One of the stalwart men of the Baptist denomination who has done good work in both states is Rev. John Dabney Woodfork now (1922) pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Hinton.
Mr. Woodfork is a native of Spotsylvania County, Va., having been born near the historic old town of Fredericksburg on October 4, 1869. His parents were Thomas and Louisa Woodfork. The names of his grandparents were Reuben and Easter. Young Woodfork had the misfortune to lose his mother when he was only a small boy and only a little later he lost his father, so that from the age of twelve he had to rely on himself. All his life he has been a hard worker. As a boy he had begun his education in the public schools. Later he found work in the hotel, and managed to go to school in Fredericksburg. From that day to this he has continued to read and study, for he is, after all, a self-made man. When he grew older he found work in the mountain resorts such as White Sulphur and Alleghany. He went from that to railroading and at one time worked in the ore mines. His last regular employment before laying aside business for the ministry was fireman. So it will be seen that he was not accustomed to easy jobs.
After he had grown to mature manhood, and after his marriage, he gave his heart to God, at the age of twenty-two. He had already shown ability as a speaker and as a debater, and even before he came into the church his friends predicted that he would be a preacher. It was several years after he joined the church, however, before he was licensed and began to preach.
On February 13, 1913, he was ordained to the full work of the ministry. After he was licensed and began preaching he took charge of Springwood Church in Botetourt County, Va., and contrary to the warning and predictions of the more experienced brethren built a house of worship. He preached there four years. He served the church at Pleasant View for three years and collected money for improvements there. His next call took him to Glen Jean, where he enjoyed a prosperous pastorate of seven years. During his stay at Glen Jean the church was remodeled, furnished, painted and a bell added. He preached at First Baptist Church, Glasgow in Rockbridge County, Va., five years and built there a modern brick church. He accepted the call of the church at Claremont, W. Va., and served it for three years. During these busy years, he resided at Low Moor, Va.
In 1919, he accepted the call of the Second Baptist Church of Hinton where he now resides and is in the midst of a busy and successful pastorate.
Mr. Woodfork is a man of commanding appearance, a fluent speaker and a good pastor. He has been in demand among the brethren for evangelistic work.
In politics he is a Republican and among the benevolent orders belongs to Love and Charity.
While, of course, his principal reading and study are along the line of his work, he also finds help and inspiration in history which is with him a favorite line of reading.
On March 4, 1891, Mr. Woodfork married Miss Alice Triplett. She is a native of West Virginia but was for years a resident of Washington, D. C.
Of the four children born to them only one survives. His name is Chester F. Woodfork.
History of the American Negro Index
West Virginia History Center