Emancipation
were, of course, slaves.

On Dec. 12, 1912, Mr. Langford was married to Miss
Helen Ernestine Hasty, a daughter of Wilson and Lessie
Hasty. They have one son, Nathaniel Alger Langford.

Young Langford's early years were spent at hard work
in an environment which was far from inspiring. Without
money and lacking many of the comforts of life, the way to
an education appeared rugged enough. The sturdy quali-
ties developed during these years of struggle have been the
very qualities which have carried him over the rough places
of his maturer years. When just merging into manhood at
nineteen, he was converted and almost immediately began
to prepare for the work to which he felt he must devote his
life. He went to school and preached at the same time.
After surmounting many difficulties, which would have dis-
couraged a less hardy soul, he entered Biddle University at
Charlotte, from which he was graduated in 1912. Since
then Princeton University in Indiana has conferred on him
the S. T. B. degree and in 1919 Paine College, Augusta, Ga.,
gave him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. Dr. Langford
has found his chief inspiration in life in his work. When
called to preach, he did not hesitate nor evade the issue.
Nor did he defer the work until he could call himself pre-
pared, but simply began where he was and went forward.



He was licensed in 1906. His first pastorate was art
humble mission, Trinity, Ala., which he served two years-
He preached at LaFayette one year, after which he was
transferred to North Carolina and stationed at Bethel. After
serving that charge one year he was sent to Charlotte, and
it was while pastoring Williams Chapel there that he at-
tended Biddle University. While there he added Monroe*
where he developed the work while serving Williams Chapel.
Under his administration a house of worship was erected
at Monroe and named Langford's Chapel in his honor. His
next appointment carried him to Greenville, S. C, where he
served the Israel Chapel Station with great success for five
years. The church debt was paid, a site for a new house
purchased and the parsonage repaired. The membership*
grew from 160 to 840. In 1918, he was returned to the Old
North State and stationed at Winston-Salem, where he has
developed the Hanes Institutional C. M. E. Church. In ad-
dition to his regular pastoral work Dr. Langford is con-
stantly in demand for evangelistic work both North and
South. In fact his revival work has taken him to every-
part of the country. No man in his conference has brought
more members into the church than Dr. Langford. While:
he taught before leaving Alabama, he now devotes his en-
tire time and talents to the ministry.

In politics, he is a Republican. He belongs to the Ma-
sons and the Working Benevolents. In his reading the Bi-
ble and Theological works naturally find first place. After
that he has a fondness for the English and American clas-
sics. He believes in a spirit of mutual co-operation among-
the best elements of both races. Among his own people, he:
believes that progress depends upon the right sort of educa-
tion, the accumulation of property, the support of religion:
and an intelligent interest in public questions. While not.
seeking primarily to make money, but rather to serve his
people unselfishly, Dr. Langford has proven that word of
the Master about those who seek first the Kingdom of God
and his righteousness. He is now able to live in a condi-
tion far removed from the hard days of his boyhood in Ala..

James Edward Shepard

The story of the educational and religious leadership of
the Negro in the South has many interesting phases. After
Emancipation when the Negroes began to worship apart
zfrom the Whites, the congregations were served mainly by
ignorant preachers. Though ignorant, they were Christian
:and were evangelistic. In the midst of economic, social
and political upheaval, the religious life of the race crystal-
ized around these leaders, the denominations were organized
and the struggle upward was begun.

Educational leadership was less simple. Immediately
after the war came teachers from the North. In the main,
they were men and women with the true missionary spirit,
patient, capable and self-sacrificing. Not a few of them
were superb teachers. The white South resented, berated,
-criticised, and ostracized them. They were succeeded by
the public schools," which gradually passed into the hands of
colored teachers. So-called colleges, doing the work of
graded schools and universities with the curricula of high
schools sprang up on every hand, while the number and kind
of degrees conferred were enough to make a college man
blush to look the alphabet in the face.

Fortunately, in. nearly all the states, a few institutions
were put on a proper basis and were soon turning out young
:men and women of intelligence and scholarship, men and
women born, reared and educated since the war. The
heads of these institutions have seen that the religious and
■educational life of the student must be related — that the
forces making for intelligence must at the same time make
for character. They also saw that schools must be indigen-
ous and that they must train men and women for service in
"this present world, not only the service of preaching and
"teaching but for intelligent efficient work as well.

Such an institution is the National Training School at
Durham. James Edward Shepard, the head of the school,



is a native of the State, having been born at Raleigh Nov. 3,
1875. His father, the late Rev. Augustus Shepard, D. D.,
was for twenty years State Missionary of the American
Baptist Publication Society. He was a son of Richard and
Flora Shepard. The mother of our subject, Hattie Whitted
Shepard, was a daughter of Alston and Annie Whitted.

Growing up in Raleigh, young Shepard attended the
local schools and later did his preparatory work at Shiloh
Institute, a Baptist School at Warrenton. After that he at-
tended Shaw University. He took the course in Pharmacy
and was graduated with the Ph. G. degree in 1894. After
his graduation, he engaged in the drug business at Charlotte
and Durham for three years. Under the McKinley admin-
istration he was Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue at
Raleigh and was for a while Chief Clerk in the Recorder
of Deeds Office at Washington, D. C. It is as a religious and
educational leader, however, that Dr. Shepard is best known.

