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influence of a good home and an ambitious mother among
the most potent in his life.

On completion of his course Dr. King returned to Frank-
linton and began the practice. Hardly had be become
settled, however, until the country entered the European
war. He volunteered and was appointed 1st Lieut. M. R. C.
April 16, 1918. He served with distinction in France
from June 20, 1918, to Feb. 15, 1919, and was officially
mentioned for excellent service. On March 18, 1919, he
was commissioned Captain. In August of the same year
he was elected a member of the Association of Military
Surgeons. He is also a member of the Stato and Nat ; onaI
Medical Associations. He belongs to the Christian church.
He is an omnivorous reader of medical books and litera-
ture, but places the Bible first. From wide travel and
extensive observation he concludes that the best interests
of the race are to be promoted "By mutual co-operation
between the races, racial education of both and by eternally
contending for justice along all lines."

James Amos Laughlin

Rev. James Amos Laughlin now (1920) District Super-
intendent of the Western District of the M. E. Church, is
one of those courageous, self-made men, who, in spite of
his lack of early opportunities has steadily forged ahead
to a place of leadership in. his race and in his denomination.
He was born near the site of old Trinity college in Randolph
Co., on March 30, 1872. His parents were Chesley and
Sarah Laughlin. His grandparents on the mother's side
were Jack and Bethsheba Ganaway. On the father's side,
Amos Dothy Kernes.

Young Laughlin grew up on the farm and has all his
life kept up an interest in farming. He was converted when
about seventeen years of age and began preaching at twenty,
but did not regularly join the Conference until he was
twenty-four. He joined the conference at Lenoir under the
late Bishop Mallalieu and was later ordained elder at Max-
ton by Bishop Earl Cranston.

On October 14, 1897, Mr. Laughlin was married to
Miss Winnie E. Allen, a daughter of James E. and Mary
Allen of New Salem. She was educated at Bennett College
and was, before her marriage, a teacher. They have two
children, Mabel Mozelle and Wynola L. W. Laughlin.

Mr. Laughlin availed himself of such opportunities
as the public schools of his native county afforded when he
was a boy, and, after feeling called to the ministry, went
to Bennett for a part of three sessions. The rest of his
education he patiently dug out for himself.

His first appointment under the conference was the
Statesville charge, which he served for four years. He re-
paired one country church and moved the city church at
Statesville to a better site. He was sent from there to trie
Central Randolph Circuit, where he built two churches and
repaired another. His next appointment was to the West
Greensboro Station, where he remained five year* and re-



paired the house of worship. After that he preached at the
High Street Station, Greensboro, for four years and remod-
eled the building. His next appointment was to the Laurin-
burg Station where he preached for four years and where
the work greatly prospered under his administration. He
was then promoted to the district as a District Superintend-
ent and is now (1920) presiding over the Western District,
which has been under his direction for two years.

Mr. Laughlin has had a fruitful ministry from every
point of view. He has never preached to empty pews, but
has had big congregations. Wherever he has gone, church
property has been improved and the membership built up.
He has well earned his place on the district and is a man of
executive ability and influence among the people.

His favorite reading, next after the Bible, is history-
He has not identified himself with the secret orders, neither
is he active in politics though a Republican in affiliation.
He owns considerable farm property in Randolph Co. and
a home in Greensboro.

Peter Simon Lewis

The subject of this sketch, Rev. Peter Simon Lewis,
D. D., is a native of Townsville, Granville Co., N. C, where
he was born during the civil war. His parents were Otto-
way and Jane (Royster) Lewis. His early life was spent
in Oxford, where he received rudimentary training in the
public schools. While yet a boy, young Lewis, according
to the repeated acknowledgement of his teachers, gave evi-
dence of a fine mind and a bright future. Thoroughness in
whatever engages head, heart and hand is one of his mas-
tering passions.

He began life with this idea: Whatever is worth doing
at all is worth doing well. So whether at the plow, in the
cotton field, in the tobacco factory, or in the woods, felling
tress, his employers always delighted to have such a boy



in their service, who did not have to be watched. In this
way he grew to young manhood.

