Rev. Albert Wade, Sr.

May 8, 1908 - December 23, 1998
Role: Preacher
Known for: Strong singing voice, Kindness, Spiritual Life

Reverend Wade was born in Victoria, Texas; His parents were Tom Wade and Ginnie Bell Wade. His maternal grandfather was Charlie Bell. His paternal grandmother, Sarah Wofford Wade, was born during slavery and her father was a white man. Reverend Wade's families were farmers. They picked cotton, chopped wood, shucked cane and pulled corn. Reverend Wade knew at ten years of age that he was born to preach. He had a great voice and he liked to sing the Old 100s, a group of spirituals that came down from slavery times. He and his wife, Thelma Lee Johnson Wade, raised twenty nine children and grandchildren. They were both very kind and religious people. Reverend Wade’s contribution to the preservation of African American church music, his stories from the culture, and his kind heart and moral stances made him a favorite among his colleagues on the project.

Introduction to Rev. Albert Wade

Louise S. O'Connor
Voice of Rev. Albert Wade
RW – In those hymns that those people sung, they brought much truth to light because we lived to see what we were singing about. Well, you see back in the slavery time, the black couldn't go to the white school. Black couldn't go to the white church. And they would have tabernacle, you know. They'd build tabernacles out in the country; the white people did. One time they had one here on the corner down there. These plantation workers; slaves, would go to these meetings, but they'd always sit outside. And this particular preacher this night was preaching. And through his message this young girl, I guess she was about seventeen years old, she confessed Christ as her Savior. And she went when this preacher extended the privilege of the church and asked if anybody would, like you and I with church. Well, she went in and told her testimony that she had found the Lord through his preaching, and she would like to unite with this church. So, this minister said to the congregation, "Y'all heard the testimony come from this young lady." Say, "What are you going to do about it?" They said, "Well, no black can't join this church; nothing but white." And he shook her hand, the preacher did, and he said, "I'm just a minister. They say we can't take you in." So she turned to walk away. She was singing this song. (singing) "I'm gonna tell God how you treat me. Yes, I'm gonna tell God how you treating me, one of these days. Hallelujah. I'm gonna tell God how you treat me. I'm gonna tell God how you treating me, one of these days." And then her mother, she worked for some of these people. And at dinner time, she had to eat in the kitchen. She couldn't go in the dining room and eat with the white people. And this girl would say, (singing) "I'm gonna eat at a welcome table. Yes, I'm gonna eat at a welcome table, one of these days. Hallalujah. I'm gonna eat at a welcome table. I'm gonna eat at a welcome table, one of these days."