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Donnie McClurkin

Gospel singer and pastor Donnie McClurkin was born on November 9, 1959 in Copiague, New York to Donald McClurkin, Sr. and Frances McClurkin. McClurkin joined the choir at Amityville Full Gospel Tabernacle. At the age of fifteen, he became a member of Benny Cummings and the King’s Temple Choir. McClurkin attended Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School.

McClurkin formed the McClurkin Singers with his older sisters and a neighbor; and in 1983, the group performed with the Tri-Boro Mass Choir, led by Albert Jamison, who introduced McClurkin to gospel singer James Cleveland, who became a mentor to McClurkin. McClurkin made annual visits to Los Angeles, California to sing with Cleveland at Cornerstone Institutional Baptist Church. From 1987 to 1989, McClurkin sang in the chorus for the Broadway production of Don't Get God Started, which debuted at the Longacre Theatre in New York City. In 1989, McClurkin moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he and Pastor Marvin L. Winans co-founded Perfecting Church. With the choir, McClurkin recorded the songs “Speak to My Heart” and “We Worship You.” After signing with Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., McClurkin released his first self-titled solo album in 1996, which gospel singer and mentor Andrae Crouch helped to produce. In the late 1990s, McClurkin wrote songs for the animated film The Prince of Egypt, and signed a publishing contract with The Walt Disney Company. He also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and performed at the Grammy and Stellar Awards. His second album, Live in London and More, was number one on the U.S. Gospel Chart for more than forty weeks after its release in 2000.

McClurkin was ordained as a pastor by Marvin L. Winans in 2001. That same year, he established Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, New York, which started as a small bible study group. His weekly radio program, The Donnie McClurkin Show, debuted in 2006, and went on to broadcast in over seventy-five markets. From 2010 to 2015, McClurkin appeared as a judge on five seasons of BET’s Sunday Best. His discography includes Again (2003), Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs (2004), We Are All One (Live in Detroit) (2008), Duets (2014), and The Journey (Live) (2016).

McClurkin released his autobiography Eternal Victim, Eternal Victor in 2001; and was the subject of the subsequent biographical documentary From Darkness to Light: The Donnie McClurkin Story in 2004. McClurkin had a cameo role in the film The Fighting Temptations, and starred alongside actors Boris Kodjoe and Idris Elba in the movie The Gospel in 2005. His weekly television program Perfecting Your Faith began airing on The Word Network in 2009. McClurkin collaborated often with gospel singers Kirk Franklin and Yolanda Adams, including on the Hopeville tour, and received numerous awards for his music, including multiple Grammy, Stellar, Dove, and NAACP Image Awards.

Donnie McClurkin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 6, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.068

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/6/2016 |and| 10/08/2016

Last Name

McClurkin

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School

Deauville Gardens Elementary School

Copiague Middle School

First Name

Donnie

Birth City, State, Country

Copiague

HM ID

MCC19

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

No Is As Good An Answer As Yes.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/9/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Jamaican

Short Description

Gospel singer and pastor Donnie McClurkin (1959 - ) released multiple successful gospel albums, including Donnie McClurkin and Live in London and More. He also founded and served as senior pastor of the Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, New York.

Employment

Perfecting Church

Various

Perfecting Faith Church

The Gospel

"Donnie McClurkin Show"

BET

Favorite Color

Black, but according to my mood

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donnie McClurkin's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkn describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin describes his mother's upbringing in New York City's Harlem neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin describes his mother's church community

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin talks about how his maternal grandmother coped with her rape

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donnie McClurkin describes his maternal grandparents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin remembers his neighborhood in Amityville, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donnie McClurkin describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donnie McClurkin describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donnie McClurkin describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donnie McClurkin talks about buying his paternal grandfather's property

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkin recalls visiting his paternal relatives in Chester, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin recalls being called a racial slur in kindergarten

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donnie McClurkin lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin remembers celebrating Christmas with his family

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donnie McClurkin remembers singing his first church solo

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Donnie McClurkin describes his parents' relationship

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donnie McClurkin talks about his mother's parenting methods

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin describes his relationship with his father, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkin describes his relationship with his father, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin recalls the death of his younger brother, Thomas McClurkin

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin describes his experience of childhood sexual abuse

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin recalls his family's move after his brother's death

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donnie McClurkin remembers his religious conversion

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin describes his early relationship with God

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donnie McClurkin recalls meeting Andrae Crouch

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin describes Andrae Crouch's career as a gospel singer

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkin remembers his friendship with Andrae Crouch

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin recalls his commitment to the church

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin remembers his introduction to songwriting

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin recalls his first musical performance

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donnie McClurkin recalls forming the McClurkin Singers

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin remembers his experiences of bullying

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Donnie McClurkin remembers singing for James Cleveland, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Donnie McClurkin remembers singing for James Cleveland, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin recalls being offered a contract with Savoy Records

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkin recalls singing at the Democratic National Convention and the White House

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin recalls his experiences in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin recalls struggling with his sexuality, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin recalls struggling with his sexuality, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Donnie McCLurkin recalls changing his lifestyle after his spiritual awakening

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin recalls how his sisters helped him with his sexuality

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Donnie McClurkin shares his views on homosexuality

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Donnie McClurkin describes his attitude toward homosexuality as a pastor, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Donnie McClurkin describes his attitude toward homosexuality as a pastor, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin shares a biblical story

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkin describes his religious philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin recalls his leukemia diagnosis

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin recalls his first performance at the Grammy Awards

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin recalls signing a recording contract with Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Donnie McClurkin describes the success of his debut album

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin remembers singing 'The Prayer' with Yolanda Adams

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Donnie McClurkin recalls writing songs for The Walt Disney Company

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Donnie McClurkin recalls signing a recording contract with Verity Records

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin reflects upon the success of his album, 'Live in London and More'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkin talks about contemporary gospel artists

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin reflects upon his awards and accolades

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin talks about his son, Matthew McClurkin

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin talks about his adopted daughter

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Donnie McClurkin recalls founding the Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, New York

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin talks about his book, 'Eternal Victim, Eternal Victor'

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Donnie McClurkin talks about the importance of mental healthcare in the black community

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Donnie McClurkin's interview, session 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin describes his early musical influences

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkin describes his family's musical taste

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin recalls the television programs of his youth

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin describes his favorite musical groups of the 1970s

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin describes his musical inspiration

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Donnie McClurkin remembers the inspiration for his song, 'Stand'

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin describes his relationship with God, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Donnie McClurkin describes his relationship with God, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Donnie McClurkin talks about struggling with desire

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Donnie McClurkin shares his views on social labels

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Donnie McClurkin recalls his role in 'Don't Get God Started'

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin recalls his audition for 'Don't Get God Started'

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkin talks about the Broadway production of 'Don't Get God Started'

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin remembers befriending Marvin Winans

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin describes the cast of 'Don't Get God Started'

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin recalls his move to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Donnie McClurkin describes the community of Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin describes the history of gospel music in California

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Donnie McClurkin describes the musical success of the Winans family

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Donnie McClurkin talks about the famous gospel singers from Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin describes the Perfecting Church in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkin describes the services at the Perfecting Church

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin describes the community programs of the Perfecting Church

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin describes the Marvin L. Winans Academy of Performing Arts in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin recalls founding the Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, New York

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Donnie McClurkin remembers the support of Charles E. Blake, Sr.

