Western Appeal clipping

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Gray, William, 1841-1919; African American Baptists

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Rev. W. Gray's Farewell.

Last Sunday afternoon Rev. William Gray preached his farewell sermon at Pilgrim Baptist church, of which he has been pastor since April 19th, 1887. The public generally knows of the troubles of the church, which have received a generous airing through the columns of the daily press and therefore do not need repetition through these columns. There was a large audience present when Rev. Gray took for his text Acts XVIII, 9.10. "Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not they peace; for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee, to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city." After a few preliminary remarks Rev. Gray proceeded to tell his side of the story. He frequently called upon any one present to arise and deny his statements if they were not true, and, as no one arose, it stands to reason that his side of the trouble could not be so black as it has been painted. In his own peculiar way he poured hot shot into the brethren and sisters who have been opposing him and his course, and succeeded in gaining much sympathy from those present, many of whom were drawn thither through curiosity alone. While it may be, as many of those opposed to Rev. Gray and his peculiar methods assert, that he is not just the man to fill the pulpit of Pilgrim Baptist church; yet, he was entitled to a fair, open trial, and if found unworthy should have been dismissed; and, if the charges could not be substantiated, he should have been cleared of them, without all of the public notoriety and disgrace being heaped upon the Colored people which has been the result, for each and every one has been more or less injured by it. The rule does not work both ways equally, where Colored people are concerned, the bad one does hurts all greatly, but the good many may do scarcely receives notice. The people are very glad that this matter is settled and hope the next pastor will be able to get along without the trouble that has fallen to the lot of the last two pastors. The Baptist have in their church a valuable piece of property and they should endeavor to hold it, but they cannot do so unless they all pull together. Both spiritually and financially they have suffered by the troubles of the past few weeks but with care and discretion there is no good reason why they should not regain their lost ground.



Western Appeal, “Western Appeal clipping,” Mississippi State University Libraries, accessed December 1, 2023, https://msstate-exhibits.libraryhost.com/items/show/483.

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