03709_0127: Reverend W. C. Sale

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Reverend W. C. Sale, no date given, Alabama, white, clergyman, Jacksonville, no date given

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Jacksonville, Florida 28 East Bay Street Rev. W.C. Sale (White) Mrs. Lillian Steadman, writer Veronica E. Huss and Robert Edwards, revisers

REVEREND W.C. SALE

For 16 years the Reverend W.C. Sale has "been a well known figure in the religious life of Jacksonville. He was pastor of the Margaret Street Baptist church for 14 years, and now conducts the Jacksonville Citadel Mission at 28 East Bay Street, where he serves refreshments twice daily after the services to anyone attending, and coffee throughout the day. He also conducts WPA adult education classes in the Mission.

He is six feet tall, weighs 150 pounds, and is a slender muscular type. His high forehead is topped with thick dark brown hair sprinkled with gray. He wears glasses, and his heavy eyebrows shade clear blue eyes. Neatly attired, his tie, handkerchief and suit make a harmonious combination.

The Mission consists of one room on the second floor of an old commercial structure one block from the waterfront. The walls of the room are very dingy and so also is the furniture, although it is well arranged. A large one-gallon coffee pot of blue enamel shows signs of constant use. A piano, the most impressive piece of furniture in the room, shows little sign of wear. In this room, one frequently hears the creaking stairs in the old building.

"At present I am using one large room not only as a classroom and em-

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ployment agency but as a place where hungry men may come and eat; where tired men may sit and rest; and where troubled men may tell their needs.

"This is no church, no hotel lobby, nor is it a flop-house; it is a spot where men can feel free to come and find immediate aid. I am proud of the fact that help is instantly given with no prolonged investigation. This present location, which I recently acquired, is ideal because it is convenient to the greatest number who might seek aid. Being near the harbor and only a few blocks from the heart of the city, I am able to help men in all walks of life. I plan to redecorate the Mission and expect to be able to secure a smaller adjoining room for use as a kitchen."

I explained the purpose of my interview, and he readily responded: "I will be glad to share whatever material of value I can furnish.

"I will tell you the story of my life in one sentence. I was born in Alabama, reared in Tennessee, an Oregon exile, a Virginian by adoption, a Kentuckian by permission, an overseas chaplain, and a Floridian by migration. But I have stayed, and not gone north in the summer; I have stuck or maybe I am stuck, perhaps both.

"My father and mother married shortly after the War between the States, and reared seven girls and three boys on a farm. All learned self-support, self-respect, and self-control. We owned our own home, and helped father pay for it. I made the last payment on it one year after his death in 1904. You know it is easier for thrifty parents to rear a large family than it is to rear a small one—that is, it used to be, and I believe it is yet. It should be the ambition of every young married couple to have 18 children.

"The Sales for several generations have pointed with pride to lawyers, doctors and preachers in their ranks. The pastor of the First Methodist

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church in this city back in 1893 was my father's first cousin of whom he often spoke with pride, and I understand that Rev. J.C. Sale was a good preacher. Many of his family still live in Florida today. Judge Sale lives in Bronson, Florida. My people came from the British Isles by way of Virginia, thence to the South and West. There are so few of us that we are willing to claim kin when we meet.

"I went through grammar school in Tennessee and later took five years in the Union University, Jackson, Tennessee, with special courses in oratory and theology, graduating in June, 1904." At this point Mr. Sale shows me the gold star he wears on his watch chain, the gift of the faculty for being an honor student.

"A few years later while pastor in Richmond, Va., I took two years of special work in Union Theological Seminary, an excellent Presbyterian school. That is unusual for a Baptist to attend a Seminary of another denomination, but I found it to be a good thing. It makes one broader, more considerate, and a better thinker. I seriously doubt that our present school system is turning out educated boys and girls. They all go through the mill and graduate. I do not see how they do it. But I presume education has heen so popularized that it has become a game and they play the thing through. Then they make a larger appeal to the eye by means of maps, charts, pictures, and demonstrations than they once did. I think I have heard that about 85 percent of what we learn comes through the eye.

"One must he ambitious, with high ideals, in order to make the grade in life. Much of this depends upon vision. 'Where there is no vision the people perish.' I made my response to the first awakening of conscience. I answered the call of God! To be a Christian! To be a minister! To live

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for others! I have had many experiences in what is known as the spiritfilled life.

"My ambition has never been to accumulate wealth. I like the good things of life, but have always expected them to come as a result of sacrificial services for others. I have understood that if one lives for others he need not fear; he will be cared for. But I have learned that one must be a good financier if he succeeds in life. One must keep the home fires burning if he is to entertain strangers. Certainly one must live within his income and not try to keep up with the crowd. One must either own a home or pay rent if he never owns a car. I have owned two cars that I bought and paid for and wore out. I am convinced that twothirds of the people driving cars do not need them, and would be better off without them. This is evidently true of people living in the city where transportation is easily accessible.

"When you speak of income you make me laugh. It is better to laugh, though, than to cry. Our first income in 1905 was $50 per month, and we lived in a furnished home. That was out in Heppner, Oregon, this side of the Cascade Range of mountains, 5,000 feet above sea level in the arid section of the West, where one feels most excellent, but where your dreams are a long time coming true. But if you go from the South to the Pacific Coast you must learn as quickly as possible to fit in.

"At one time my income was $4,000 per year, but like all the rest I had my reverses. The hardest pull financially of my life has been during my sojourn in Jacksonville. But I guess I am to blame. If I had hustled for a larger church it would have been different. But I am stronger because of my struggles. I would say that not less than $100 a month will provide adequately for a husband and wife today in Jacksonville. I know

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many live on less than that, but it is a hard pull.

"The supreme right of man is the right to live and the right to work, and the right to show the marks of a man. Nothing is more honorable than work. We should never he satisfied with our system in the social order, until it provides every eligible man with work. Capital and labor must cooperate, with this slogan, 'work for every man and every man at work.' I was taught to work, and have worked ever since. I do not work for the amount of money I receive but for the joy there is in it, for the good I may be able to do, for what I may be able to accomplish through the work.

"My mission work is soul-satisfying and gives me a complete feeling of effort well spent. When I lie down in my bed at night, perhaps a little weary from the physical strain of the day, I am able to find full compensation when I review the events of the day and know that tonight there are fewer discouraged, depressed and hungry men because of my work.

"The earnest desire of my life has been to relieve suffering humanity and to meet the needs of my brother-man. In this field I am able to reach the man furtherest down--the man that won't come to church is the hungry man, and the man made bitter because of some possible experience with a church-goer, and the man that can't make a decent appearance because of unemployment.

"Christ went after the man that was furtherest down and that is my aim, but the churches are not after that class today, they want a welldressed crowd on parade. I am not sure that you will find very much Christianity, of the primitive type, among the churches today. Christ was moved with compassion for the multitudes. I am wondering what Christ thinks of the churches of this age.

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