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Reverend Bill Lawson

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Information about Reverend Bill Lawson

Profile image of Reverend Bill Lawson

Profession

Category:
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Pastor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Close to Home
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
6/28/1928
Birth Location:
St. Louis, Missouri

Profession

Category:
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Pastor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Close to Home
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
6/28/1928
Birth Location:
St. Louis
See how Reverend Bill Lawson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Reverend William Lawson is a retired pastor and the namesake of an Institute focused on helping the community. He was born on June 28, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri to Walter and Clarisse Lawson. Raised in Kansas City, Kansas, Lawson attended Summer High School and graduated with his B.A. degree from Tennessee A and I state University in 1950. While at Central Baptist Theological Seminary he married Audrey Lawson. He then graduated in 1955 and received his Master of Theology and his Bachelor of Divinity degrees majoring in New Testament Interpretation while holding an appointment as a Teaching Fellow in Homiletics.

From 1960 to 1970, Lawson served as the director of the Baptist Student Union and a professor of Bible at Texas Southern University. While at Texas Southern University, Lawson helped build the first Afro-American Studies Program at the University of Houston and taught classes in sociology and the Black Church. His involvement with the Civil Rights Movement began when fourteen TSU students held a sit-in protesting segregation at a lunch counter. After founding the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Lawson invited the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. to speak at his church in 1963. Lawson served as a pastor for over thirty years. In honor of his dedication to the community, the community created a non-profit organization called the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Through the organization, Lawson brought attention to the oldest African American cemetery in Houston, helped created The Main Street Coalition, and founded the WALIPP Preparatory Academy for boys. The Academy was the first charter school created for boys grades six through eight in the U.S. The Institute also houses a Seniors Residence for independent-living adults.

Lawson headed the Houston chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for over three decades. In 1968, he received his honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Howard Payne University and in 1993 he received his honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Houston. For his outstanding work with the Boy Scouts and his organization of the area’s largest scouting program, in 1991 Lawson was given the Silver Beaver Award. Lawson is also the author of Lawson’s Leaves of Love: Daily Meditations, published in 2004.

William A. Lawson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 11, 2010.

See how Reverend Bill Lawson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Bill Lawson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Bill Lawson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his early household
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his early religious experiences and family gatherings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about his early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Bill Lawson reflects upon the Great Depression
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his experiences at Northeast Junior High School in Kansas City, Kansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Lawson recalls adjusting to his new stepfamily
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about his relationship with his step siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his conversion to the Baptist faith
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about the history of the Baptist church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his experiences at Northeast Junior High School in Kansas City, Kansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his experiences at Sumner High School in Kansas City, Kansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Bill Lawson recalls his decision to attend the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his social activities at Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his experiences as a junior preacher
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Bill Lawson recalls attending the Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his early career as a pastor
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his introduction to the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Bill Lawson recalls his work with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Bill Lawson recalls founding the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes the programs at the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about the Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his efforts to obtain a public defender for Harris County, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about his retirement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Bill Lawson reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his children and grandchildren
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s role in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his spiritual philosophy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his calling to the ministry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Bill Lawson reflects upon his life and legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Bill Lawson shares a message to future generations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bill Lawson narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Bill Lawson narrates his photographs, pt. 2