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Reverend Dr. Latta Thomas

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Information about Reverend Dr. Latta Thomas

Profile image of Reverend Dr. Latta Thomas

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Philosophy and Religion Professor
Chaplain

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Whatever Goes Around, Comes Around.

Birthplace

Born:
10/12/1927
Birth Location:
Union, South Carolina

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Philosophy and Religion Professor
Chaplain

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Whatever Goes Around, Comes Around.

Birthplace

Born:
10/12/1927
Birth Location:
Union
See how Reverend Dr. Latta Thomas is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

The Reverend Dr. Latta Roosevelt Thomas, liberation theologian, was born on October 12, 1927, in Union, South Carolina. Thomas graduated from Union's Sims High School in 1947. His desire for education and his work ethic helped him to earn an A.A. from Friendship College in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 1949. Thomas was salutatorian of his class at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1951, where he received his
B.A. Because of his high grades, the Pepsi-Cola Company awarded him a graduate scholarship. Moving to Rochester, New York, Thomas earned a B.D. from Colgate Rochester Seminary in 1955. Meanwhile, Thomas became a full-time minister at Monumental Baptist Church in Elmira, New York, where he met his wife, Bessie "Bea" Lowery.

In 1966, Thomas earned a master's of sacred theology degree from Andover Newton Theological Seminary. At the request of a former mentor and friend, he returned to his alma mater, Benedict College. During his thirty-year tenure at Benedict, Thomas served as school chaplain and head of the Religion and Philosophy Department. He also served as pastor of Second Calvary Baptist Church in Columbia for more than twenty years. Thomas earned a doctor of ministry degree from Andover Newton in 1973. As a progressive theologian, Thomas has published numerous articles and two books, Biblical Faith and the Black American and The Biblical God and Human Suffering.

Three important factors influence Thomas' philosophy of life: the Judeo-Christian tradition, the black American experience, and the people who took an interest in his academic and professional development. Thomas retired in 2000. He and his wife live in Columbia, South Carolina, where Thomas spends his time perfecting his Greek and reading for pleasure. He is a member of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the NAACP, and is past chairman of the South Carolina Academy of Religion.

See how Reverend Dr. Latta Thomas is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Latta Thomas's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Latta Thomas lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Latta Thomas describes his maternal family's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Latta Thomas describes his paternal family's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Latta Thomas talks about his Great-Great-Grandpa Al's stories of slavery
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Latta Thomas describes his Uncle Jack "Pet" Jones
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Latta Thomas talks about the role of the church in his uncles' lives
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Latta Thomas describes the tradition of Southern voodoo
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Latta Thomas tells the story of Aunt Anna using voodoo on Uncle Pet
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Latta Thomas describes Uncle Jack "Pet" Jones' death, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Latta Thomas describes Uncle Jack "Pet" Jones' death, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Latta Thomas talks about his parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Latta Thomas describes his father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Latta Thomas describes how his parents were underestimated
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Latta Thomas talks about his father's search for work in the north
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Latta Thomas shares how his parents met
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Latta Thomas describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Latta Thomas talks about stealing fruit from plantations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Latta Thomas describes how his father raided Aunt Essie's party
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Latta Thomas talks about how each individual had to steal their own watermelon
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Latta Thomas describes his school experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Latta Thomas remembers his favorite teachers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Latta Thomas talks about the Classics
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Latta Thomas describes his relationship with Mr. Sims
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Latta Thomas talks about his scholarship at Friendship Junior College in Rock Hill, South Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Latta Thomas describes attending Friendship Junior College in Rock Hill, South Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Latta Thomas talks about his scholarship at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Latta Thomas describes attending Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Latta Thomas describes Rochester, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Latta Thomas describes racism in Rochester, New York in the 1950s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Latta Thomas describes the social gospel tradition at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Latta Thomas talks about Joseph H. [J.H.] Jackson and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Latta Thomas talks about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Latta Thomas talks about his mentor, Dr. James Rodney Branton
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Latta Thomas describes his book "Biblical Faith and the Black American"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Latta Thomas describes his argument in "Biblical Faith and the Black American"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Latta Thomas talks about Gayraud Wilmore
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Latta Thomas describes the National Black Churchmen
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Latta Thomas talks about Cain Hope Felder
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Latta Thomas talks about contemporary issues in theological scholarship
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Latta Thomas talks about the issue of slavery in Biblical scholarship
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Latta Thomas talks about embracing liberation theology
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Latta Thomas recalls the poem "Abou Ben Adhem"
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Latta Thomas shares his views on humanism
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Latta Thomas describes his hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Latta Thomas talks about dependency and human nature
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Latta Thomas describes Friedrich Schleiermacher's theological liberalism
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Latta Thomas talks about his belief in God
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Latta Thomas talks about his book "Biblical God of Human Suffering"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Latta Thomas describes black theology
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Latta Thomas talks about critiquing Reverend Albert Cleage's scholarship
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Latta Thomas remembers football stars Jim Brown and Ernie Davis
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Latta Thomas talks about Ernie Davis' death
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Latta Thomas talks about African religions
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Latta Thomas describes his career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Latta Thomas reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Latta Thomas talks about being the first in his family to graduate from college
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Latta Thomas describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Latta Thomas talks about education and the black church
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Latta Thomas narrates his photographs