He was converted October 13, 1880, and with his conver-
sion came a distinct call of God to the gospel ministry, which
he did not evade, but set about preparing himself for his
life's work. Having joined the First Baptist church of
Winston-Salem, N. C, he was by that body licensed to
preach and later ordained to the full work of the ministry
by a council of the Rowan Association.

In the fall of 1883, he entered Richmond Institute,
Richmond, Va., completed the literary and scientific courses
and graduated in May, 1887. Subsequently, he entered
Richmond Theological Seminary, now Virginia Union Uni-
versity and finished the three years theological course
and graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, May
1889 and in the same year was called to the pastorate of
the First Baptist church, Salisbury, N. C, where he labored
successfully eight years.

On November 23, 1893, he was married to Miss Mary
Emma Reese of Richmond, Va., who was a teacher in the
public schools of that city before their marriage. They have
five children: Sadie M. (Mrs. Knuckles), Peter S., Jr., Rus-
sel A., Jessie W., and John H. Lewis.

Accepting the position of General Missionary of Vir-
ginia 1897, under the plan of co-operation between colored
and white Baptists, he at once began a campaign of helping
to bring light and intelligence to the neglected parts of
the State. During the four years' labor in that field, the
home mission work received an uplift never before equalled
in the history of the colored Baptists of that State.

In 1901 he accepted a call to the pastorate of the First
Baptist church, Lexington, Va. Here, as elsewhere his la-
bors were bountifully blessed, both spiritually and finan-
cially In recognition of his Christian character, services
and ripe scholarship, the Board of Trustees of the Virginia
Union University conferred upon him, May 18, 1904, the de-
gree of Doctor of Divinity. In 1906, he accepted a call to


the pastorate of the First Baptist church, Charlotte, N. C,
where he has since labored with marvelous success.

The growth of membership has been steady and a
modern house of worship erected and paid for, at a cost
of $45,000.00 j This is said to be the finest church struc-
ture in North Carolina and one of the most handsome of the
colored race in the South. Besides, his congregation is
progressive and believes in trained leadership and a long
and well paid pastorate,

Dr. Lewis is considered to be one of the foremost think-
ers of his race, a conservative and safe leader. He has trav-
eled extensively in this country and in foreign lands, hav-
ing visited Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Asia Minor, Turkey,
Greece, Italy and several other countries of Europe.

Next after the Bible, his favorite studies consist of his-
tory, travel and poetry. In 1918, Dr. Lewis was chosen as
president of the Union Baptist State Convention and is the
official head of more than two hundred thousand North
Carolina Baptists. He was Director General of the Baptist
jubilee campaign, in 1919, which brought to the denomina-
tion the greatest success in its history. Looking back over
the past years of his life, he reckons that home influence
was the great factor in shaping his character. He believes
thta ultimately the progress of his race must rest on indus-
try, education, religion, loyalty to the government and
clean politics.

Note. вАФ Since the above was written, Dr. Lewis was
called to his reward on March 7, 1920.

Hector Charles Miller

A minister once speaking for himself and his fellow
ministers said, "We are neither book-worms nor male gos-
sips, but Christian gentlemen, with a side towards mental
culture, and a side to practical life. We are to learn how
to talk to the people by being with the people, and we are



to learn how to raise them up by raising ourselves. We
are never to forget that ministry is service, not mastery.
'Ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.' "

The life and work of Rev. Hector Charles Miller, A. B.,
A. M., S. T. B. of Newbern suggests this high standard.

Mr. Miller is a native of the old town of Darien, Ga.,
where he first saw the light on April 15, 1882. His father,
George Miller, was a rice planter. He was a son of Fortune
Miller, who was a slave at Hilton-Head, S. C. Mr. Miller's
mother, who, before her marriage, was Diana Collins, in-
herited through her ancestors a strain of Indian blood.

