The Richmond Register

February 4, 2013

Edwin Hewlett, pastor of First Baptist, was leader of Richmond’s ‘dry’ forces in 1940s

By Fred Engle
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — Baptist minister Dr. J. Edwin Hewlett has been preaching for going on 80 years. He still preaches most Sundays at Browncroft Baptist Church in Rochester, N.Y. Despite its location, the church is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Born and raised in Mississippi, Hewlett attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He met this wife, Mildred, there. A native of Owensboro, she recently passed away.  She was an accomplished pianist. Dr. Hewlett now lives with his son, Dr. J. E. Hewlett Jr. in Clarance, N.Y.

Dr. Hewlett was ordained in 1933. In 1939, he accepted the call as the pastor of the First Baptist Church on Main Street in Richmond. He quickly became a vital force in the city and county.

He was a leader of the “dry’ forces in the city. Because of a medical situation in the family, he moved the family to St. Louis in 1944. There he was pastor of Southwest Baptist Church for many years.  About 30 years later, he “retired” and took up mission work in New York state for Southern Baptists and is still in harness today. 

The Hewletts raised three children – a son, J.E. Hewlett Jr., and two daughters Sally and Judy.

As a final note, around 1938, Dr. Hewlett baptized Harold Edward Richardson, Edwin Carter and yours truly. May he continue to preach the gospel for another 80 years.

Hewlett was preacher at First Baptist Church between Clyde Breland (pastor from 1929 until 1939) and E. N. Perry (pastor from 1944 until 1968).  Thanks to Sam Newman for the help with this column.

PUBLICATION NOTE:  Readers are reminded that a compilation of some 60 Richmond Register articles from over the last 40 years by Dr. Grise and myself are now available in the paperback book “Madison’s Heritage Rediscovered.” 

Combined with relevant photographs selected from Eastern’s Archives by my granddaughter, Kathryn Engle, who edited the volume, this book is available for $19.99 plus tax.

Autographed copies may be purchased at: the Richmond tourism office (Irvinton) on Lancaster Avenue; Clearsight Optometry; and Baldwin CPAs on Main Street in Richmond.

Autographed copies are also available by calling Kathryn Engle at 859-893-0947 or 623-1150. These books make excellent birthday presents for family or friends.

Keep in touch with out-of-town family and friends by sharing this gift of home.