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin remembers his challenges at the Perfecting Faith Church

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Donnie McClurkin describes the growth of the Perfecting Faith Church

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Donnie McClurkin talks about his social media presence

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin recalls the responses to his book, 'Eternal Victim, Eternal Victor'

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkin talks about his personal relationships

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin describes his friendship with Yolanda Adams

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin talks about 'The Donnie McClurkin Story: From Darkness to Light'

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin recalls his appearance in 'The Fighting Temptations'

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Donnie McClurkin recalls performing in the Hopeville gospel tour

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin describes his work as an actor

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Donnie McClurkin talks about 'The Donnie McClurkin Show'

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin talks about the Donnie TV multimedia website

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkin recalls his role as a judge on BET's 'Sunday Best'

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin talks about his support for emerging musical artists

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin talks about his role as a father

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin describes his relationship with his son

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Donnie McClurkin recalls introducing his son to his fiancee

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin talks about the contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - Donnie McClurkin reflects upon the importance of community activism

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Donnie McClurkin talks about the future of gospel music

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Donnie McClurkin describes the problems with recording contracts

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Donnie McClurkin talks about his skill as an actor

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Donnie McClurkin reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Donnie McClurkin shares a message to young African American men, pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Donnie McClurkin describes the racial history of the United States

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Donnie McClurkin reflects upon the recent police shootings

Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Donnie McClurkin shares a message to young African American men, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 9 - Donnie McClurkin talks about the importance of interfaith cooperation

Tape: 13 Story: 10 - Donnie McClurkin talks about President Donald John Trump

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$9

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Donnie McClurkin recalls meeting Andrae Crouch
Donnie McClurkin recalls his audition for 'Don't Get God Started'
Transcript
You're a little boy. You taught yourself how to play piano?$$No, Frances [Frances McClurkin]--$$No?$$--Frances taught--$$Ah.$$--Donnie [HistoryMaker Donnie McClurkin] how to play the piano.$$Okay. Your, your mother?$$My mother.$$Right okay so that's not right.$$Yeah, my mom taught me basics on the piano. And I always had one finger on one hand, two fingers on the other, three fingers on this one, yeah, we progressed from one finger on this to three fingers on this one. And then a man by the name of Andrae Crouch came into our lives by way of music. And I was nine years old when I heard the first record from Andrae Crouch and it's, it was Andrae Crouch and The Disciples. And man, I, oh, I was in love with it, all of the songs, (singing) "Jesus is the answer for the world today. Above him there is no other, Jesus is the way" ['Jesus is the Answer']. I was in love with this guy. And I would, I took the speakers those, those big, you know, three, and three foot speakers and turned them to face each other and laid my head in between them on the floor, and just be at the concert, be in the, be in the recording. And he came to our church, Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica, Queens [New York], and my mother had moved to that church. And I begged her, "Can we go to the concert?" And she said, "Yes." It was on a, like a week, like a, like a Tuesday night in October. And we went and, and, and his sister, Sandra [Sandra Crouch] had on makeup and pants (gasping) oh, my god. The strict Pentecostal, the denomination I was raised in, makeup and pants on a woman, that was, that was anathema, that was a curse. I couldn't stop staring at her. And then they sang and I'm, I knew every song. And he went into the back study with the pastor and everybody left the sanctuary, we turned the lights off, there was one light over the pulpit and I sat and my mother said, "Donnie, you gotta come on 'cause you got school tomorrow." I said, "Mommy, please let me stay," he went in that room. And she heard something again and she said, "Okay, but you gotta promise to get up for school," like I had a choice.$$(Laughter).$$And I sat there and finally he came out of the office and saw me sitting there and said, "Hey, little guy, what are you doing sitting here?" I said, "I was waiting for you." He said, "Well, what's your name?" I said, "Donnie." He said, "My name is Andrae." I said, "I know." And he said, "Well, are you born again?" Now, this man in his twenties is talking to an eleven year old, "Are you born again?" I said, "Yes, sir." He said, "I, I was born again at nine." I said, "I know, me too." I was, I was so enamored. He said, "Well, do you sing?" I said, "No." "Do you play the piano?" I said, "No." He said, "I didn't play either, my father [Benjamin Crouch, Sr.] laid hands on me when I was eleven years old and that's how I got the gift to play." I said, "I'm eleven but my father [Donald McClurkin, Sr.] can't pray for me 'cause he's not born again." And Andrae said, "Do you mind if I pray for you?" And he laid his hands on my head and said, "God give him what you gave to me," patted my face and walked away, and that's how I got all this. Amazing. That's how, and he became a mentor of mine and then he became a friend of mine and then I was able, I was able to minister with him and to him until he passed away a year and a half ago.$And we're walking out and while we're walking out and I'm dejected, I'm just heartbroken. A guy named Stanley Brown comes in, he says, "Oh, my god, we were just talking about you. We were just talking about you." I said, "Who?" He said, "Me and Marvin Winans." I just dropped him off at the Milford Plaza [Milford Plaza Hotel; Row NYC Hotel] in Manhattan [New York, New York], we were just talking about you." And well, Stanley wasn't really the most credible guy at the time, sorry, Stanley. And, and I was saying, "Yeah, okay, tell him I said hi." I'm trying to get out 'cause I'm so embarrassed. People had stopped and we're talking, he runs to the pay phone, this is in 1987, he runs to the pay phone, he comes back, taps me on the shoulder and says, "Marvin Winans is on the phone." I go to the pay phone, pay phone, and surely it's Marvin Winans. And, "Oh, oh, man, oh, man I forgot all about you. Listen what are you doing tomorrow?" I said, "What?" "What are you doing tomorrow?" You know, we did small talk. I said, "I gotta go to work." He said, "You and your sister," my sister, how did he know my sister was with me? "You and your sister go down to Lafayette Street in Greenwich Village [New York, New York] tomorrow." "For what?"$$(Laughter).$$"Look, just go down there, just take off from work." Now, we're not that close but he, I'm so timid he intimidated me.$$And what was your job at this point?$$I was working at import export at Kennedy Airport [John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, New York].$$(Laughter).$$And Andrea [Andrea McClurkin-Mellini] was working at some agency, I forget the name of the agency. And I said we, I came back and said, "Well, that was Marvin Winans, we gotta take off work tomorrow." "I'm not taking off work."$$(Laughter).$$"We have to take off work, he said we have to take off work." I don't know how (laughter) he had the power over us he did, you know. Darn you, Marvin Winans. And we took off the next day and we went down to Greenwich Village, went to Lafayette Street. We go to the address and we walk in there's three hundred people in there, and they're all, and we walk in and we saw someone that we knew, Monique Walker. She said, "What y'all doing here?" I said, "Well, Marvin Winans told us to come down here." She said, "Oh, you're in the right place." And I said, "Well, what is this?" "It's for a Broadway show." I said, "Oh, absolutely not. No, let's go Andrea 'cause we can't do Broadway. The Bible says we can't do Broadway," because the Bible said, "broad is the way that leads to destruction, that's a scripture, broad is the way that leads to destruction, to destruction and many there are that follow it." [Matthew 7:13] So, me being that ultra-religious guy, "We can't do Broadway because the Bible says, 'broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there are that follow it.' Let's go, let's go." And we're walking to the door, get to the door, this little short lady with no neck named Samantha [ph.] who is a, who is a chronic smoker, small, small Jewish lady named Samantha. She comes and says, "Is there a soprano here?" So, everybody raises their hand, 'cause everybody wanted a part in (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Sure.$$--the play ['Don't Get God Started'] 'cause this is Broadway, this ain't off-Broadway, this ain't off, off, Broadway, this is Broadway. And we're walking out and the lady points through three hundred people and says to Andrea, "You, at the door, are you a soprano?" And Monique says, "Yeah, she's a soprano." "Could you come with me?" I'm saying, "Andrea, when you're finished let's go, we gotta go." And they come back, they get me and ask me to come into the room 'cause I'm, they need me to play a song for her. I played the song and then the, the, the music director said, "Okay, now, you sing for us too." I sang, he said, "Well, you can wait outside." I said, "No, no, we're not waiting outside, Andrea, come on, we have to go." And the music director got mad, his name was Steven Ford, he said, "You can step outside, I'm not finished with her." I said, "She's finished, let's go." "What is your name?" I said, "My name is Donnie." He said, "Donnie what?" I said, "[HistoryMaker] Donnie McClurkin." "Oh, my god, you got the job. You've got the job. Marvin Winans told me you were coming, I'm so sorry, you got the job. You and your sister report back here next week." "For what?"$$(Laughter).$$So, the next week we had to go back down and there were thirty. And then the next week we had to go back again, and there were twelve, that was the twelve that made the cut. And this guy, Barry Hankerson, who was a major, major manager back then in the day, Gladys Knight, what's the girl that died in the plane accident? Aish-$$Aaliyah.$$Aaliyah, yeah, Aaliyah. He was everybody's manager. And that's how we got the part to the Broadway play--

Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter

Pastor, educator and author Millicent Hunter was born on September 3, 1950. She graduated from Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1968. Hunter went on to earn her bachelor’s degree, two master's degrees, an Ed.D. degree, and a D.Min. degree from United Theological Seminary.

In 1992, Hunter started The Baptist Worship Center in her home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with five members. In 1997, after she rented facilities for a number of years, The Baptist Worship Center congregation purchased its first church in Philadelphia. Hunter then acquired a shopping center in Philadelphia in 2000 for the permanent location for The Baptist Worship Center. She has become senior pastor of the church and the ministry has grown to a congregation of more than 4,000 members. Hunter also established the Worship Center Worldwide Fellowship of Churches in 1998 with seventy-one churches in the United States and South Africa. In 2005, she was elevated to serve as a bishop of the United Pentecostal Churches of Christ International. Hunter also has a twice weekly television broadcast called Your Season Is Coming, and hosts the weekly Moments of Inspiration radio show in Philadelphia.

Hunter is the founder of the National Association of Clergy Women, the Excell Christian Academy, and the Worship Center Bible Training Institute in the United States and South Africa. She is also the chief executive officer of the Excell Community Development Corporation. Hunter has served as a city commissioner in Philadelphia and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Baptist Association. In addition, she was a former dean of the Sanctuary Bible Institute and an adjunct faculty member at a number of colleges and universities, including the United Theological Seminary. She also taught in the Eastern School of Christian Ministry and the Urban Clergy Leadership Institute of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Hunter has authored eight books and is president of Hunter House Publishers. Her first book, entitled Don’t Die In The Winter…Your Season Is Coming, became a bestseller and was produced into an eight-week television series. Her other books include Crashing Satan's Party: Destroying the Works of the Adversary in Your Life; Pot Liquor for the Soul; Strong Medicine: Prescriptions for Successful Living; Destined To Win: Prescriptions for Successful Living In Every Area of Your Life; and How to Survive a Hurt Attack. Hunter has also published numerous articles addressing issues that impact African American life.

She has received numerous awards for her involvement in religious and civic affairs. Hunter was featured in Gospel Today magazine as one of America’s top 10 global pacesetting pastors, and in Charisma and Ebony magazines as a leading pastor for world evangelism. Hunter was also included in a Smithsonian Institute pictorial study of African American life in the twenty-first century.

She is married to Dr. Marino Hunter and has two children, Jason and Melissa.

Rev. Dr. Millicent Hunter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 12, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.196

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/12/2014

Last Name

Hunter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Overbrook High School

United Theological Seminary

Nova Southeastern University

University of Pennsylvania

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

Edward Heston School

First Name

Millicent

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

HUN09

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Thailand

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

9/3/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Pastor and author Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter (1950 - ) was the founder and senior pastor of the Baptist Worship Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also served as the presiding bishop of the Worship Center Worldwide Fellowship of Churches.

