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BIRTON L. ZEIGLAR


The number of North Carolina farm boys who have made their way into other States, and who have succeeded in business lines and in the professions would seem to indicate that the Old North State puts into a fellow pluck, patience and perseverance. One of these North Carolinians, who is doing splendid work in West Virginia is Rev. Birton Linward Zeiglar, D.D., the popular pastor of the Baptist Church at Tams and the Moderator of the Winding Gulf Baptist Association.

Dr. Zeiglar was born at Sandy Ridge, Stokes County, N. C., on June 2, 1877. His father, Birton Zeiglar was a farmer and the boy worked on the farm till he was seventeen years of age. His mother, was before her marriage, Nora Martin, daughter of Baker and Lillian Martin. Dr. Zeiglar's grandparents on his father's side were Abraham and Nancy Zeiglar.

Young Zeiglar growing up on the farm in North Carolina, went to the public schools. Years later he attended Bluefield Colored Institute two terms and pursued a correspondence course in theology from Barrett College which conferred on him the D.D. degree.

He left North Carolina when about 17 and worked in the ore mines of Virginia for awhile, going from there to the coal fields of West Virginia. He was converted in 1900 and joined the First Baptist Church of Glen Jean, W. Va. Even before his conversion he had been impressed by a feeling that he must some time preach the Gospel. Soon after coming into the church he in 1904 committed himself to the task and was licensed in 1908 and ordained to the full work of the ministry in 1911, and since that time has been one of the active men of his denomination in the Winding Gulf region. During his early ministry he sometimes served several churches simultaneously. He began with the church at Davy, which he served one year. He preached at Crystal seven years and finished the house of worship. He served Coaldale nearly five years, McCornas a year and a half and East Gulf three years. He then gave half his time to the church at Tams and half time to Winding Gulf for 6 months. He has had a fruitful ministry and has been successful in his evangelistic work. He now gives full time to the church at Tams. His standing in the denomination may be judged from the fact that he is, as stated above Moderator of the Winding Gulf Association which position he has held for five years. He is also Treasurer of the Second District Board of the baptist State Convention, under the Promotion Board, member of the Board of Trustees of the West Virginia Seminary and College and a member of the Executive Board of the Ministers and Deacons Union.

In February 1904, he married Miss May King, daughter of William and Mirandy King.

He is a Mason and belongs to the St. Lukes and K. and P. & G. R. B. in D. Association. In politics he is a Republican.

He believes that the progress of the race depends upon better leadership along all lines- education, business, politics, and religion. He has property in both West Virginia and North Carolina.

It must be recalled that Dr. Ziegler's father died before the boy was born and that his mother passed away when he was ten, thus making his struggle a hard one. He is a self-made man and need not be ashamed of the job.

Address Delivered by Dr. Zieglar at Glen White, W. Va., June 21, 1922. Subject: "Christian Service"

It is agin the fifth time in the history of my life I attempt to deliver you my annual address. I am glad, and yet sorry. I am glad because God has so diligently led us with His kind and loving hand through this entire year. But my regret is because time, and language fails me in which to express my heartfelt thanks to God for his guidance in the work.

We have been writing on the page of history for five years, and our march has been a progressive one, onward and upward, toward the mark of a higher calling which is in Christ Jesus. This has only been done because we reasonably submitted ourselves to the spirit of God. Yet we want to pray God that He may send more laborers into His harvest, for the harvest is truly ripe, but the laborers are few. Our slogan for this year was $1,500. But owing to the dullness of the times, we are somewhat doubtful of reaching our high watermark. Yet we belkieve the Churches are doing the best they can under the conditions of the times.

Christian Service-

In order to do Christian service, we need to have a broader vision of our duty to God, and one of the needs of the field as a district, as a state, as U. S. A., and as a world. Knowing that our foreign relations in Christianity demand our strongest zeal, by reason that our chances in America are feasible in getting the people to see God's face in peace, than it is for the people in the foreign field. Yet we must put over a big job at home the first of all, to make us be able to treat them with justice. SO we should drink the heritage of our fathers in righteousness, though it be drenched in perils of suffering, and in tears, yet joy awaits us at the end.

Again my Brethren, let us do our Christian work, that others entering on it may carry it forward through after generations. Thus shall te work of the fathers become the glory of their children, and in the end, when the mystery of God shall be finished, we shall see, in its completed beauty and proportion, the great fabric into which we put our lives; and we shall rejoice at once in the skill of the Architect and and the diligence of the successful builders. We should not look for present results, but look to the end; and resolve to make the service of Christ the first object in what remains of life, without indifference to the opinion of your fellow men, but also without fear of it. See your salvation in the business of God, and that will make His service your busines and delight.

It is not a question of what we can merely feel, but what we can do for Christ; not how many tears we can shed, but how many sins we can modify and cancel altogether. Not what raptures we can experience from a mere idea, but what self-denial we can practice. Not what happy fames we can enjoy, but what holy duties we can perform. Not simply how much we can luxuriate on sermons or in sacrament, but how much we can exhibit of the mind of Jesus in our intercourse worth our fellow men.

