TYPE: Antique Photograph

Date published:1902

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AUTHENTICITY: This is an authentic historical print, published at the date stated above. It is not from a modern copy.


REV. WILLIAM R. PETTIFORD, D. D. It Is difficult topresent a, life’s record so as to furnish a correct estimate of theman in question. Particularly is this true if we attempt to give upona page the account of a long life of active and useful service. Amongthe leaders in Christian work In the state of Alabama, Dr. W. R. Pettifordranks very high, having but few, if any, superiors. As a businessman he is unexcelled. Twelve years of unremitting toil and unbrokensuccess in the banking business demonstrate the truth of this assertion.In presenting this sketch we could not do better than quote fro mthe Cyclopedia of the Colored Baptist of Alabama, by, Rev. C. 0. BootheD. D.: Rev. W. R. Pettiford, D. D., son of William and Matilda Pettiford,was born in Granville county, North Carolina, January 20th, 1849.He was, when a boy, of an industrious turn of mind, working faithfully,it whatever his hands found to do. At one time he was with the tanner,and at another time he was running his father’s farm. At the age of21 years he un with the Baptist Church of Recksboro, Person county,North Carolina, and was immersed by the Rev. Ezekiel Horton of Salisbury.While he was serving this church as clerk he told his mother the secret,which he greatly desired that she would not reveal, that he felt calledto the gospel ministry. Brother Horton often put up, at their home,hence soon got possession of the secret. Dr. Pettiford now says: When1 was, called Into an examining council and learned that my secretwas out, I was very much frightened, but the advice given upon thisday has ever been helpful to me. At the commencement of SolmaUniverglty, 1877-78, he joined Brother Woodsmaall becoming a memberof the pioneer faculty of the school. It was here that he was seenas the patient, studious, industrious man-loved by tender youth andtrusted by those of riper years. He was called to ordination by theBerean Baptist Church, Marion, Ala., and ded- icating hands were laidupon his head in Marion, Ala., in the midst of the Conventional Sessionheld there in November, 1880. After this he severed his connectionwith Selma University to enter the pastorate in Union Springs. Asteacher and financial agent he made such a record that unprecedentedprestige was given to his work at Union Springs, where for two years,by his labor of love and sacrifice, he laid the foundation for permanentChristian work that shall stand through- out all time. For a briefperiod Dr. Pettiford worked under joint appointment of the AmericanBaptist Home Mission Society and the Home Mission Board of the AlabamaBaptist State Convention as lecturer for ministers.


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