Employment

The Baptist Worship Center

Worship Center Worldwide Fellowship of Churches

United Pentecostal Churches of Christ International

Excell Community Development Corporation

United Theological Seminary

Sanctuary Bible Institute

Eastern School of Christian Ministry

Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Hunter House Publishers

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:2541,44:2849,49:3773,107:5929,157:6314,163:6930,173:7546,182:9086,211:22155,319:22407,324:23163,336:23415,341:23730,347:24423,361:24990,369:25683,383:26502,406:28077,452:31740,473:33105,490:34015,504:34652,512:35380,524:41719,564:45460,576:46315,583:47075,591:47835,600:50085,622:50530,628:52110,639:55554,697:56394,709:57066,718:57402,723:58242,734:60536,750:63052,783:63570,792:63866,797:65198,820:70149,874:70959,888:71607,900:72417,914:72984,922:73956,939:74361,945:74766,953:76143,973:77358,991:78168,1007:78654,1014:80355,1040:81246,1055:88156,1099:92692,1173:93952,1188:94624,1201:95128,1208:96388,1227:96892,1234:97648,1246:101673,1281:103863,1331:104228,1337:104666,1344:104958,1349:106053,1434:106345,1439:106637,1444:110214,1509:114813,1583:115178,1590:115689,1599:116054,1605:121233,1613:122178,1633:122493,1639:123564,1661:124761,1688:125706,1706:126084,1713:126588,1725:128541,1764:129045,1775:129297,1780:129675,1787:130116,1796:130620,1806:132825,1855:133266,1864:133896,1877:134211,1884:134967,1897:135219,1902:135975,1919:144328,2010:145512,2026:145882,2032:146252,2041:146696,2048:150692,2159:151358,2170:154910,2239:155576,2251:156094,2259:157056,2278:157648,2288:158906,2309:159720,2323:160090,2330:160460,2336:163124,2388:163420,2393:164678,2419:165048,2425:172356,2465:173348,2488:173596,2493:175084,2530:175518,2539:183888,2732:184260,2739:190398,2780:190843,2786:191555,2796:192089,2819:192712,2827:198408,2922:206600,3036:207400,3065:213300,3202:216300,3235:221079,3270:222969,3311:223284,3317:223599,3324:224418,3342:224922,3351:225237,3362:225615,3369:226056,3378:226371,3384:235520,3495:237088,3507:237648,3513:240574,3532:241790,3546$0,0:4782,117:10182,251:10614,259:14950,314:15370,321:15650,326:17820,456:28087,550:28868,567:29436,578:30217,596:33483,656:34122,666:35116,693:35826,699:36181,705:36678,713:37956,799:38879,819:39234,825:39518,830:40015,838:46617,938:53316,1075:54186,1087:60222,1131:61608,1160:62136,1170:63060,1197:63324,1202:63588,1207:65700,1259:66228,1268:69870,1291:70760,1312:71383,1323:79328,1392:80416,1415:80928,1426:81312,1434:81952,1448:83360,1533:84832,1567:85728,1585:86752,1672:89888,1750:90656,1763:92384,1800:93472,1829:95840,1899:96160,1905:96544,1912:97824,1949:98336,1958:106360,2011:106936,2019:107704,2028:114860,2136:115380,2145:116290,2166:116615,2172:117005,2180:117265,2185:121245,2219:122805,2266:123065,2271:123520,2279:124170,2295:124495,2301:126959,2315:127274,2321:128540,2326:129020,2333:140400,2426:141440,2446:142090,2452:142350,2457:143065,2471:143390,2477:143715,2483:145535,2525:147160,2551:147615,2560:148200,2574:149045,2589:149500,2604:153550,2622:156012,2637:158010,2662:158565,2668:162708,2719:175576,2840:177016,2859:177496,2865:182951,2926:188536,3057:189124,3065:190552,3089:191056,3097:192484,3113:193744,3131:195760,3173:196432,3182:197188,3201:200212,3258:203861,3265:204500,3277:205636,3301:206275,3315:207127,3329:210059,3390:210563,3398:211067,3407:211571,3416:211949,3423:212390,3432:214595,3484:215477,3508:215729,3513:216485,3529:217241,3543:217493,3548:217934,3557:222422,3691:222926,3699:223262,3704:228230,3751
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about her parents' move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her mother's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about the origin of her father's name

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her paternal family's Native American heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about her parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her father's service in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend. Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about the demographics of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers her elementary school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about her upbringing, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her experiences of academic tracking

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls running for class office at Overbrook High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her teenage years

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls her decision to attend Cheyney State College in Cheyney, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers the Black Power movement

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers Cheyney State College in Cheyney, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her career in the Radnor Township School District, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her career in the Radnor Township School District, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers her graduate school experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls participating in church sponsored oratorical contests

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers her calling to the ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes the challenges faced by female Baptist ministers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her first book, 'Don't Die in the Winter'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls earning her doctorate in education

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter remembers founding the Baptist Worship Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls balancing motherhood and her ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes the growth of the Baptist Worship Center

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her development as a minister

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls finding a new location for the Baptist Worship Center

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes the ministry of the Baptist Worship Center

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls her consecration as a Baptist bishop

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about the Worship Center Worldwide Fellowship of Churches

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls her decision to attend the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her studies at the United Theological Seminary

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter reflects upon her life and legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about her plans for the Baptist Worship Center

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her family

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter talks about Hunter House Publishing

