• Mountain Preachers school,[1] Pineville, KY
  • BJC Board Member, 1946

The elder of the two brothers, T. W. Callaway,[2] was born in Americus on March 22, 1874. He received his education in the Americus city school on South Jackson Street. Prior to 1880, it had been the Furlow Masonic Female College that had been established by, and named for, his grandfather. At the age of 18, T. W. Callaway was converted and baptized in his parents’ church, where he quickly became active in the Sunday school, later replacing his father as superintendent.

After a year-and-a-half sojourn in Atlanta, where he was a deacon in the West End Baptist Church, Walton and his wife returned to Americus in 1901 and he became a deacon of his home church. On Nov. 22, 1903, “the Church granted a license to preach to T. W. Callaway at which time he was set apart by the Church as assistant to the Pastor.” On July 7, 1904, he resigned as deacon. Three months later, on Oct. 6, the clerk recorded that “Upon motion a call was made for the ordination of T. W. Callaway to the Ministry of the Gospel.” In November, he was ordained by a presbytery of the Rev. R. E. Neighbor, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Americus; the Rev. R. B. Taylor, pastor at Buena Vista, Georgia; and Dr. J. L. White, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Macon.

A recent graduate of the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, the Rev. T. W. Callaway received his first call to the Baptist church at Thomaston. After a little more than a year there, he went to be assistant pastor to the Rev. Dr. J. L. White at First Baptist in Macon. When Dr. White resigned in January 1907, the congregation called Rev. T. W. Callaway to the pulpit as a supply pastor for six months, while they searched for a permanent replacement.

During Rev. T. W. Callaway’s work at the church in Macon, he had determined that he should lead a massive revival to address the dire needs of the poor and working classes in the city. Toward that end, with the financial and spiritual support of his church and the community, he organized the Tabernacle Baptist Church in the heart of the boarding-house section in 1907.

The Rev. T. W. Callaway was also a charter member of the Board of Control of the Hepzibah Orphanage, as well as its first president. He would later serve as its vice president, with his brother, the Rev. T. F. Callaway, succeeding as president. The institution supplied a home for the poorest children of the slums. Its mission was aided by the establishment of the Tabernacle Rescue Home, near Macon, for those who were then known as wayward girls.

When the Rev. T. W. Callaway was called to the First Baptist Church of Dublin, in 1914, he left Macon a far better city than he had found when he had moved there. He would accomplish the same feat in Dublin, leaving a better situation than he found upon arrival. In a history of the church, the Rev. Walter M. Lee wrote that the Rev. T. W. Callaway’s “noble traits bound to him with hoops of steel the affections of the entire church . . . Growth, harmony, liberality, and efficiency marked his administration.”

The Rev. T. W. Callaway would spend the rest of his pastoral career achieving the same standard in Baptist Tabernacle, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Hough Avenue Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio; Central Baptist Church, Waycross; Avondale Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Fla.; and the St. Elmo Baptist Church, back in Chattanooga, Tenn..

In 1944, the Rev. T. W. Callaway retired to a teaching position at the Mountain Preachers Bible School at Pineville, Ky. He missed the call of the pulpit, however, and spent the next ten years in pastorates at churches in Virginia and South Carolina until his second retirement at age 80. While attending the 50th anniversary celebration of the Central Baptist Church at Waycross,the Rev. Timothy Walton Callaway passed away on June 19, 1959.

The Rev. T. W. Callaway’s brother, Timothy Furlow Callaway, was better known to the homefolks and throughout his career as “Snap.” Known for his quick and witty responses in conversation, he had acquired the nickname as a child. He, too, was a native of Americus, having been born here on March 30, 1882. An ardent searcher for the truth, he began reading law books at the age of 14. Like his older brother, he graduated from the Furlow School in his hometown. However, he worked for the railroad for three years to finance his higher education at Mercer University, from which he graduated in June 1902.

“Snap” Callaway would spend the next four years practicing law in Americus with great success. His spiritual needs were not fulfilled in this endeavor, much to his chagrin. His pastor, the Rev. R. E. Neighbor, prayed, studied the Word, and meditated with him until “Snap” decided to give it all up for the Lord. On Dec. 26, 1906, he was ordained at the family church, along with Allen Fort Jr., by a presbytery of the Rev. R. E. Neighbor, the Rev. Osceola P. Gilbert, the church’s latest pastor, and the crowning touch, his brother, the Rev. T. W. Callaway.