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Doctor Reverend Hillary James Hawkins, who was affectionately known throughout the community as "Brown," dedicated most of his adult life to providing spiritual guidance to blacks in Evergreen and surrounding communities.
In 1945, Dr. Hawkins bought a 120-acre farm and started constructing a house for his wife, the former Mamie Calhoun and their eight children. A successful farmer, Dr. Hawkins produced Conecuh County's first bale of cotton in 1953. In 1959, he was recognized by Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) for his progressive methods in church management and community organization. In 1964, he received his Doctor of Divinity degree from the Inter-Baptist Theological Center in Houston, Texas.
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From 1921 to 1988, Dr. Hawkins served as minister of ten churches in Evergreen and surrounding communities, often serving two churches simultaneously. For 37 years, he served as Dean of Christian Education for the Evergreen District Missionary and Educational Association. In 1971, he was elected president of the Southern Region of the Progressive National Baptist Convention. He also served as director of the Negro Division of the United Fund Drive in Conecuh County. In cooperation with the county extension agent, he helped area black farmers implement advancements in agriculture and achieve homeownership.
As a tribute to his outstanding service to the community, the Brown Hawkins Road was named in his honor.
On March 20, 2003, the Alabama Historical Commission added the Rev. Dr. Hillary James Hawkins House to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.