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

6$2

DATitle
Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter describes her career in the Radnor Township School District, pt. 2
Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter recalls finding a new location for the Baptist Worship Center
Transcript
So, that was a fortunate turn of--well, you know this is the age--$$Yeah (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) when these things are happening--$$Yeah.$$--where black folks are stepping into a lot of places for the first time.$$Yeah.$$And so, were there any black students at Radnor?$$Yes. There were some; and there were many times I was very angry because I saw what I, because I was right in the middle of everything. You know, I was at the teachers' meetings, all of the things were done that I had no control over, and I watched it and it was so disturbing. I watched the bright African American children who were not being challenged right away pushed into the--put on Ritalin and put in the classes for children with behavioral problems; and I would see the Caucasian students with the same challenges, but it was always, "Well, they're gifted," and I saw them create classes. One time, I got into a lot of trouble because, for the first time, I recommended a young black girl to get testing for the gifted program and the principal came to me and said, "No way." That was shocking. It was like I was in 1950s Mississippi. She said, "There's no way. We will not have a colored child in the gifted program." Well, I almost lost my job because I went to the mother and I said to her, "This is how. This is what you do. Start making some noise with the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]." When that girl was tested, the principal sat in the room when the girl was being tested. I'll never forget that she wanted that child to fail. So, what I would do after that, I would go to all the black students' homes and I would give the parents the textbooks for the coming year; and I would say, "This is what you do in the summer, so when Johnny comes to school in September, he has the textbook. He knows what's gonna be covered, you have a problem with some exams and tests, come to me. I'll slide you anything you need," and that's what I did. And so glad I did, because then it broke open the gifted program in Radnor Township [Radnor Township School District]. That was something else.$$So, the principal was balking at allowing the student to e- to take the test?$$To even take the test, because she thought that parents would think the program was polluted because if we have a black student in the gifted program, that probably brings down everything. But then the white teacher who took me under her wing, she said, "This is how you deal with the principal." I remember one time she said, "Take a box of pansies, some flowers, go in and talk to her and ask her how her husband's doing because he's ill and suck up to her like this." I did everything she told me to do and it worked like a charm; and I had a good career, a great career in Radnor [Pennsylvania], because after I got what I needed, I retired at forty-one [years old], and they told me I was crazy to retire, but I was done (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So, so you taught then from '72 [1972] to--$$To--oh, gosh, eight- in the '80s [1980s].$$Ninety- okay--$$In the '80s [1980s].$$--in the '80s [1980s]?$$Yeah.$$So, okay.$$I think it was the '80s [1980s], yeah. Oh--hm.$$Another twenty--$$It was, well, I took a sabbatical for--you know, I had my children for, I took a sabbatical for--I never took a sabbatical 'til I realized that I had missed three o- three sabbaticals or something, so I kind of took them all at one time and they couldn't deny me that. So, I had in twenty plus years because I'd worked consecutively.$You were telling us off camera about how you spotted this place--$$Yeah.$$--that we're in right now and--as you were shopping, I think? Yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah. While I was on my way to little Sunday afternoon activity at the mall with my children [Jason Thompson and Melissa Thompson], and we passed this place and there was a sale sign and the Lord said, look over, and I looked over, and yeah, well, so what, you know. And the Lord said, no. Look, look at that. And tell your sister [Iva Hall Fitch] who's in real estate to call and enquire about this property; and I'm thinking for what? This great big huge place? And I had a wonderful congregation of about two, about three hundred people [in the Baptist Worship Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]; and we filled the church where I was, about five minutes from here in Frankford [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. And, she called and enquired and so what, you know, million dollars, (makes sound) please; and I met the Jewish man who was an owner and the building was for sale, but we didn't have millions of dollars for it. He says, "Well, you know I think I'm supposed to have a church in here." I don't know if he said that because there were no other takers. He said, "I'll consider leasing it to you." I said, "Well, I don't think so," because, leasing it to us for what? And the Lord just said move the congregation there. I went to my people, same as I did when I was in Southwest Philly [Southwest Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], because when I said to them we're forced out of the place we're in now [Sanctuary Church of the Open Door, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], we have to, and we- there's a church in Frankford that's been offered to me. My congregation said, "We love you. We think you're nice, but we're not going up there. It's too far. We don't know that neighborhood. There are no black people there." I said, "Well then, it will probably just be me and my two kids, but we're going," and we came up here and most of them stayed in Southwest Philly. They stayed. Little did I know there were a whole lot of African American people up here. I'd never been to this area of the city, wasn't familiar with it; didn't know how to get here--I had to have someone bring me when I first came up. And there were people just waiting for this church to come, and the churches up here, but God had them waiting and when I acquired one thing just happened, one thing after another and the Jewish man that owned the property, he just did all kinds of things for u- help us get in here, it was a supermarket and a drugstore. We came in and renovated in three months, and the rest is history. And, we have two services every Sunday and about three thousand people, and it's been a stable, thriving congregation of some of the most wonderful people I could ever hope to have as congregants. Yeah.$$So, some have been with you from the very beginning (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) From day one.$$Right.$$From day one, yeah. Yeah. I knew them as college students; and they are, many of them are in the leadership of the church to this day, yeah.$$So, as college students were they you know looking for bible study or (unclear)?$$Yeah, because the church where I was situated, it was on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. So, a lot of the African American students walked down the street to come to church on Sundays. You know, and some of them just--when they would see me on television or hear about my book ['Don't Die in the Winter: Your Season is Coming,' Millicent Hunter], they would say, "Oh, I know her. I'm going up there," and many of them came and stayed and remained here.$$Okay, okay.

Reverend Byron Williams

In 2002, Williams was called to serve as pastor of the Resurrection Community Church. He regularly contributed to the The Huffington Post, and wrote a twice-weekly column on politics and social issues for the Bay Area News Group which includes the Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, and Contra Costa Times. The column, which appeared in thirty publications across the United States, was considered for a Pulitzer Prize. Williams was the only pastor in the United States who also authored a syndicated column. Williams has write articles and op-ed pieces for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle, Christianity Today, UK Guardian, Tikkun Magazine, and Public Theology.

He is the author of, Strip Mall Patriotism: Moral Reflections on the Iraq War, a series of essays covering a four-year span on America’s enterprise in Iraq, and, 1963: Year of Hope and Hostility (2013). Williams lectured throughout the United States and appeared on numerous television and radio news programs, including CNN, MSNBC, ABC Radio, Fox News, and National Public Radio. 

Williams served as a member of People for the American Way’s African-American Religious Affairs. In 2011, he was appointed as co-chair of the National Black Justice Coalition Religious Affairs Committee, and later served on the board of directors for Death Penalty Focus. In 2010 and 2011, Williams’ work was nationally recognized by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which nominated him as “Columnist of the Year.”

Reverend Byron C. Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 4, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.252

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/4/2013

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley

Idaho State University

University of Nebraska-Omaha

Wenatchee Valley College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Byron

Birth City, State, Country

Berkeley

HM ID

WIL67

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

The Hottest Places In Hell Are Reserved For Those Who, In Times Of Great Moral Crisis, Maintain Their Neutrality.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

9/22/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beef Bourguignon

Short Description

Pastor and author Reverend Byron Williams (1959 - ) was called to serve as pastor of the Resurrection Community Church in 2002. He is the author of 1963: Year of Hope and Hostility (2013), and the he only pastor in the United States who a syndicated columnist.

