The Early Years
Reverend Frederick Lee Lights
LIKE many who have risen from the ranks of the colored race to occupy places of distinction, Dr. Lights was reared in the lap of poverty and passed through a stage of trial and tribulation before he reached his goal. He was born in the State of Louisiana, where his boyhood struggles began. His parents were poor, his father being a Baptist minister, whose labors extended back to 1859, who appreciated the value of an education but was unable to give his son Frederick the benefit of one. Young Fredrick had the ambition and desire to learn and the grit and energy to seek an education which he finally secured by the labor of his hands. At the age of twelve, he left his native State and moved with his parents to Bayou, Texas. Here he enrolled in the public schools and was permitted to attend them for a while without undue anxiety and care. His respite from struggle was of short duration for in a little while his father died and placed upon his shoulders the care and responsibility, not of himself alone, but in a large measure the entire family. He met the burden with fortitude and strength and at once addressed himself to the problems thus thrust upon him. To meet the situation he found it necessary to devote his days to labor but he robbed work of its fatigue and night of its repose and spent many of the hours which should have been devoted to sleep in hard study. He finished his course in the public schools and then entered the Hearne Academy. He was among the first to enter this institution of learning, remaining there until lie had completed his course
.While at Bayou he was converted and joined the Baptist Church, being the church his father organized. The deep religious impressions made upon him in his youth continued to grow until they finally decided him upon his life work. When he completed his work at the Hearne Academy he went to Edge, Texas, and was there ordained as a minister. This was in 1882, and immediately after his ordination he began his ministerial work. Among the churches he served as Pastor was the Baptist church, at Hearne, the church at Bavou. his old home ; the church at Franklin, at Dremond, at Cannon, at Rockdale, at Hamstead, at Harmon Colony, at Allen Farm, and at Wellsburn. At three of these Edge, Franklin and Cannon, he built houses of worship.
From the beginning of his ministerial career he has grown in wisdom and popularity and has been enabled to accomplish a large work. His record shows that he has received into the church more than five thousand members and has united in marriage more than one thousand couples.
His labors have not been confined to the local church but have also been of an international character. In 1905 he was a messenger to the World's Baptist Congress, which met in England. He took advantage of the opportunity while in Europe to make a tour of England, Ireland, Scot land and France. Again in 1910 he visited Europe as a delegate to the World's Mission Congress, which met in Edinburgh. This time he visited Germany, Belgium and Wales, and revisited France. He also took an active part in the National meetings of his denomination and was instrumental in a large measure, for the National Baptist Convention, being held in Houston Texas, in 1912.
Dr. Light was married in 1895, to Miss Pearl Augustus Reed, of Houston. Texas. At the time of their marriage she was a teacher in the Public Schools of Houston. Six children have been born to them, five of whom are living. Freddie Lee, Ada Estelle, Emerson Augusta, Roger Williams, Pearl Emma Eduara, and Louise Venara, deceased.
Sketch from The
National Cyclopedia of the Colored Race
Published by: National Publishing Company, Inc. (1919)