An Appeal

February 22, 1902


The Virginia Baptist Church, identifying itself as the largest and most powerful Baptist organization representing black people, announces that it will hold a convention to raise money to pay back debt to the Home Mission Society.


Help this worthy cause.

Richmond, Va., Feb. 18, 1902
Editor of The Richmond Planet,
Dear Sir:-- It is true that the colored Baptists of Virginia are making most determined efforts in our May rally when the convention meets in Petersburg to pay off the $4,000 we owe the Home Mission Society. At no time have we officially or otherwise determined to repudiate that or any of the rest of the debts against the Virginia Seminary.

The institution was begun some fifteen or sixteen years ago and the Baptists of this state promised to erect the buildings and pay for them. Under the guidance of God, the wise management of the Virginia Baptist State Convention, the Trustee Board of the Seminary, the leadership of President G.W. Hayes, we have made wonderful strides of success.

Never bore have the Negro Baptists of the state been so thoroughly aroused to the sense and propriety of rising up and attempting so much to help themselves. Not only the large churches but the small churches as well in country, village and town are putting forth new and heretofore unheard of efforts to do something in a noble and praiseworthy manner for themselves.

In May, our convention will meet in the Gilfield Baptist Church, Petersburg, where preaches our distinguished brother, Rev. G. B. Howard, D. D. Those who think that the Virginia Baptist State Convention is not the largest and most powerful Baptist organization among our people in this state will please, during the week of the convention, commencing May 14th, take the electric railway line via Manchester to Petersburg and see for themselves.

Now that the Negroes throughout this state and other states have determined to lift the debt from our school in Lynchburg, I would respectfully invite donations for that object from the noble citizens of Richmond.

The Fifth Street Baptist Church has subscribed $300 and she will pay it in May.

Contributions may be left at the Mechanics’ Savings Bank, 511 N. 3rd street or at the Richmond Beneficial Insurance Company, 738 N. 2nd St.

Now, let me ask, are there not men and women in the city of Richmond willing to help an institution owned and controlled by the Negro Baptists of this state? Are we to own nothing? Must we be afraid to own something? Ye noble hearted citizens, dare to be strong and courageous and come to the rescue of your people.

Respectfully yours,
W. F. Graham
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Upper Right Quadrant

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Brooke Royer


“An Appeal,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed February 22, 2019,