Young Miller gave his heart to God at the early age
of eleven. He went to Todd Academy, a local parochial
school as a boy and was prepared for college under private
tutors. When ready for college he matriculated at Biddle
University, Oct. 11, 1901. He won his A. B. degree in
1906. Having recognized in the ministry a large field for
service, he had, when about nineteen years of age, conse-
crated his life to that work. So on completion of his college
course, he began the Theological course, which he completed
in 1909, with the S. T. B. degree, which required an average
above 90 for the entire course. Later, in recognition of his
attainments, especially along educational lines, he was given
the A. M. degree by his Alma Mater. His way in college
was not easy, but he made a splendid record as a student in
both courses. He entered college with less than a dollar
and was accustomed to doing any sort of work about the
place which offered an opportunity to help out on expenses.
He has found great inspiration in Dicken's account of Alfred
the Great, Park's labors in Africa and Livingstone's Trav-
els. Notwithstanding the conditions under which he en-
tered college he found time for college athletics and played
center on the university team.

Soon after his graduation in Theology on Oct. 6, 1909,
he was married to Miss Estelle M. Grigg, a native of Peters-
burg, Va. She is a daughter of Mrs. Cecilia Grigg (now Mrs.
York Jones). They have four children, Susie M., Marion L.,
Cecilia R., and Hector C. Miller, Jr.


In the spring of 1909 Mr. Miller was called to the
Ebenezer Presbyterian church at Newbern. Such has been
the character of his work on this field that he has been
retained until the present (1919). except for about ten
months during the war when he was in the Y. M. C. A. serv-
ice with the Wa: Council. After coming to the church
which is one of the most important in the southern field,
Mr. Miller inaugurated a parochial school which has grown
in popularity and efficiency. The work of the church has
also prospered under his administration. He has been mod-
erator of the Presbytery of Cape Fear and in 1918 was a
commissioner to the General Assembly at Columbus, Ohio.
His solution of all race problems, as applied to both races,
is summed up in the Golden Rule.

Joseph Samuel Miller

Rev. Joseph Samuel Miller, one of the popular pastors
of the C. M. E. connection in North Carolina, is well known
in every part of the State. He has been in the active
pastorate for more than twenty-five years and has had ap-
pointments from the mountains to the sea. He is now
(1920) located at Washington, in Beaufort Co., though he
is a native of Rutherford Co." in the western part of the
State. He was born May 26, 1869, and is the son of Thomas
Miller and his wife, Elvira (Lollar) Miller. His paternal
grandfather was Solomon Miller. He has no record of the
name of his grandmother, who was sold away from her
husband and children to slave speculators before emanci-

Young Miller attended the common schools of Rurther-
f orcl Co. as a boy ; and as soon as he was able to secure a
teacher's certificate began teaching in the public school.
Years later, after entering the ministry, he took a corres-
pondence course from Princeton University, at Princeton,
Indiana. This he completed in 1920.



Rev. Miller was married on January 23, 1893, to Miss
Mary Lorance, a daughter of Henry and Julia Lorance.
They have had two children, one boy and one girl. The
girl only lives. Her name is Lory M. Miller.

Mr. Miller has never been afraid of work. As a boy
it was necessary for him to help support the family and
that -at a time when wages were unusually low. This natu-
rally made difficult the securing of an education, but by per-
sistent effort and hard study, he was able to equip himself
for the important work of the ministry. He feels that he
owes his success in life very largely to the example and
teaching of his mother.

Soon after his conversion, he felt called to the ministry,
and joined the conference at Paw Creek, N. C, in the fall of
1894 under Bishop Joseph A. Bebee. His first appointment
was to a small mission in the little mountain town of Marion,
N. C, where he spent two years and built a church. From
Marion he went to the central part of the State to the Pitts-
boro circuit, which he served for three years. Here the
membership was built up and the church properties re-

Later he organized churches at Durham and at Char-
lotte. He pastored the Morning Star Station at Paw Creek
for three years and also served the Roberts Tabernacle, at
Shelby, and St. Luke, at Tryon.

His next appointment took him into South Carolina.
Here he had the Brooklyn and Fairview charges in Spartan-
burg Co. and later Macedonia at Hodges in the same State.
After that he preached on the Pacolet circuit two years.

He then returned to his native State and was appointed
to the C. M. E. church in Asheville. From this work in the
extreme western part of the State he was transferred to the
eastern end and is now (1920) pastoring St. James' and
Beebe Chapel churches at Washington. His standing in the
denomination may be inferred from the fact that he is
now recording secretary of the N. C. Annual C. M. E. Con-


In politics he is a Republican and among the secret or-
ders is identified with the Masons and Odd Fellows.

