AUTHOR: Shelton Tucker; Vetted and edited by Cheri Todd Molter and Kobe M. Brown
My sister, Dee, the genealogist of the family, told me that a respected historian in Greenville, N.C. said that my great-great-grandfather, Reverend Austin Flood, was the MLK of his day. Ever since that time, we have been researching exactly who he was.
We knew he was a pastor and that he had started several churches in Greenville, namely Sycamore Hill, Phillippi, and St. Paul Missionary Baptist Churches. When he died in 1893, his death was mentioned in the white newspaper as a “well known colored man,” which didn’t occur all that often back then. If you research the Pitt County marriage records during the Reconstruction period, you will often find his name listed as the officiating preacher. I also found an article in which he and my great-great-great-great-grandfather, John Tucker, presided over a local Pitt County Republican Convention in 1876.
While trying to find more information about this ancestor–after times of just speaking his name, asking Granddaddy Flood to reveal more about himself–some discoveries were made: 1) Author Sam Barber found records about Austin Flood’s involvement with Sycamore Hill. 2) A connection was made with a local cousin. 3) A person contacted me through social media in regard to the 150th Anniversary of Phillippi Missionary Baptist Church in Simpson, N.C., which Rev. Flood founded.
Yesterday, I uncovered a treasure trove of information that offer great insights into what Rev. Austin Flood was about and what others thought about him. Attached are snippets of articles that mention him. Their contents exemplify his strength of character, especially during a time when a proud black man was often a victim of the law.