Employment

Resurrection Community Church

Huffington Post

Bay Area News Group

Favorite Color

Black

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Byron Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his maternal grandmother's mental health and his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams describes his mother's personality and her childhood growing up in Oakland and Berkley, California

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Byron Williams remembers his father's kindness to his sister

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Byron Williams describes his parents' personalities and his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about the area he grew up in in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls his memories of his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls his elementary and junior high school years and politics in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls attending Longfellow School in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about integrating John Muir Elementary School in Berkley, California and his favorite subjects

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and being forbidden from watching 'Death Valley Days'

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Byron Williams describes his parents' political views and what he read as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his political opinions as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls a play he wrote in the seventh grade

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his favorite baseball players

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about playing basketball and playing against Earvin "Magic" Johnson

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his grades and mentors at Albany High School in Albany, California

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his high school activities and college expectations

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his basketball career at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lincoln, Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls his years at Wenatchee Valley College and Idaho State University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls news of the 1978 Jonestown Massacre

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls his time at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about being drafted for and cut from the Washington Bullets

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about working at the Pacific Stock Exchange, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about working at the Pacific Stock Exchange, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about various jobs he held before volunteering for the Democratic Party in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about ghost-writing for California politician Jerry Brown and being hired by the California Medical Association

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about the deepening of his religious faith and meeting his first wife

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about deciding to start a church

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Byron Williams explains the definition of liberation theology and talks about attending the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about theologians Howard Thurman, Reinhold Niebuhr and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams describes his notion of inconvenient love

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about the flawed public narrative of American exceptionalism

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about founding his church, Resurrection Community Church

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams explains why his church, Resurrection Community Church, is nondenominational and explains his position on gay marriage

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about the demographics of Resurrection Community Church's congregation, and the beginnings of his column

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Byron Williams explains how he became a writer for the Huffington Post

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his church, Resurrection Community Church, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his church, Resurrection Community Church, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about programs held by Resurrection Community Church

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about HistoryMaker and President Barack Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls what he talked about on MSNBC's 'Debating the Black Agenda'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about serving on the board of the National Black Justice Coalition

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his book 'Strip Mall Patriotism: Moral Reflections on the Iraq War'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his book '1963: The Year of Hope & Hostility', pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his book '1963: The Year of Hope & Hostility', pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about what events of 1963 were captured on television and how they led to the events of 1968

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Byron Williams reflects on events of 1963 and Sidney Poitier's role in 'Lilies of the Field'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about the pacification of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams asserts that white fear undergirds American politics

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about people he interviewed for his book '1963: Year of Hope & Hostility'

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his future writing plans

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams reflects upon his successes

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Reverend Byron Williams reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Reverend Byron Williams reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Reverend Byron Williams reflects upon how he would like to be remembered

Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker

Pastor and civil rights activist Wyatt Tee Walker, also known as “The Harlem Preacher,” was born on August 16, 1928 in Brockton, Massachusetts to John Wise and Maude Pinn Walker. He attended primary and elementary schools in Merchantville, New Jersey and went on to attend Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia, where in 1950 he earned his B.S. degree in Chemistry and Physics, magna cum laude. He remained at Virginia Union and attended the Graduate School of Divinity, where he received his M.A. degree in 1953. Walker was heavily involved with the Civil Rights Movement as president of his local NAACP chapter and state director of the Congress of Racial Equality. He met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at an interseminary meeting, forging a connection that continued until Dr. King’s assassination in 1968.

Walker, together with Dr. King, founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957; he served as the organization’s third Executive Director in 1960 and helped Dr. King organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In 1964, Walker left the SCLC and worked as a marketing specialist for the Negro Heritage Library, which aimed to make African American history a more integral part of the revisionist school curricula. Three years later, Walker became the Senior Pastor of Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem, New York City, where he would serve for thirty-seven years. At Canaan Baptist, Walker reenergized the music program, leading it down a new path to several choral albums. In 1975, he earned his D.Min. degree from the Colgate-Rochester Divinity School, where he wrote his dissertation on the music of the black religious tradition. The urban affairs liaison for New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, Walker served on the National Committee on the American Committee on Africa, which brought many African leaders to the Canaan Baptist Church, including Nelson Mandela. He concerned himself deeply with the apartheid struggle in South Africa as founder of the Religious Action Network of the American Committee on Africa in 1988.

Walker was a published author of many essays, including “The Soul of Black Worship: A Trilogy – Preaching, Praying and Singing” in 1984. He was named as one of Ebony magazine’s “15 Greatest Black Preachers” in 1993. After experiencing four cerebral strokes in 2002 and 2003, Walker retired from his post at Canaan Baptist Church and moved to Chester, Virginia with his wife Ann in 2004. After his retirement, he continued to speak and make appearances and was honored with induction into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia.

Walker passed away on January 23, 2018 at age 89.

Accession Number

A2010.069

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/24/2010

Last Name

Walker

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Tee

Schools

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Virginia Union University

Merchantville High School

First Name

Wyatt

Birth City, State, Country

Brockton

HM ID

WAL14

Favorite Season

None

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

8/16/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

1/23/2018

Short Description

Civil rights activist and pastor Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker (1928 - 2018 ) founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1957. He also served as the senior pastor of Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem for thirty-seven years.

Employment

Canaan Baptist Church of Christ

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

Gillfield Baptist Church

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:1112,8:1880,14:9848,224:10712,236:28812,472:63070,780:63570,786:64570,798:69536,835:115149,1350:130288,1471:136230,1541:142030,1597:153176,1721:174605,1860:182770,1957$0,0:1332,15:4594,38:6848,92:15308,236:15830,243:24494,415:44300,589:46540,612:52860,650:64876,783:65272,803:69908,860:71852,889:72257,895:72662,901:73310,911:73796,919:107810,1282
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverent Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker describes growing up in New Jersey and his father, John Wise Walker

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker talks about his experience at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker recalls Samuel DeWitt Proctor, and becoming pastor of Gillfield Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker describes serving as pastor of Gillfield Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia and president of the Petersburg NAACP

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker recounts his civil rights activism with the NAACP, CORE, and the Petersburg Improvement Association in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker recalls when he first met the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker recounts how he grew the membership and budgets of the NAACP, SCLC, and the Petersburg Improvement Association in Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker recalls becoming the executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker describes the relationship between SCLC and SNCC

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker explains the strategy behind SCLC's 1963 Birmingham, Alabama campaign, Project C

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker recalls his and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1967 arrests in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker describes HistoryMakers Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and Reverend James Bevel

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker remembers the 1963 March on Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker describes becoming pastor of Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker describes his work as a cultural historian

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker talks about his work against South African apartheid and meeting Nelson Mandela

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker remembers where he was during the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1968 assassination

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker talks about his family

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker explains how he financed his education at Virginia Union University

