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REAVIE S. WILLIAMS


West Virginia has drawn heavily on adjacent States for her population. This holds true of the ministry, as of other professions and lines of work.

One of the enterprising and successful Baptist ministers who comes from Georgia, but who has already made a place in the work of the denomination in the State is Rev. Reavie Simpson Williams, pastor of the Coal Street Baptist church of Logan.

Mr. Williams was born in Oconee County, Ga., on April 16, 1878. His father, Nathan Williams, was a farmer and encouraged and assisted his son in every way his means would permit. Young Williams worked on the farm helping about the place till he was grown to manhood. Such a life on the farm may be narrow and may lack the opportunities of culture afforded by the large centers of population, but it gives a boy something he does not regret in after life.

The mother of our subject was Georgia Anne Brown, daughter of Fountain and Adeline Brown.

The boy laid the foundation of his education in the local public schools from which he passed to the well known Baptist School, Jeruel Academy at Athens, Ga. He spent three years at that institution. After finishing his work at Jeruel he went to Alabama and from that State later came to West Virginia.

Before leaving home on the farm he had been converted when about nineteen years of age and joined the Bethel Baptist Church. From childhood he had felt drawn toward the ministry as his life work, so after his conversion it was not long till he had definitely committed himself to the work. He was licensed and ordained after going to Alabama where he had become active in the work of the church. His first regular pastorate was at Oak Grove near Birmingham where he preached for a little more than a year. Other churches which he served as pastor in Alabama were, Macedonia three years and built a house of worship, Rock Slope about the same time, and Cleft for four years. In 1916 he came to West Virginia and accepted the call of the Coal Street Baptist Church of Logan which has greatly prospered under his leadership. A modern brick house of worship has been completed at a cost of more than five thousand dollars, and the congregation has been built up both in numbers and influence.

In politics Mr. Williams is a Republican and among the secret orders, he holds membership in the Pythians. Next after the Bible his favorite reading is biography. In March 1905, Mr. Williams married Miss Annie Parker of Columbus, Ga. She bore him one child, Nathan Williams. Mrs. Williams was called to her reward in April 1918.

Mr. Williams has observed and studied conditions among his people in the rural districts and in the cities, on the farm and at industrial centers, and he believes that the greatest need of the race today can be summed up in the single word "Education."


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