Young Hunter grew up on the Bedford County farm and went to the public schools, such as they were, in his boyhood days. He also worked on the railroad and was for a number of years employed at Lowmoor, Va.
In the year 1887, he was happily converted and with the change of heart came the call immediately to preach the Gospel. He "was not disobedient to the Heavenly vision," and soon after began to prepare himself for the great work to which he had been called. He had joined the Forest Baptist church and about two years later was by that church licensed to preach. In 1896 he was by the same church ordained to the full work of the ministry. It is interesting to note that he was sent to Richmond Theological Seminary, now Virginia Union University, by his employers at Lowmoor, Va. It was a good investment, for his life has been fruitful of good works.
On June 1, 1891, he was united in matrimony to Miss Eliza Johnson, daughter of Elizabeth Johnson, of Covington. She has walked faithfully by his side through the years. In recognition of his work and attainments the West Virginia Theological Seminary conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity.
Dr. Hunter was successful from the beginning of his ministry and was soon recognized as one of the leaders of the Baptist denomination in the state. He has organized eight Baptist churches and erected eight new houses of worship. A mere list of the churches he has served as pastor is a long one. He organized and built the Iton Mountain Church, which he served for three years. He preached at Central Street eleven years and erected a new house of worship. He pastored the church at Nuttall for twelve years and remodeled the house, this was his first pastorate in West Virginia. He built the church at Hill Top, where he preached for fourteen years. He also became identified with the Baptist school there, known as the West Virginia Industrial Seminary and College and is President of the Board of Trustees. He preached at Glen Jean for eight years and built a new church. He served the church at McDonald eight years and also erected a new house of worship there. Recently he has been called back to the church at McDonald. He also served acceptably the church at Quinnmont on the mountain for several years and the church at Quinnimont Bottom for the long period of nineteen years. He has been on the work at Meadow Creel for a quarter of a century and has built a church there. The Winona Mountain church held him for nearly nine years, during which time a church edifice was erected. He preached at Ansted seven years and remodeled the church, Greenwood four years and built a new church, McAlpin seven years, where a new house was erected. Of course, it will be understood that he usually served more than one and sometimes as many as four churches at the same time. He has been successful in evangelistic work and has brought hosts of new members into the church, unfortunately no accurate record of them having been kept. The brotherhood was not slow in recognizing the worth and ability of Dr. Hunter and made him Treasurer of the Baptist State Convention, which position he has held since 1907. He is also President of the New River Ministers and Deacons' Union.
For thirty years he has gone in and out before the mountain people of Virginia and West Virginia, and it may be said of him as it was said of his Master, "The common people heard him gladly." Among the secret orders, he is identified with the Masons, Odd Fellows, Pythians and Red Men. He is the Incohonee of the latter.
He has made a study of conditions among the people and he believes, "The thing needed most is more religion, better cultivation of it, more education, a trained leadership and the practice of economy." He is a man of good business judgment. His property investments are in West Virginia. His home is at Sylvia, in Raleigh County.
History of the American Negro Index
West Virginia History Center