Plato Astor Black
Gospel Preacher In Northwest Alabama
Plato Astor Black was born in Millport, Alabama, *July 1, 1916. He was baptized by his brother, Willet A. Black in 1936. He was married to the former Justine Martin on October 6, 1943. They had two children, Janet Ann and Myra Kay.
Like his older brother, he came under the influence of Gus Nichols and his brothers Charlie and Carey, all of whom were preachers of the gospel. By the time of his birth, the church at Christian Chapel, in Lamar County, Alabama was developing the reputation of producing gospel preachers. When Plato turned twenty years of age, he became another one of them.
He attended Freed-Hardeman University, again like his older brother, and later younger brothers V.P. Black and Jack Black. He also attended Florence State Teacher's College, now the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama, and then Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.
Plato Black preached for churches in Cordova, Alabama from 1943-1946, the church in Childersburg, Alabama in 1947, the church in Bay Minette from 1947-1950, for the church in Mobile from 1950-1952, at Thyatira, Mississippi from 1952-1953, Stephens, Arkansas in 1954, Vivian, Louisiana from 1954-1957, and Natchez, Mississippi from 1957. More information is needed on his later years of preaching to make this sketch complete.
He preached several meetings per year, and did Radio work in several places like WKAB in Mobile, Alabama, WFEB in Sylacauga, Alabama, and work in Atmore, Alabama, Alexander City, Alabama, and on WNAT in Natchez, Mississippi.
Plato Black passed from this life November 9, 1986, and was buried in the Black family plot among many other of the sainted dead at Christian Chapel in Lamar County, Alabama. His wife Justine followed him in death August 13, 1999, and was laid to rest by his side.
-Source: Preachers of Today volume 2
Directions To The Grave Of Plato A. Black
Plato A. Black is buried in the Christian Chapel Church of Christ Cemetery a few miles south of Vernon, Alabama. From I-22, take Exit 16 just south of Hamilton, Alabama. Go south on Hwy. 43/171/278 about 22 miles to Sulligent. From Sulligent take Hwy. 17 about 10 miles south to Vernon. From Vernon, continue south on Hwy. 17 six miles and the church building/cemetery will be on the left. Also buried in the cemetery are a few other preachers of yesteryear including G.W. Hester, S.F. Hester, Benny Hester, John L. Wheeler, Jeremiah Jones, and Plato Black's brother W.A. Black. His brother V.P. Black is buried in Montgomery.
33° 40.674 x 088° 05.350
or D.d. 33.677876,-88.089159
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Plato A. *November 15, 1914 - Nov. 9, 1986 - Gospel Preacher
Justine - Apr. 10, 1917 - Aug. 13, 1999 - Mother
*The dates of the birth of Plato Black appear differently in different locations. His grave marker and Social Security Record show that he was born November 15, 1914. However, the volume Preachers of Today, Volume 2, page 39 shows him to be born July 1, 1916. Since his grave marker and other records show the earlier date, the 1914 date is probably correct.