William C. Webb

William C. Webb, Ceola Davis/EnSoul Magazine, Photograher

This long time resident of Northern Nevada was born April 22, 1934 in the community of Canaan, eight miles from the town of Fordyce, Arkansas. His first eight grades of school were in a one room church house. He was taught by one teacher that taught all eight grades. Men in the community made the seats in the church. There were no desks. The books were from the White school which was about two miles away. The church was used for religious purpose at night, usually Wednesday night prayer meeting, Sunday for Sunday School, and morning Worship once a month.

After completing the eighth grade, he would ride the work truck that carried the men living in Canaan to Fordyce lumber mill to work. Getting to Fordyce, he would have to walk about a mile to the Dallas County High School, passing by a two-story White school where no Blacks were allowed to attend.

W. C. Webb completed high school in Fordyce in May 1952 and to avoid having to work on the farm that summer he enrolled at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas that same month. There he worked his way through college for the next four years. After graduation from Philander Smith College in May of 1956, he went to Wildwood, New Jersey to work for the summer. In September of 1956 he enrolled at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia to begin working on his Master of Divinity. At Union he would work in the library to help pay for the cost.

In November 1959 W. C. Webb’s first job would be working at a laundry in Las Vegas, Nevada for about four months and in May 1960, he worked at the Nevada Test Site until he was called to the Second Baptist Church in Reno, Nevada. He preached his first sermon as pastor of the Second Baptist Church the fourth Sunday in March 1964.

William C. Webb was the pastor of Second Baptist Church for over 44 years and has been an outstanding and faithful spiritual and community leader for over forty-five years. Now as Pastor Emeritus of Second Baptist Church, he continues to be a loved and respected active member of this community.

Pastor Webb was honored by the City of Reno for 40 years of commitment to his church and his community.

This was written about Pastor Webb and printed in the January 21, 2005 issue of the Reno Gazette Journal: “Rev. William C. Webb, a longtime resident and pastor of Second Baptist Church in Reno, is one of them. Webb is not unlike many others whose value in the groups they serve is well known, but who often are little recognized………Webb deserves to be recognized for his work. Many laud him for his availability, for being a giving, humble person and for doing things without ever claiming credit .His achievements, of course, are not limited to just the church building. He is a man who finds a way to get things done……He supports the local NAACP chapter, encouraging membership and activity. He emphasizes voter registration and provides transportation to the polls for those who need it. Also recognized outside Northern Nevada, Webb was president of the Nevada-California Interstate Missionary Baptist Convention for 22 years and never campaigned for the job. When the Convention adopted term limits, the Reno pastor continued to serve for an additional eight-year term. …….Webb seems like the Freedom Riders of the 1950s and 1960s, giving of himself in the service of others. He deserves every recognition the city extends to him.“

On October 11, 2006, William C. Webb Day was established by the city of Reno, Nevada, and a roundabout at Clear Acre and Wedekin Road was renamed William C. Webb Circle.

“Pastor”, as he is honorably and affectionately called by many in the Reno community, faithfully served on many boards and organizations that encourage positive growth for Northern Nevada and continues to do so today!