With singleness of purpose he devotes himself to the
work of the ministry and believes in the preaching of a com-
mon sense Gospel and in the living of a consecrated Chris-
tian life. He is of the opinion that religion is a practical
thing which can be worked out in a common sense way in
the every day life of the people.

George Washington Moore

"The bravest battle that was ever fought.

Shall I tell you where and when?
On the maps of the world you will find it not,

'Twas fought by the mothers of men."

Rev. George Washington Moore, Treasurer of the
Union Baptist Convention of North Carolina, and who for
years has been a successful worker and pastor in the State,
attributes to his Godly mother those influences which have
contributed so to his success in life. He was born in Samp-
son Co. just after the outbreak of the war, on May 13, 1861.
His father, Reddick Moore, was killed by the Ku Klux while
George was still a child. His mother, before her marriage,
was Lexie Thompson. She was uneducated and, of course,
poor, but she was ambitious for her children and after
emancipation and the passing of her husband, gave them
the best advantages she could afford. George attended
the public schools of his native county, working on the farm
between terms. He passed from the public schools to Shaw
University and when he had reached the point where he
could obtain a teacher's license he began teaching in the
rural schools of Sampson Co. and taught for seven or eight
years. Just as he was coming into young manhood he was
converted and joined the Baptist church. After reaching
maturity he entered the ministry and in 1886 was ordained
to the full work of the ministry by New Hope Association at
Good Hope church in Chatham Co. After he began preach-



ing he took Theology at Shaw and completed the course in
1891 while pastoring at Fayetteville. This led to the B. Th.

On May 12, 1887, he was united in matrimony to Miss
Rachel A. Dockery of Rockingham, a daughter of Rev. S. W.

Rev. Moore's first pastorate was the Mt. Moriah church
in Harnett Co., and Cameron, Moore Co., which he served
for two years. He was then made Missionary for the New
Hope Association for two years. At the end of that time
he was called to the First Baptist church of Fayetteville,
whose membership had dwindled to the unlucky number of
thirteen. Worse still there was a burdensome debt on
the property. The young man who had not been afraid
to work on the farm and who had the courage to work out
his education, applied himself to this new task with faith
and courage. The house of worship was repaired and
painted; the debt was discharged and the membership be-
gan to grow and when at the end of eight years he left,
there were 250 members. He entertained while there the
New Hope Asso. and State Convention. He went next to
the First church at Reidsville, which he served a little less
than two years. During that time a parsonage was built
and a great revival held in which the converts numbered
one hundred and thirty. A hundred of these were baptized
into the fellowship of the church, seventy of them baptized
in twenty-seven minutes. Dr. Moore was then induced to
give up pastoral work and accept the position of State S. S.
Missionary under the direction of the American Baptist
Publication Society. Such was the character of his work
in this position that he was retained for more than ten
years. During this time he went in company with eighty-
four to Toronto, Canada to the World's International S. S.
Convention. His work took him to every part of the State
and there are few men of the denomination more widely
known. In 1908 he accepted a call to the church of Wil-
mington, where he preached for four years. Here he
bought the ground and lent the church money to build a


parsonage and made a great success of his work there.
After resigning that work, he returned to Raleigh, where
he has since resided.

In recent years his work has been in the country and
small town churches. He is now (1919) pastoring churches
at Aberdeen, Goldston, Troy and Mt. Gilead. Prior to this
he served Holly Springs six years, Spring Branch three
years, Wakefield three years and Zebulon three. He re-
paired the house of worship at Spring Branch and built new
houses at Wakefield and Zebulon. For three years he was
moderator of the Deep River Association. Prior to that
he has been moderator of the Kenansville Eastern Associa-
tion for six years. For seven years he has been Treasurer
of the Union Baptist State Convention and is a member of
the Executive Board of the Lott-Carey Convention. These
numerous responsible positions will convey some idea of
Dr. Moore's popularity with the brotherhood. Out of his
experiences as a worker and his observation as a leader,
he believes that progress would be greatly promoted by co^
operation between the leaders of the races.

