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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Green, Charles Sylvester

23 Sept. 1900–10 Jan. 1980

A photograph of C. Sylvester Green published in 1975. Image from the Internet Archive.Charles Sylvester Green, clergyman, newspaper editor, college president, and executive, was born in Greensburg, Ky., the son of Thomas Madison and Rosealthea Buck Green. The family moved to the Leaksville-Spray area of North Carolina in 1914. Green was graduated from Wake Forest College in 1922 and received the master of arts (1924) and bachelor of divinity (1930) degrees from Duke University and the master of theology degree from Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va., in 1954. He also received honorary doctoral degrees from Washington and Lee and from the University of South Carolina. He taught and was assistant principal in Durham from 1922 until 1926 but in 1925 also began serving Watts Street Baptist Church, Durham, of which he became pastor in 1926. Leaving Durham in 1932, he became pastor of a church in Richmond, where he served until September 1936, when he became president of Coker College, Hartsville, S.C. In 1943 he was chaplain to the South Carolina Defense Force until he resigned his position at Coker at the end of 1943 and became editor of the Durham Morning Herald. Between 1950 and 1955 he was executive vice-president of the newly created Medical Foundation of North Carolina, an agency formed to assist in the development of the medical school and North Carolina Memorial Hospital at The University of North Carolina. In 1955 he became vice-president in charge of alumni activities and public relations at Wake Forest College and in 1958 took a similar position at William Jewell College in Missouri. Returning to North Carolina in 1960, he became executive director of the Pitt County Development Commission; living in Greenville, he retired in 1971 but continued to work as a free-lance writer.

Green was married on 8 June 1926 to Mary Morris of Durham and they became the parents of two children, Nancy Rose and Charles Morris. He died in Statesville where he had moved in 1978 to be near his son.


Durham Morning Herald, 18 Dec. 1949, 26 Dec. 1954, 11 Jan. 1980.

C. Sylvester Green, Greens form Westmoreland County, Virginia (1975).

Raleigh News and Observer, 17 Dec. 1943, 18 Dec. 1949.

Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel, 25 May 1958.

Who's Who in the South and Southeast (1950).

Additional Resources:

Charles Sylvester Green Papers, MS 157. Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives, Wake Forest University. (accessed October 10, 2013).

C. Sylvester Green Scrapbooks, 1939-1945 (collection no. 03541). The Southern Historical Collection. Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.,C.Sylvester.html (accessed October 11, 2013).

Image Credits:

"C. Sylvester Green is retired and lives in Greenville where he operates the Greenmark Literary Service for writers. Mr. Green himself is a noted free-lance writer in Eastern North Carolina. He had a professional career of more than 50 years as an educator-journalist, is the author of three published books and has a file full of unpublished manuscripts, many of them autobiographical. He spent the last 11 years of his professional career as Executive Director of the Pitt County Development Commission—a job Mr. Green claims was "most enjoyable, as industrial development in Pitt County tells its own story." Photograph. The E.S.C. Quarterly 31, nos.1,4 (1975). 7. (accessed October 10, 2013).