The Story of Joseph Willis

The Story of Joseph Willis

by Randy Willis

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Joseph Willis's life is a story of triumph over tragedy and victory over adversity!

. He was born into slavery. His mother was Cherokee and his father a wealthy English plantation owner.

. His family took him to court to deprive him of his inheritance (which would have made him the wealthiest plantation owner in all of Bladen County, North Carolina in 1776).

. He fought as a Patriot in the Revolutionary War under the most colorful of all the American generals, Francis Marion, The Swamp Fox.

. His first wife died in childbirth, and his second wife died only six years later, leaving him with five small children.

. He crossed the mighty Mississippi River at Natchez at the peril of his own life, riding a mule!

. He entered hostile Spanish-controlled Louisiana Territory, when the dreaded Code Noir (Black Code) was in effect. It forbade any Protestant ministers who came into the territory from preaching.

 . His life was threatened because of the message he brought to Spanish-controlled Louisiana!

. His own denomination refused to ordain him because of his race.

. Joseph Willis preached the first Gospel sermon by an Evangelical west of the Mississippi River.

. On November 13, 1812, Joseph Willis constituted Calvary Baptist Church at Bayou Chicot, Louisiana. He went on to plant over twenty churches in Louisiana.

. October 31, 1818, Joseph Willis (and others that had followed him from the Carolinas) founded the Louisiana Baptist Association, at Beulah Baptist in Cheneyville. Joseph had founded all five charter member churches.

. After overcoming insurmountable obstacles, he blazed a trail for others for another half-century that changed American history.

. His accomplishments are still felt today.

Randy Willis is a fourth great-grandson of Joseph Willis and his foremost historian.


Randy Willis is an American novelist, biographer, and music publisher.

He is the author of Twice a Slave, Three Winds Blowing, Louisiana Wind,  Beckoning Candle, The Apostle to the Opelousas, The Story of Joseph Willis, and many magazine and newspaper articles. 

Randy Willis...novels about adventure, family, faith, and the character of a man that touched generations.



Product Details

BN ID: 2940151939294
Publisher: Randy Willis
Publication date: 05/21/2015
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Randy Willis is the author of Three Winds Blowing, The Apostle to the Opelousas, The Story of Joseph Willis, and is co-author of Twice a Slave. Twice a Slave has been chosen as a part of the Jerry B. Jenkins Select Line, along with four bestselling authors. Jerry Jenkins is author of more than 180 books with sales of more than 70 million copies, including the best-selling Left Behind series. Twice a Slave has been adapted into a dramatic play (at Louisiana College, by Dr. D. "Pete" Richardson (Associate Professor of Theater with Louisiana College). He owns Randy Willis Music Publishing (an ASCAP-affiliated music publishing company), and Town Lake Music Publishing, LLC (a BMI-affiliated music publishing company). He is an ASCAP-affiliated songwriter, and is President of Quadra Record Company. He is the founder of Operation Warm Heart ( which feeds and clothes the homeless, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Our Mission Possible (, empowering at-risk teens to discover their greatness in Austin, Texas. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Joseph Willis Institute at Louisiana College. Randy was born in Oakdale, Louisiana, and lived near Forest Hill and Longleaf, Louisiana, as a boy. He currently resides in the Texas Hill Country. He graduated from Angleton High School in Angleton, Texas, and Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, with a BBA. He was a graduate student at Texas State University. He is single and the father of three sons and has four grandchildren. He is a fourth great-grandson of Joseph Willis, and his foremost historian.

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