Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, Migration, Other Documents

Funeral Program Friday: Matilda Whirley.

Not exactly a funeral program, but close enough:

Morning Star Baptist Church of Christ/In Remembrance.

MATILDA WHIRLEY.  December 7, 1910-March 5, 1992.  Matilda “Tillie” Whirley, one of Stephen and Emma Whirley’s eight children, was born on December 7, 1910 in Charles County, Virginia. She was educated in the public schools of Charles County until moving to Baltimore, Maryland. There she completed her education by attending evening classes.  For nineteen years, Miss Whirley worked as a housekeeper in the Ashburton section of Baltimore. She subsequently obtained employment at the University of Maryland, School of Dentistry from which she retired after working there for seventeen years.  At an early age Tillie received Christ as her personal Savior and became an active member of the New Vine Baptist Church in Charles County, Virginia. She was guided in the work of the church by her God-fearing parents. Her mother instructed her in baking the bread for the Lord’s Supper each month and Tillie, believing this was her sacred duty, continued baking the bread until she left Charles County.  After relocating to Baltimore, Maryland, Miss Whirley became affiliated with the Morning Star Baptist Church, under the pastorate of the late Reverend George Jacob Garnett. Because of her strong background as a servant of God, she became a great servant of mankind. At Morning Star, Miss Whirley was a member of the Senior Usher Board, Missionary Society, Samuel Ray Revival Choir, Church School, Building Fund, Lottie Henry Nurses’ Unit, Flower Circle, Women’s Ministry and Board of Christian Education. She was also a member, and later president, of the Pastor’s Aid and a loyal supporter of the Girl Scouts, Fuel Fund, Elevator Fund and any other fund or organization which would benefit her church or community.  Miss Whirley was a devoted, loving, effectual, caring Christian woman and was a friend to all who needed her. She freely gave wise and timely counsel, based on her life experiences, as she sought to make life go a bit smoother for her family, friends, church members, neighbors and co-workers. Miss Whirley was counted upon to be an integral part of church and community activities and participated and served wherever she could. Her dedication and love of God was evident in all she did. Miss Whirley was a good example of one of God’s servants; because of that, we take time to remember her this month.


Maternal Kin, Paternal Kin, Religion, Vocation

Where we worked: men and women of the cloth.

Joseph Silver, near Enfield NC – husband of Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver; founder of Plumbline Holiness Church, 1893; organizer of the United Holiness Church of America (see Estrelda Alexander, Black Fire: One Hundred Years of African American Pentacostalism); 1890s-1958.  [Said my grandmother: Mama got married there on Elba Street, there at the house.  Yeah.  Reverend Silver was a little short brown-skinned man, and he was a elder and the head of the church where was down there in Halifax County.]

Graham Allen, Charles City County VA – Baptist minister, circa 1880?-1928.

Jonah Williams, near Eureka NC – Baptist minister; pastor of Turner Swamp Primitive Baptist Church and other small churches between Wilson and Goldsboro NC; circa 1890?-1915.

William H. Henderson, Goldsboro NC – minister, ??-1950s.

Larry R. Artis, Washington DC – minister, Sharon Baptist Church, 9th Street between U and Barrett Place NW, circa 1917.

Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver, Wilson NC – Holiness evangelist, 1920s-1938.

Ruffin C. Carroll, Goldsboro NC — preacher, 1920s.

Kinchen C. Holt, Greensboro NC – husband of Vera Baker Holt; African Methodist Episcopal minister; Presiding Elder, Greensboro District, 1924; circa 1900?-1940.

Joseph Aldridge, Goldsboro NC — minister, ??-1930s.

Joseph L. Aldridge, Dayton OH — United Methodist minister.

Elias Lewis “E.L.” Henderson, Eureka NC — founder of Saint Mark Church of Christ, Saulston NC.


The ninth in an occasional series exploring the ways in which my kinfolk made their livings in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Interview of Hattie Henderson Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson; all rights reserved.