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker explains the strategy behind SCLC's 1963 Birmingham, Alabama campaign, Project C
Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker describes HistoryMakers Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and Reverend James Bevel
Transcript
Tell us about Project C with SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference].$$[Reverend] Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] said if we could crack Birmingham [Alabama], we could crack the South. Birmingham was the largest and most racist city in the South. And he told me to develop a plan for attack. And [HM Reverend] Fred Shuttlesworth wanted us to come. And he, it [Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights] was our strongest affiliate. So I developed Project C, which was accepted by Dr. King's Executive Committee without changing a comma or a period. And that was the plan for attacking segregation in Birmingham. And everybody, expert or naive, would agree that Birmingham was the chief watershed of the nonviolent movement in America, and led directly to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which had an effect of desegregating America. And I think that was my chief organizational accomplishment, the planning of Project C and executing it.$$Now, what were the key components of Project C? What was supposed to happen?$$Well, using Christian nonviolence as a means of desegregating Birmingham. And the calculation that [Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene] "Bull" Conner would do something to help us, and he did.$$Now, what did he do to help?$$Well, his brutality, the water hoses, the dogs and the unsolved bombings.$$So his predictable brutality--$$Yes.$$--basically dramatized--$$Dramatized our struggle.$$Okay. All right. Now, did the--what difference did the media make in all of this?$$They made a tremendous difference because they publicized during the Cold War, that peaceful demonstrations in the South were being attacked by dogs and dosed with water hose, pneumatic water hoses, and while we were trying to influence, spread our influence to the Soviet Union. So we were the counterpoint of international diplomacy. And that helped propel the [Civil Rights] Movement against desegregation into an international issue.$Let me ask you about the, some of the other personalities involved in the [1963] Birmingham campaign [Birmingham, Alabama]. Tell us a little bit about [HM] Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth.$$Bravest man I ever met. Bravest man in the Civil Rights Movement. And they have named the Birmingham airport [Birmingham-Shuttesworth International Airport] after him and erected a statue in Ingram Park, and he deserves all of that because he kept the fires burning in Birmingham, regardless of the brutality they imposed upon the black community. And he never waivered.$$Okay.$$He tried to send his children to integrated schools. They beat him with chains. He's in ill health now, but he's a great person. If it had not been for Shuttlesworth, we would not have won Birmingham.$$Now, what about [HM Reverend] James Bevel and the youth march?$$Well, he organized the children, for the children's march which broke the back of resistance in Birmingham of the mercantile industry. When people saw television pictures of fire hose washing youngsters down the sidewalk in Birmingham, they, they said, this is enough. Segregation must end. And the children's march [Birmingham Children's Crusade] broke the back of resistance in Birmingham.$$Okay--$$And James Bevel was responsible for that.

Reverend Bill Lawson

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.

Accession Number

A2010.010

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/11/2010

Last Name

Lawson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Tennessee State University

Central Baptist Theological Seminary

Sumner Academy of Arts and Science

Frederick Douglass High School

Northeast Junior High School

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

LAW02

Favorite Season

None

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Close to Home

Favorite Quote

It Is What It Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

6/28/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Pastor Reverend Bill Lawson (1928 - ) was the founding pastor of the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church and the namesake of the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace & Prosperity. He was a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement in Houston, Texas.

Employment

Texas Southern University

Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church

William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:470,3:940,8:6740,68:14854,265:31812,329:33308,351:40900,424:41312,429:50994,595:55835,668:61510,760:65065,791:65618,800:98666,1325:98982,1330:99930,1347:100246,1352:102932,1410:107882,1447:108766,1464:109242,1473:109922,1486:113246,1510:114326,1525:115190,1535:123412,1619:123748,1624:126100,1662:135315,1769:135995,1779:136420,1785:137100,1794:138460,1813:142175,1868:142650,1874:147970,1956:156438,2087:156823,2093:169949,2262:186826,2542:187418,2551:193668,2650:193996,2655:195882,2708:202852,2823:203262,2829:204820,2860:206214,2899:211490,2950:211770,2955:212120,2961:217973,3060:223212,3145:224004,3161:224292,3166:224580,3171:227100,3224:227676,3234:229620,3282:235596,3360:236316,3375:236892,3387:237324,3394:238044,3406:238404,3412:239052,3427:241510,3440$0,0:6484,134:6904,140:8920,211:14044,301:14464,307:15052,387:18244,436:26285,504:27447,526:29024,550:31514,619:39675,691:46803,867:51270,894:51872,902:58666,1034:59010,1043:66015,1084:67668,1151:73824,1236:76080,1273:77208,1286:78336,1314:80780,1349:85620,1403:88525,1441:89050,1447:95180,1513:95720,1539:96080,1544:97160,1566:97700,1579:98150,1585:113085,1768:116695,1833:117075,1838:133078,2004:138438,2081:139996,2108:140570,2115:141554,2142:143850,2233:151840,2294
DAStories

