He became one of the most famous orators of his day, black or white, and was called "The Black Spurgeon" because of his oratory skills. American giants such as industrialist John D. Rockefeller and U.S. President Howard Taft went to hear him preach. He built what probably was the first black YMCA in America in New York City. He then came back to his home area and built the first black YMCA in Augusta on Ninth Street. He traveled to the Holy Land and wrote a column called "A Colored Man Abroad" for The Augusta Chronicle. His eloquent and emotional speeches are studied by speech communications students at many colleges. Laney-Walker Boulevard is co-named for him. His lasting monument, however, is Tabernacle Baptist Church where he is buried.