The Afro Texan Press 

The Early Years


E. W. D. Isaac

E. W. D. Isaac, D. D. The subject of this sketch is highly endowed with the three talents most essential in a man of his calling. Fortunate indeed is the possessor of a combination such as Dr. Isaac is endowed with. His gift of making friends and holding them, enables him to fill the churches when he occupies the pulpit. His gift of explaining the teachings of Christ, enables him to use his gift of oratory in a manner that is at once instructive and inspiring to his hearers. His gift of music enables him to build choirs that are glorious. Not only a wonderful speaker, he is doubly gifted in being able to write as well as he speaks and thereby thousands are reached that would never have the opportunity to hear him.
Dr. Isaac has been for ten years corresponding Secretary of the National Baptist Young People's Union Board of the National Baptist Convention, and editor of the National Baptist Union, the organ of the denomination.

He was born in Marshall, Texas, January 2, 1863. His early home was fifteen miles from the county seat on the banks of the Sabine River, where his father, a pioneer Baptist preacher, lived and was permitted to conduct religious services among his people, enjoying the privilege of a gospel minister, during the days of slavery.

He first attended school at Marshall Academy, and then went to Wiley University, a Methodist school at Marshall, and Bishop College, one of the schools of the American Baptist Home Mission Society. After his graduation from Bishop College, he served as Missionary of the Louisiana and Texas Associations, and was then called to the pastorate of the First Baptist Church, Tyler, Texas, where he served six years in one of the largest and most progressive Baptist Churches in Western Texas. During his residence at Tyler, he taught music in the public schools and served as a member of the Board of Commissioners for the colored teachers in Smith County.

At the close of his Sunday-School pastorate, he was elected State Sunday School Missionary and served the Texas Baptist State Sunday School Association in co-operation with the American Baptist Publication Society for several years. He served ten years as pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas, the largest Negro church in the State. During his pastorate the membership was increased from 900 to 2,000. The first pipe organ that was installed in a Negro church in Texas, was put in the New Hope Church. He served three years in the Missionary and Educational Convention of Texas, as editor of the denominational paper, the Baptist Star. For the past ten years, he has been connected with the successful work of the Young People's Union Board of the National Baptist Convention.

So much for the record of Dr. Isaac. He was doubly fortunate in having a Christian father and mother and in being born near such a noted seat of learning as Marshall, Texas. Something in the atmosphere of the Grand old State of Texas seems to imbue her native sons with the fighting spirit so necessary to the success of leaders in any line in these days of turmoil and strife. Like M. M. Rogers, of Dallas, Texas, Emmett J. Scott, of Tuskegee Institute. Ben J. Davis, of Atlanta, Ga., and other noted Texans by birth. Dr. Isaac is always selected as a leader of any movement be becomes identified with. Like them in another respect, he never confines his sphere of action to local issues. During all his pastorates, he was continually working and planning for the success of the National Baptist Convention. His election as corresponding secretary of the National Baptist Young People's Union Board and editor of the Baptist Union gave him the opportunity he had so long desired, and his ability as a writer of national reputation was soon established. Dr. Isaac played a prominent part in helping his country support "the men be hind the guns." And his influence and advice set a splendid example for his people in the trying times of German Propaganda.

Personally, Dr. Isaac is one of the most magnetic men in public life. Wielding a virile pen, he is no less a forceful speaker and talented musician He is a powerful and uncompromising fighter for any cause that he believes is right and just, yet he is always ready and willing to lend a sympathetic ear to any one in trouble and distress. The State of Tennessee is fortunate in the acquisition of this gifted son of Texas.

Sketch from The National cyclopedia of the colored race; (1919-)
Author: Richardson, Clement, b. 1878


Image: NYPL Digital Gallery, The New York Public Library Digital ID: 413638