Not only how far above earth we can rise to the bliss of Heaven, but how much of love and purity from heaven we can bring down to earth; in short, not how much of rapt feeling we can bring to bear on our whole life in conduct; but "Work out your whole salvation." Work, as well as believe; and in daily practice of faithful obedience, in the daily subjugation of your own spirits to His divine power, in the daily crucifixion of your with its affection and lusts, in the daily straining after lofteir heights of godliness and purer atmospheres of devotion and love make more thoroughly your own what you possess. Work into the substance of your souls that which you have. "Apprehend that for which you are apprehended of Christ," and remember that not a past act of faith, but a present and continuous life of loving faithful work is Christ, which is His and yet yours, in the holding fast the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end.

Mission Work on the Field

In speaking of Mission work, this also calls for Christian service. I point to our missionary with pride namely, Rev. D. DA. Twyman, because I believe he has rendered us more efficient service this year, than any year previous. His great sacrific in continual going, proves that he has much love for the work. We should do all we can for these great men of God, such as Rev. D. A. Twyman, Rev. W.M.B. Nesbitt, Rev. R.D.W. Meadows, and others who are working in our state, and on the foreign fields.

The spirit of missions, calls for the fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of man. Now men may glorify the fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of man, but such beliefs will never send missionaries to face the malarial belt of Africa, or the cannibals of the south Pacific, unless we do Christian service by giving largely, and freely of our means to the cause. Only such tremendous truths as gather around Sinai, and Calvary--which looked Jesus in the face. Man's redemption, a death on the cross, a resurrection from the dead, an enthroning in heaven, can only inspire to such undertaking.

Palestine was the West Point, and Annapolis for the world. In that little country God was training up a people out of whom, when the fullness of time should come, His gospel cadets should emerge, fitted by all the training of their national history for going out among the heathen and proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ. Therefore we can see the need of much preparation in the present day, for the same cause. Therefore we urge that our young men study to prove themselves workmen that needeth not be ashamed. Evangelism is not merely a work of love. It is the sheer law of self-preservation. There is a heathenism which is creeping along the fences of society, is scattering its seeds on both sides. Which has the tendency to destroy the peace, and happiness, and success of our communities, and Church. Therefore we need to be awakened as missionary workers, and make a strong fight against the social evils of today, such as social card playing, baseball Sabbath breaking, social drunkenness, and strolling everywhere on the Sabbath, but to the Church. For as we love our neighbors, we must try to do them good; but if we love only ourselves and our homes; we must be at work to make the world better. If Christians do not make the world better, the world will surely make the church worse.

Morality, and Its Part in the Christian Service.

Morality, is indeed, a part of the Christian service. Its time for use, is in the trying hours of the greatest temptation. Its place is right in the very duties of life. And its part in Christian service, is honesty, goodness, and cleanliness. Dear Brethren, and Sisters, knowing therefore these things to be true, I recommend that we put ourselves on record, for better morals. For morality rests upon a sense of obligation; and yet an obligation has no real meaning, except as implying a Divine command, and without which it ceases to be a virtue. Again morality without genuine religion is only a kind of dead reckoning, as an endeavor to find a place on a cloudy sea, by measuring the distance we have run in the dark, without observation of the kind of service we have rendered, or its result. Jesus Christ alone has exhibited a complete assemblage of the principles of morality, and divested it of all absurdity. It is not composed like unto a creed, of a few common place sentences put into a bad verse. But if you wish to know that which is really sublime, put in common practice the words of our Savior--"As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."

Negro Education

In consideration of our educational standard, as compared with the present opportunities, does not show a very rapid progress in Negro Education, and there is a great shortage on the part of the ministry. We are persuaded to say, that this doesn't come from the lack of an opportunity, but from the lack of interest. I am forced to say, with all the educational institutions of the state, and with all the night schools run in connection with them, there is no excuse for the man that can't read a passage of scripture intelligently, or line a hymn, and write, and figure as well, so we hope to see the W. S. C. filled with students this fall, as well as the other schools of the state. Now, since the business world is calling for business men and women, I therefore recommend that we urge our boys, and girls to stay in schools, until they have at least obtained a Normal course. We ought to study in order to improve on our talent. As Wesley wrote to a young minister one day, he said, "Your talent in preaching does not increase. It is just the same as it was several years ago. It is lively, but not deep. There is little variety; there is no compass of thought. Reading only can supply this, with daily meditation and daily prayer. You wrong yourself greatly by omitting this. You can never be a deep preacher without it, any more than a through Christian."

Our Slogan for 1923, $2,000.

New, Dear Brethren, we thank you for your support in this work and we feel under many obligations to you, for I am satisfied I am in your debt.
Show me what I have to do,
Every hour my strength renew;
Let me live a life of faith,
Let me die Thy people's death.

Guide us, Love, Peace, and Grace:
Guide us divine Light;
Through all our work and care and woe;
Through all the dizzy joys we know,
Through the "dark valley" where we go,
Guide us Love's dearest light,
To-day, and To-night.


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