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ROBERT D. W. MEADOWS


Rev. Robert Daniel Witty Meadows, who is easily the best known and at the same time best informed Baptist minister in West Virginia, with reference to the work of his denomination, resides at Huntington. Like so many of the successful professional and business men of the State, he is a native of the Old Dominion. He was born in the beautiful New River section at Pearisburg in Giles County, Va., on May 30, 1869. His father, Floyd Alexander Meadows, who was of Irish-Negro descent. The mother of our subject was, before her marriage, Miss Sarah Elizabeth Lybrook, daughter of Charles and Clara Lybrook.

Growing up in Giles County. Young Meadows went to the public school at Pearisburg, where he laid the foundation of his education. He has been a hard worker all his life. Speaking of his struggles for an education, he says, "I worked my way while in school and worked on the rail road, in the mines and in the blacksmith shop."

Mr. Meadows was converted when he was thirteen years of age and joined the First Baptist church of Pearisburg. Rather early in life he felt called to preach the Gospel, and after having been licensed was ordained by order of his home church at the Scott Street Baptist Church of Bluefield, on May 2, 1894.

For his higher education he went to Richmond Theological Seminary, now Virginia Union University. For more than thirty years he has been active in the religious and educational work of his section. He was principal of the school at Pocahontas for a number of years and also taught at Hinton, White Sulphur Springs and Ronceverte. It is as a preacher, however, that he is best known.

His first regular pastorate was the Baptist Church at Pearisburg, which his father had served for 42 years. He preached there for one year. He served the church at Lewisburg, W. Va. For six years, and built the brick church there. As a minister he was successful from the beginning and soon came to be recognized not only as an eloquent preacher but as a man of good business and executive ability with a capacity for organization. In addition to these qualities he is imbued with the missionary spirit. So it came about that in 1902, he was appointed Superintendent of Missions of West Virginia, by the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York. Like the apostle of old, he has been "in labors abundant," has gone into every nook and corner of the State, and considers it nothing unusual to travel from twenty-five to thirty-five thousand miles a year in connection with his work within the State of West Virginia. He has kept close and sympathetic touch with the work of his denomination in every part of the State and has been instrumental in establishing about seventy Baptist churches, to say nothing of numerous Sunday Schools organized. He is in demand at conventions and has for years been a prominent figure in denominational gatherings.

On June 8, 1893, Rev. Mr. Meadows married Miss Susie E. Noble, daughter of Joseph and Matilda Noble of Richmond, Va. She was educated at Petersburg Normal and was before her marriage an accomplished teacher. Of the ten children born to them the following survive: Ruth, Leota, Hazel, Mabel, Marion, Floy, Clara and Glenola Meadows.

Looking back over the days of his boyhood and youth he is of the opinion that the greatest factors in shaping his life were the encouragement of his mother and the example of his father. His favorite book has been the Bible. After that he likes history. In politics he is a Republican and has done considerable campaign work. He believes that the best interests of the race are to be promoted through a fuller and more complete recognition and granting to the race all the rights of American citizenship.


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