In 1902 he was made Field Secretary of the Interna-
tional Sunday School Assocation, in which capacity he
served for seven years. In 1910 he was called to the presi-
dency of the National Training School at Durham. Here
the man and the opportunity were fairly met, and under
his administration the institution has enjoyed its greatest
period of prosperity. The enrollment has grown from 60
to 300 — all the dormitories will accommodate. It has been
necessary to increase the faculty to twenty-one members.
The work of the school has attracted attention beyond the
State and students have been enrolled from eleven States,
Africa, and South America. The school has a modern plant
on the outskirts of Durham valued at $165,000.00. Dr. Shep-
ard has done this remarkable thing. Without being in any
way untrue to his people or to his own ideals, he has been
able to command the hearty support and co-operation of
some of the most distinguished white men of the State.

On Nov. 7, 1895, Dr. Shepard was married to Mrs. Annie
Day Robinson. They have two children, Marjorie A. and
Annie D. Shepard.

Dr. Shepard is quiet and cordial in manner, clear and


forceful as a speaker with more care to accuracy of state-
ment than flowery expression. One understands the sim-
plicity of his style better when he remembers that Dr.
Shepard's favorite books are the Bible, Pilgrim's Progress
and Shakespeare. He is a Republican in politics and among
the secret orders is identified with the Masons, Pythians and
Odd Fellows.

In December, 1920, he was overwhelmingly elected
Grand Master of Masons for N. C. He is also President of
the N. C. Colored Teachers Association. In every walk of
life which tends to build up his race, Dr. Shepard can be
depended on to lend a hand. He is regarded by both races
as a safe, sane and wise leader.

William Henry Wallace

In recent years, the medical and dental professions have
attracted a number of the brightest young men of the race.
In intelligence and progressiveness they rank high. It is
gratifying to be able to say that they are prospering finan-
cially. They must meet the same requirements and pass
the same examiations as the white men in their professions
and not a few of them are actually overworked. Such is the
response of the race to adequate preparation and efficient

Among the successful dentists of the State must be
mentioned Dr. William Henry Wallace of Salisbury. He is
a native of the sister State of South Carolina, having been
born Aug. 21, 1887, at Columbia. His father, Dr. Joseph E.
Wallace, is a well known educator and minister. His mother
is Josephine Wallace. Dr. Wallace's paternal grandparents
were Andrew and Martha C. Wallace. On the mother's side
his grandparents were Peter and Susan Connor.

Growing up in a home of culture and refinement, with
access to books and the advantage of an early start young
Wallace forged ahead with his education and was able to



begin his professional work early. He laid the foundation
of his education in the graded schools of Columbia and when
ready for college matriculated at Claflin University, Orange-
burg, S. C, graduating with the B. S. degree in 1908. He
then entered the University of Pennsylvania for his. dental
course and won his D. D. S. in 1911. Dr. Wallace has an
excellent voice and during his college years spent his vaca-
tions with the Claflin University Quartette on its summer
tours in the North and East. He was the Baritone of the
quartette. In this way he earned money to apply to his
education and at the same time saw quite a bit of the coun-
try. He was active in college athletics and played baseball.
After his graduation he located at Augusta in 1911 where
he practiced for two years. He then came to Salisbury
where he has attracted quite as much work as he can han-
dle. Dr. Wallace is a member of the Episcopal Church and
belongs to the Masons. He is not active in politics. He is
a member of the State Medical and Dental Association and
is Secy.-Treas. of the Tri-State Dental Association.

On March 6, 1917, Dr. Wallace was married to Miss
Josephine Pleasant of Chicago. She was educated at Wash-

When asked for some expression as to how the best
interests of the race might be promoted, he responded with
the one word, "encouragement."

Jacob William Faulk

Just after the close of the War of Sections on Dec. 23,
1865, a Negro boy was born at Portsmouth, Va., destined to
a place of leadership and large service among his people.
This boy, Jacob William Faulk, was the son of a Baptist
minister, Rev. J. H. Faulk, and his wife, Sophia (Holland)
Faulk. Rev. J. A. Faulk was free born and was a voter prior
to 1867. The paternal grandfather of our subject was also
named Jacob Faulk and was a preacher, so that Jacob W. is



