Wednesday, July 4, 2007
New York Adventure
This passage is copied from a partial autobiography that William wrote after he retired from active ministry.
"One rather notable incident took place during my pastorate in the First Union Church. One Saturday afternoon, a negro man came to see me in the church office. He explained that he came from Tuskeegee Institute. He had come north in the attempt to introduce Booker T. Washington to the Presbyterian churches of New York City, along with a negro quartet which he was beginning to train. He had tramped all over New York, interviewing pastors and attempting to interest them in his protegee. Every body had some excuse and no one had encouraged. He was just about worn out in the attempt and he looked very tired and dusty. I knew nothing about the Institute and nothing about its head, Booker T. Washington. He interested me and I was sympathetic with him because of the experience he had had. I finally agreed to arrange a meeting for the quartet and he in our chapel on a Wednesday. When the evening came it was raining as if the clouds had burst. Nevertheless a full chapel greeted the singers and the speaker. And that was the first introduction of Washington to a New York City audience and the beginning of his work in the Institute and in New York, which lead to fame and fortune."
(Picture is of William during his pastorate in New York.)