Christopher H. Payne

Fayette Journal
December 18, 1925

Dr. Chris. H. Payne Dead; Early Leader In Fayette

Dr. Christopher H. Payne, well known state colored leader for many years, died December 5 at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. He was a native of Monroe County and was 80 years old.

He came to Montgomery in 1884 as pastor of the Baptist church. He served 13 years, and also pastored Hinton, Brushy Ridge, Union, Alderson, Ronceverte, Eagle, Mt. Carbon, Quinnimont and Huntington, the latter he resigned in 1903 to take the government position as United States consul to the Danish West Indian Islands. This position he held until March 1917, at which time our government purchased the islands which cancelled this consular station. After the adjustment of these islands to the American rule, he held the position as police judge, stationed at St. Thomas and St. Croix.

He held numerous other responsible positions, and was president of the West Virginia Baptist State convention for sixteen years. Deputy collector of internal revenue with an office at the capital; he was editor of a weekly paper at Huntington, known as the Pioneer, and the Mountain Eagle at Montgomery. On several occasions he was delegate to the republican national convention. He was the first Negro to be elected as a member of the legislature of the state of West Virginia.

African Americans

West Virginia Archives and History