Fuller, Maud Anna Berry (1868–1972)

By: Algerene Akins Craig

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995

Maud Fuller, black Baptist lay leader, was born in Lockhart, Texas, to Hugh and Anna Berry on October 7, 1868. She attended Guadalupe College and Tillotson College (now Huston-Tillotson College) and taught in several public schools in Seguin and other Texas cities for twenty-five years. As a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church at Austin, she was active in many organizations of the National Baptist Convention of America. For forty years she was president of the Women's Auxiliary of that church convention. Previously she was the corresponding secretary. During her tenure as president she founded and edited a national newspaper, the Woman's Helper. Around 1922 Mrs. Fuller helped organize national organizations for black Baptist youth. She introduced a resolution in the convention founding the Girls Auxiliary and the Shepherd Boys' League. She was an officer in various National Baptist Convention organizations and wrote several handbooks for youth groups, church societies, and home and foreign missionary societies. She achieved national prominence as a speaker and youth organizer.

In 1944 Mrs. Fuller spearheaded a successful campaign to raise a large amount of money to build a mission in Africa. Over the years she went to Africa several times, and at one point she negotiated to secure a land grant in Liberia in order to set up this mission. In addition to the work of the mission she and her husband helped educate more than twenty-five young men and women from countries ranging from Panama to Liberia.

In Austin she often spoke before the city council on issues of concern to Austin's black community. She also visited jail inmates and interceded for the aged to raise their pensions. She belonged to several clubs and service organizations and served on the board of a nursing home supported by the King's Daughters. She built a prayer room at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Austin that was later named in her honor. She received many honors throughout her career, including a doctor of humanities degree awarded her by the Union Baptist Theological Seminary in Houston.

Maud A. B. Smith married William Handy Fuller in 1914. The Fullers purchased the N. W. Rhambo Funeral Parlor in 1932 and later built a funeral home. Their name is associated with a funeral business and an insurance business in Austin. Maud Fuller died at the age of 103 on January 26, 1972, in Lockhart and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Austin.

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Andrew Webster Jackson, A Sure Foundation and a Sketch of Negro Life in Texas (Houston, 1940). Mary Beth Rogers, Texas Women: A Celebration of History (Austin: Texas Foundation for Women's Resources, 1981).
  • Education
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Advocates
  • Peoples
  • African Americans
  • Religion
  • Baptist
  • Women

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Algerene Akins Craig, “Fuller, Maud Anna Berry,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 03, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/fuller-maud-anna-berry.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: