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EDWARD HOWARD


Among the successful Baptist pastors whom Virginia has contributed to West Virginia must be mentioned Rev. Edward Howard, of Omar, who, in addition to his work as pastor, is Moderator of the Guyan Valley Baptist Association.. Mr. Howard was born in Nelson County, Va., March 15, 1881, and was reared on the Nelson County farm. His father, who is still living, (1922) is Matt Howard. The mother of our subject was, before her marriage, Miss Susan Winston, daughter of Mary Winston.

As a boy young Howard was accustomed to do all sorts of work on the farm, and laid the foundation of his education in the local public schools.

At a very early age his mind turned to religious matters, and he was converted when only twelve years old and joined the St. Hebron Baptist Church of Nelson County, September 24, 1893. He was licensed to preach August 10, 1904, and was ordained to the full work of the ministry May 26, 1911. He went to Howard University for a short while, but in the most part has depended on his own efforts for an education. From the beginning his parents encouraged him and this helpful sympathetic touch of the home folks was perhaps the most potent factor in shaping the life of young Howard.

His first pastorate was at Scarbro, in Fayette County, W. Va., where he preached for three years. He preached at Madison, in Boone County three years and built a church. This church numbered only six members when he went there, but there were forty when he left. He erected a house of worship while serving the Bright Hope Baptist Church and also built a new church during a pastorate of four years at Amherstdale. He has been pastor eight years of the First Baptist Church at Omar, W. Va. The work there grew under his ministry to a point where three years ago (1919) he resigned the work at Brighthope and has since given full time to the church at Omar. This is purely a mining center and the population is more or less shifting. Mr. Howard has received into the membership since coming to the First Church 3,335 persons. He is held in high esteem by the brethren of the denomination. As already mentioned he is Moderator of the Guyan Valley Baptist Association. He is also a member of the executive board of the Baptist Convention and a member of the Promotion Board.

True to the traditions of his people, Mr. Howard is a Republican in politics. His secret order affiliations are with the Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Benevolents and the Golden Rule Society.

On May 15, 1913, Mr. Howard and Miss Oattie Bass were happily married. They have one child, Allie Howard. Observing conditions about him, he is impressed with the lack of training and believes that the greatest single need of the race is education--Christian education.


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