In 1915 he was honored by the Afro- American School
of Correspondence, Washington, D. C, with Degree of Doc-
tor of Divinity.

Pickney Armstrong McCorkle

One of the men whose work as a preacher has placed
him in the front rank Of the A. M. E. Zion Connection in
__orth Carolina is Rev. Pinckney Armstrong McCorkle,
D. D., who resides at Salisbury but who is now (1920) sta-
tioned at Winston-Salem. He was born in Rowan Co. Sept.
3, 1853. Thus it will be seen that he was a boy twelve
years of age at the close of the war. His father was Aaron
McCorkle. His mother's name was Candice. Both were
slaves before emancipation. Being himself a slave, the boy
was not permitted any schooling until after the close of the



war. It is not easy for the youth of the present generation
to realize how hard was the struggle of the former slave boy
who aspired to a place of leadership. There was general
poverty among the colored people and a dearth of teachers,
except the white teachers who came down from the North
to help start off the public schools set up after the war.
Young McCorkle continued to work on the farm after the
war and attended the local public school. When about
eighteen years of age he gave his heart to God and a year
or so later consecrated his life to the work of the Gospel
ministry. He preached for a while as a local preacher, but
in 1880 joined the Conference. For forty years he has gone
in and out before his people, ministering to them in spiritual
things. His first appointment was to Miller's Chapel Cir-
cuit in Rowan Co., which he served for three years and built
a church. He went from there to the Tabernacle Circuit
in Yadkin Co. for one year. He served the Mooresville
Circuit three years and repaired the church property. He
went from there to the Pineville Circuit where he remained
four years and repaired the church property considerably.
His next appointment was to the Winston-Salem Mission
where he remained for two years. After that he was ap-
pointed to the Salisbury Station, which he served for four
years and built a brick church. From Salisbury he was as-
signed to Grace church, Charlotte, for one year. He re-
modeled and beautified this church and from there was ap-
pointed to the Statesville Station, where he remained three
years and made great improvement in the church.

He was promoted to the Presiding Eldership in 1897
and was on the Salisbury District five years, the Statesville
District three years, and the Charlotte District two years,
making ten years on the district. In this capacity, as well
as in the pastorate, he was hard working and conscientious.
He was then returned to the pastorate and sent to Salisbury
for the second time, where he placed Soldiers' Memorial
church which had been destroyed by fire, in a condition for
worship. He went from there to Trinity Chapel at Greens-
boro and served four years ; from there to Clinton's Chapel


at Charlotte for three years ,and while there had the
honor of entertaining the General Conference in 1912. In
1915, he was assigned to Winston-Salem, where under his
administration Goler Memorial Church is erecting a splen-
did modern house of worship.

A further word is necessary with reference to Rev.
McCorkle's education. He attended High School at States-
ville one term and went to Biddle University one session.
He also took private lessons and by these various means
equipped himself for his work. When he was sent to the
Salisbury District he availed himself of the advantages of
Livingstone College and took the course in English Theol-
ogy. His oration on the occasion of his graduation was
on the life and character of Moses. In 1907 Livingstone
College conferred on Mr. McCorkle the degree of Doctor
of Divinity.

In 1886 he was married to Miss Laura E. Todd. They
have two sons, Thos. L. and Rev. Walter C. McCorkle.

Mr. McCorkle has not been active in politics nor is he
identified with the secret orders. He is a prominent figure
in his denomination and has attended six general confer-
ences. He believes in the progress of his people through
education and moral training.

Cadd Grant O'Kelly

Rev. Cadd Grant O'Kelly, A. M., Ph. D., D. D., Dean
of the National Training School at Durham, has for more
than thirty years been prominently identified with the edu-
cational life of the State.

Dr. O'Kelly is a native of Raleigh, where he was born
only a few weeks before the close of the war, on February
14, 1865. His father, John O'Kelly, was a son of Jesse
and Candace O'Kelly, and his mother, before her marriage,
was Miss Anna L. Foster, a daughter of Roger and Lucy

Online LibraryArthur Bunyan CaldwellHistory of the American Negro and his institutions; (Volume 4) → online text (page 42 of 48)