William Pettiford

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William Pettiford

William Reuben Pettiford (born January 20, 1847; died 1914) was pastor of 16th Street Baptist Church from 1883 to 1893. He helped found the Alabama Penny Savings Bank in October 1890, and became its president in 1899. He worked with Charles Boothe to found the Birmingham Baptist College in 1904.

Pettiford enjoyed the respect of many white leaders in Birmingham, even being recommended for appointment to Federal office by his peers. Nevertheless, the sphere for accommodationist success in "building up" the Black race was defined solely by whites.

Pettiford was a friend of educator A. H. Parker and employed him as a secretary. He died in 1914 and was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery. His home after his pastorate, known as the Pettiford House, was listed in Historic Sites of Jefferson County, Alabama compiled by the Jefferson County Historical Commission.


  • Harlan, Louis R., Raymond W. Smock, and Barbara S. Kraft, eds. The Booker T. Washington Papers. Vol. 5: 1899-1900. Campagne, IL: University of Illinois Press. p. 388
  • Satterfield, Carolyn Green (1976) "Historic Sites of Jefferson County, Alabama" Jefferson County Historical Commission.