“Pete” Howell was born in Limestone Township, Duplin County, North Carolina on 10 Oct 1918. At the time of his birth, we know that his father, James Dallas (J.D.) Howell was a minister in Beulaville. (Beulaville is a town within Limestone township.) I knew that his father’s tenure at the Baptist Church was short, but I never knew how long it was for sure. We know that Pete’s next older brother Frank Armstrong Howell was born in 1916 in Bladen County, NC, and his sister, Mary Elizabeth was born in 1925 in Onslow County, North Carolina. So, J.D.’s time in Beulaville must have been less than 9 years.
October 9 and 10, 1917
- In 1916, J. G. Bostic was the pastor at Beulaville.
- In 1917, J. D. Howell was the pastor at Beulaville.
- In 1918, J. D. Howell was the pastor at Beulaville.
- In 1919, Geo. W. White was the pastor at Beulaville.
Beulaville was a self-sustaining congregation. Brother Howell also preached at “Cedar Fork, Hallsville, Springfield, Sharon, and some other stations at school houses.”[ii] During 1916-1917, his church gained 6 individuals by baptism and lost four, three by letter and 1 by death. Membership was 118, 65 men and 53 women.
James Dallas Howell attended the Seventy-Fourth Annual Session of the Eastern Association, held with the Baptist Church at Piney Grove, Duplin County, N. C. on October 9 and 10, 1917
He is mentioned on several pages of the minutes of the proceedings.
During that first year at the Annual Session, J. D. Howell addressed the Association regarding the Layman’s Movement, the temperance movement and the Report on the Biblical Recorder.[iii] He spoke to the assembly regarding “Time for your best.”[iv]
Church gained 6 individuals by Baptism and lost four, three by letter and 1 by death. Membership was 118, 65 men and 53 women.
October 29, 1918
J.D. Howell attended the Annual Session a second time in 1918. He had been very busy working on the Laymen’s Movement Committee.[v] Brother Howell also worked for the Executive Committee for the year 1917-1918. He resigned from that position in 1918[vi]
As Laymen’s Movement Committee Chair, he reported on the Laymen’s Movement.
REPORT ON LAYMEN’S MOVEMENT.
The day has been when the idea generally prevailed that the work of the Sunday Schools and churches was only appropriate for and should be left in the hands of women and children. That was the once prevalent idea with regards Kingdom building for the Master. We are mighty glad to say that that day has passed in many sections. Indeed we are fast coming to realize that Sunday Schools and church work – the work of Kingdom building – is the work of our clear-headed, progressive thinking business men. It is a man-sized job, for the best we have in our midst. The Laymen’s Movement has possibly done as much or more to bring about that change as any other agency. They have done a great work, but their task is not yet finished. In some places they have scarcely touched the hem of the garment. There is a great deal yet to be done in securing the progressive co-operation of our leading business men, with or without the pastor, for the doing of several things, viz.:
- Taking an annual inventory of your assets in the individual churches to see what you have to do business on that year for the Lord, make an every-member canvass.
- Instituting systematic giving to all the needs of the Kingdom, (if they are farmers, prepare in Fall so they can give all the year).
- Learning for ourselves and teaching others that the tithe is a means of contributing to the Master, and enables us to help in saving the world.
Since these things are vitally essential to the proper growth and development of the Kingdom in our Association, and since I am quite sure the people would be more ready to follow the lead of laymen along these lines; therefore, be it resolved,
That the Association ask the Executive Committee to put on foot as early in this Associational year as practicable a campaign of that nature over the whole Association, utilizing the best material possible among the laymen, both in and outside the Association to successfully carry out this plan.
During his 1918 tenure, his Beulaville church report showed the church gained seven members by letter, and lost two by exclusion and 1 by death finishing the year with 123 members. The Pastor’s salary was $300/year.
[i] The Minutes of the Annual Sessions of the Eastern Baptist Association 1911-1920 via Wake Forest University, The Z. Smith Reynolds Library – Digitized and available online through Archive.Org. https://archive.org/details/minutesofannuals1120east.
[ii] Ibid. October 9 and 10, 1917 – Page 7.
[iii] Ibid. October 9 and 10, 1917 – Page 9.
[iv] Ibid. October 9 and 10, 1917 – Page 13.
[v] Ibid. October 29, 1918, Page 7.
[vi] Ibid. October 29, 1918 , Page 10.
[vii] Ibid. October 29, 1918 – Page 13.