the third generation in the ministry. His grandmother was
Peggy (Reed) Faulk. On the maternal side his grandfather
was a Mohawk Indian and his grandmother Mary Holland.
The family having moved to North Carolina soon after
the war young Faulk attended schools there which he later
supplemented by private study at Hertford and later still
in Washington City. He was an enterprising, dependable
young man who won the confidence of those with whom he
came in contact and made friends wherever he went. He
was converted and joined the Baptist Church at the early
age of fifteen and in 1893 was licensed to preach and later
in the same year was ordained to the full work of the Gospel
ministry at the First Baptist Church of Hertford. Young
and vigorous, but mature, he threw himself into the work
with all the enthusiasm of youth and was successful from
the beginning. For a quarter of a century he, like the apos-
tle of old, went everywhere preaching, from Florida to New
England, with the result that at least ten thousand conver-
sions were witnessed in his meetings. For twenty years he
traveled an average of ten thousand miles a year and held
thousands of services. Then for four years he represented
the American Baptist Publication Society in Eastern North
Carolina. For fourteen consecutive years Dr. Faulk had
conducted the meetings for the Ebenezer Baptist Church at
Charlotte. So when in 1917 he accepted the call to the pas-
torate of that church he was going among a people he al-
ready knew. His success here has demonstrated the wis-
dom of their choice. Other successful pastorates of Dr.
Faulk are the Philadelphia church, Camden, N. C, which he
served for six years and raised money for the erection of a
new house of worship ; the First Baptist church of Weldon,
N. C, where he preached for twelve years. While on this
work the church and parsonage of the white Methodists
were purchased and remodelled. He also served the church
at South Boston, Va., for eight years and erected a ten thou-
sand dollar house of worship. He preached at Tarboro,
N. C, for five years. Thus it will be seen that he has had
long and fruitful ministry.


Among the secret orders, he belongs to the Masons, Odd
Fellows and Pythians. He is G. W. Superior of the order
of Love and Charity, an organization which has greatly pros-
pered under his administration. They hold the unique rec~
ord of never having lost a dollar, had a protest or a case in
court. Thousands of dollars have been paid their benefici-

On Nov. 28, 1891, he was married to Miss Kalula Lee,
a daughter of David Lee of Edenton, N. C. Of the nine
children born to them the following are living: Molly L.,
Sally L., John, Ruth, Davy, Sophia, Phillip C. and Lula

Dr. Faulk is a great general reader and has traveled ex-
tensively. He is an attractive and forceful speaker and
always makes himself heard no matter how large the audi-
ence. He is himself a vocalist and especially in his revival
work has found this accomplishment most helpful. He
owns property in Hertford, Weldon and Charlotte.

William Jones Rankin

Since the beginning of religious work among the Ameri-
can Negroes, it has been the policy of the Presbyterian
church in the U. S. A. to keep its educational and religious
work going along together. This has resulted in intelli-
gent leadership and in the establishment of a number of
parochial schools, which, through the years, have stood for
what is best in Negro education and have been feeders for
the colleges and universities.

Rev. William Jones Rankin, A. B., S. T. B., is one of the
capable Presbyterian men who has devoted the best years
of his life to the task of religious and educational leader-
ship. His work at Aberdeen is recognized as being of a
high type. Mr. Rankin was born at Elmwood in Iredell Co.
on July 1, 1862, which was in the midst of the war, that was
destined to bring freedom to him and to his people.


His father, Mitchell Rankin, was a farmer and his
mother's maiden name Isabelle Gillespie, a daughter of
Thomas and Matilda Gillespie. The boy grew up on the
farm and started his schooling at Elmwood. He attracted
the attention of his pastor who later moved to Salisbury.
Young Rankin then went to Salisbury and attended a paro-
chial school there for two years. He did his preparatory
work at Biddle University and his College and Theological
courses were pursued at Lincoln University, from which he
was graduated with the A. B. degree in 1889. Three years
later he completed the Theological Course with the S. T. B.
degree. He was also given the degree of A. M. at the same
commencement.The degree of Doctor of Divinity was con-
ferred by Biddle University in June, 1911.

Dr. Rankin's mind turned toward the serious matters
of religion at an early age. He was converted when about
sixteen and soon after consecrated his life to the minis-
try. In fact, from boyhood he felt that his work in life
must be that of the ministry.

On April 27, 1893, he was happily married to Miss Mat-
tie Elizabeth Cooper, a daughter of John and Charity Cooper
of Roanoke, Va. She was educated at Petersburg and has
entered heartily into the plans of her husband. They have
no children of their own but have adopted a daughter. On
completion of his work at Lincoln University, Dr. Rankin
was called to the Presbyterian church at Laurinburg which
he served for two years. In 1894 he moved to Aberdeen to
take up the work there and has since resided at Aberdeen.
Soon after moving to Aberdeen Dr. and Mrs. Rankin were
impressed with the lack of facilities for the education of
Negro children and began in their home the work which
grew into the Sarah Lincoln Academy, which for nearly
twenty-five years has done much for the cause of education
in that section. It was first known as the Aberdeen Pre-
paratory School. Again the name was changed to the Eliz-
abeth School in honor of Mrs. Rankin, whose indefatigable
efforts made the school possible. In 1903 the school, which


had been combined with the parochial school, was turned
over to the Board of Missions and at the request of one of
its benefactors was re-named Sarah Lincoln school and fin-
ally, by action of the Presbytery, made Sarah Lincoln Acad-

Through all these years, Dr. Rankin has also been serv-

Online LibraryArthur Bunyan CaldwellHistory of the American Negro and his institutions; (Volume 4) → online text (page 24 of 48)