Willet Anderson Black
For many years I heard of W. A. Black before meeting him during a series of gospel meetings in which I preached at Fayette, Ala. in the fall of 1979. Brother Black and his beloved companion attended the series one evening. It was a great joy to get acquainted with them.
One of brother Black's sons whose name is Titus has been one of my friends many years. He was a law student at the University of in Birmingham when I lived there. He is Dr. Titus Black and serves on the faculty of Eastern Kentucky State University in Richmond.
Titus told me his father engaged in numerous debates on such subjects as The Holy Spirit, Miracles, Instrumental Music in Worship, Apostasy, the "one cup," and "no class" hobbies, and the gospel plan of salvation. Titus said his father also preached in fifteen or twenty meetings per year for about thirty years.
Only the Lord knows the great amount of good W. A. Black did in his long ministry.
Flavil Nichols. preaches for the Elizabethtown, Kentucky Church of Christ. He wrote the following about W. A. Black.
"Brother W. A. Black, of Millport, Ala., died recently of leukemia. He was the first gospel preacher whom my father (Gus Nichols) ever started to preaching (except two of his own fleshly brothers, Charlie and Carey Nichols). His family and the Nichols family have had close ties all through the years.
"The first wedding I can remember is the marriage of brother W. A. Black. During his first meeting, he stayed in our home and my father studied with him all day, then we would go hear him preach the sermons. I worked on his farm, and stayed in his home, during part of one summer when I was just a boy. He greatly encouraged me to preach, helping me with sermon outlines. I attended his class weekly while I was still in high school.
"At Freed-Hardeman College, I roomed with one of W. A. Black's brothers (Plato). Mary and I have stayed in his home during several revivals. We stayed two weeks during the summer of 1979.
"During my father's illness he asked me to phone brother Black to come see him, and he and sister Black came. By the next day Dad had suffered another stroke so that henceforth he was unable to speak sentences. That was the last day Dad was able to get to the table for a meal.
"Our family's love for the Blacks is reflected in the fact that my youngest brother is named "Willett Hudson" - the first name for Willett A. Black, and the second for John Allen Hudson. You will understand, therefore, why my mother and all of us children wanted brother Black to participate in my father's funeral - which he did. And, you will also understand my wish to attend brother Black's funeral.
"Brother Black was the oldest of ten boys, and all four of his own children are boys! One of them, Titus, used to preach at Clarkson, Kentucky near Leitchfield, and now teaches in the Law school at Eastern Kentucky University.
At the time of his death brother Black's wife was in a Birmingham hospital with serious injuries from an auto accident due to the ice on the roads.
I am not certain how many of the "Black" brothers made preachers, but they include Plato, V. P., Warren, and Jack. Brother Black's sons, Phillip, Timothy, and Titus also have preached, and perhaps the other one (Nathan) does. This family has done tremendous good. W. A. Black will be sorely missed. He was highly respected in his home county, He was the local preacher at Millport, Ala."
Brother Black had been living for many years at Millport, Ala. His beloved widow still lives there.
The following is from The Lamar Democrat, and surely shows the respect and esteem in which brother Black was held where he lived.
"One of Lamar County's best known, respected and loved ministers is dead.
"Willet Anderson Black, age 76, of Millport, died at 8:50 Saturday night, March 8, 1980 at the Fayette County Hospital, Fayette, Alabama.
Mr. Black was born January 1, 1904 to Edward Black and Linnie Cash Black of Lamar County, Alabama.
"In the field of education, he was a graduate of Lamar County High School at Vernon; Freed-Hardeman College, Henderson, Tennessee; Abilene Christian College, Abilene, Texas; Jacksonville State, Jacksonville, Alabama. He was held in high esteem for his knowledge of the Bible, his ability to preach and teach. He had been a minister of the gospel for over fifty-five years, serving many churches of Christ throughout the brotherhood.
"During his ministry, many were converted and baptized. Numerous congregations of the Lord's church were recipients of direct influence of this man of God. He had been instrumental in establishing a number of congregations in the brotherhood. He was serving as minister for the Millport Church of Christ.
"Funeral services were held from the Millport Church of Christ at 2:00 p.m. Monday, March 10th. The body lay in state from 1 until 2.
"Officiating ministers were Albert Parks of Scottsboro, Alabama, Hardeman Nichols, of Columbus, Mississippi, and Jesse Phillips, minister at Christian Chapel Church of Christ.
"Graveside services were conducted by Flavil Nichols, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky and Franklin Camp, of Birmingham, Alabama.
"Interment was in Christian Chapel Cemetery under the direction of Dowdle Funeral Home of Millport, Alabama.
"Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Mattie Mae Golden Black of Millport, Alabama; four sons, Phillip Black, of Montgomery, Alabama, Timothy Black, of Guntersville, Alabama, Titus Black, of Richmond, Kentucky, and Nathan Black of Mobile, Alabama, eight brothers, Victor Black, of Millport, Alabama, Banks Black, of Millport, Alabama, Vanderbilt Black, of Mobile, Alabama, Warren Black, of Orlando, Florida, Dawes Black, of Birmingham, Alabama, Jack Black, of Birmingham, Alabama, Robert Black, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Plato Black, of Lexington, Mississippi; eleven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends."
We at The World Evangelist and at International Bible College hereby convey our condolences to W. A. Black's family.
-by Basil Overton, World Evangelist, June, 1980, page 8
-Photo above courtesy of Tom L. Childers
Directions To The Grave Of W.A. Black
W.A. Black is buried in the Christian Chapel Church of Christ Cemetery a few miles south of Vernon, Alabama. From I-22, take Exit 16 just south of Hamilton, Alabama. Go south on Hwy. 43/171/278 about 22 miles to Sulligent. From Sulligent take Hwy. 17 about 10 miles south to Vernon. From Vernon, continue south on Hwy. 17 six miles and the church building/cemetery will be on the left. Also buried in the cemetery are a few other preachers of yesteryear including G.W. Hester, S.F. Hester, Jerry Jones, John Wheeler and W.A. Black's brother Plato Black. Their brother V.P. Black is buried in Montgomery.
The actual GPS Location of the Black family grave is: 33°40'40.6"N 88°05'21.0"W / or D.d. 33.677933, -88.089167