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

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his introduction to the Civil Rights Movement
Reverend Bill Lawson recalls his work with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Transcript
So what year do you finish your master's and bachelor of divinity?$$Nineteen fifty-five [1955]. At this time Audrey [Audrey Hoffman Lawson] and I are married and we live in the seminary dormitory [at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Shawnee, Kansas] for that first year.$$(OFF CAMERA DISCUSSION)$$Now 1955, civil rights is starting to heat up a little bit, things are going on. Claudette Colvin and the bus rides and Rosa Parks comes right behind that, what's going on? You, your, you live in Pittsburg [Kansas] until, until what--until '55 [1955]?$$Until '55 [1955].$$And then you move where?$$(Cough) Move to Houston [Texas]--$$Houston, okay.$$--and came to Texas Southern [Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas].$$Tell me about the civil rights time in Houston at that time. Were you involved at all?$$Not originally. I was Baptist and fairly well Southern Baptist [Southern Baptist Convention] more than I was National Baptist [National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.]. I was National Baptist, but was pretty well Southern Baptist and we simply did not get involved in stuff like that. But I'm called now to Houston and came to Houston on August 28th, 1955. And the reason that I can remember that so well was that--that--that was the day when a young fellow, Emmett Till, was killed in Mississippi. And that probably was the real beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, not Rosa Parks so much, but the killing of Emmett Till which raised the level of anger in our community. And so Rosa Parks made her first bus ride in 1955, December 1955. So I'm here when all that is going on, but I'm fairly well insulated from that by, by the notion that Baptist remain religious and did not get involved in civil unrest. But I'm a student chaplain on the campus of Texas Southern University and the unrest of the--of the Civil Rights Movement is growing among students. And, and I can remember that one night a group of students came by the Baptist Student Center which is where we worked and lived, and they said, "Reverend Lawson [HistoryMaker Reverend Bill Lawson], we would like to go down and, and protest and sit-in at a lunch counter. Can you direct us." And that threw me for a loop and I tried to tell them, "Now your mother sent you to college so that you can get an education. You don't need to get beaten up and be thrown in jail behind the Civil Rights Movement." And, and so while I'm trying to argue with them about that. They're saying to me flatfooted, "If you won't give us direction then, then we'll find somebody else who will." They walked out of the Baptist Student Center and left me standing there. In the next hour, they were down at a local supermarket that had some lunch counters. They sat in at these lunch counters and they were thrown in jail. I believe that there were seven seats and the students went in seven at a time knowing that they were going to be jailed. And then when the first seven were taken away, then the next seven went in. And Audrey and I were introduced to the Civil Rights Movement, first of all by our--by our bewilderment by the determination of these students, and secondly by the fact that somebody had to get them out of jail. And she and a couple of neighbors on that street and I went out raising money to bail these kids out. That was how we began our involvement in civil rights. After that we did become involved in civil rights, but it started then.$Let me add one thing, Dr. Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] came to Houston [Texas] and he came to Houston to raise money for SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference]. He brought with him [HistoryMaker] Harry Belafonte and Aretha Franklin, [HistoryMaker] Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson [HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson], the number of celebrity types that he brought with him, and they were going to have a concert in Houston to raise funds for SCLC. And this was my first time to see how black Baptist preachers treated Dr. King. I had--hadn't really known about it except having heard about it. But that term persona non grata fitted him. There was virtually not a Baptist preacher in Houston who would let him into their pulpit. So, so we invited him into the Wheeler Avenue [Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Houston, Texas] pulpit. There was another Baptist preacher and there was a Methodist preacher--two other Baptist preachers and a Methodist preacher and I who did accept King, and we felt all alone. But we went with him down to the coliseum [Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, Texas] which is where the concert was to have been held and there were far too few of us down there. And then somebody put a smoke bomb in the air conditioning system and, and many of the people were driven out. King then asked me if I would come to Atlanta [Georgia] to work with him. Our church was then two or three years old, excuse me, so I couldn't very well go to Atlanta and I told him that I'd have to stay here. I had an infant church which would probably die if I just left. And so he said, "Well then, well then will you let Wheeler Avenue be the SCLC chapter in Houston?" And I said, "We can do that." So here I am now as a person who is leading a march against school segregation and now have become the--the leader of an SCLC chapter in Houston. And ultimately when, when King was assassinated in 1968, virtually, virtually everybody idolized him, even the people who, who hadn't liked him began to sing his praises. And now there's probably not a city in the United States that doesn't have a school or a hospital or a street or something named after him. We eulogized him after his death, but he was very definitely ostracized during his life.

Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin

Religious and community leader, Marvin Collins Griffin was born on February 20, 1923 in Wichita, Kansas to Beatrice Howell and William Marvin Collins. He was raised by his aunt and uncle and was educated at public schools in Dallas, Texas before graduating from Bishop College with his B.A. degree. Griffin went on to receive four other degrees including his M.Div degree from the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology, his M.R.E. degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his D.Min degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Between 1951 and 1969, Griffin served as pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. In 1969, he became a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church and served on its Board of Directors. While at Ebenezer, he also served as the first black president of the Austin Independent School District board in 1978 for a two-year term. Griffin founded the East Austin Economic Development Corporation and in 1990, along with other Board and church members, he helped earn a grant for the Ebenezer Child Development Center to construct a new facility. In 2002, on his thirty-third anniversary as pastor of Ebenezer, the building that housed the Development Center was named the Marvin C. Griffin Building.

In addition to being a pastor, Griffin served as the corresponding secretary of the Missionary Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Director of Christian Education Enrichment Program at the National Baptist Fellowship of Churches. Griffin also spent time teaching as a Director and Lecturer for the Teacher Training Department of the National Baptist Sunday School. He also acted as an instructor at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, teaching “Pastoral Ministry in the Black Church.” He has served in many other capacities at state and national religious gatherings.

Griffin and his late wife Mrs. Lois King Griffin, had three daughters - Marva Lois Carter, Gaynelle Jones, and Ria Griffin. Rev. Griffin passed away on December 25, 2013.

Marvin Griffin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 14, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.021

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/14/2010

Last Name

Griffin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

C.

Occupation
Schools

Bishop College

Oberlin College

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Julia C. Frazier Elementary School

Lincoln High School

First Name

Marvin

Birth City, State, Country

Wichita

HM ID

GRI07

Favorite Season

August

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

A Winner Never Quits And A Quitter Never Wins.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

2/20/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Austin

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Liver, Onions

Death Date

12/25/2013

Short Description

Pastor Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin (1923 - 2013 ) served as religious leader for the New Hope Baptist Church and the Ebenezer Baptist Church. In honor of his accomplishments, a building associated with Ebenezer was named after him in 2002.

Employment

New Hope Baptist Church

Ebenezer Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:6750,87:8076,101:8892,422:29284,607:135630,1121:137310,1379:167160,1687:183890,1806:226510,2332:269785,2664:290403,2938:298956,3128:341500,3498$0,0:5128,56:22366,164:51015,448:54703,696:62076,830:80496,936:92172,1077:141932,1441:154745,1591:165048,1689:174423,1769:174779,1774:201846,2046:202282,2084:209585,2253:244440,2489
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin remembers his birth mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin recalls being raised by his maternal aunt

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin recalls his early religious experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin describes a confrontation in East Dallas, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about his early aspirations to be a preacher

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin describes the East Dallas neighborhood of Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about his employment during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin remembers attending Bishop College in Marshall, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about notable people at Bishop College in Marshall, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin remembers Bishop College President Joseph H. Rhoads

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin recalls attending the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology in Oberlin, Ohio pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about meeting his wife

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin recalls attending the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology in Oberlin, Ohio pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about his struggle to find employment

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin describes the Southern Baptist Convention

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin remembers becoming the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Waco, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin recalls receiving religious exemption from World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about his challenges at New Hope Baptist Church in Waco, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin recalls the changes he made as pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Waco, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin remembers reaching out to the Jewish community in Waco, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin describes theologians that inspired his religious philosophy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin recalls developing a parsonage at New Hope Baptist Church in Waco, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin remembers becoming pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Austin, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about his civil rights activities in Waco, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin describes his civil rights activities in Waco, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin recalls desegregation in Waco, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin remembers meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin describes the black churches in Waco, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about urban renewal in Waco, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin describes his political involvements

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about his graduate degrees

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about the history of Baptist conventions

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin describes Ebenezer Baptist Church's affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about founding the East Austin Economic Development Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Henry Mitchell describes the East Austin Economic Development Corporation's programs

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin talks about his advocacy for childcare and education

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin reflects upon his legacy and message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin remembers becoming the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Waco, Texas
Reverend Dr. Marvin Griffin recalls desegregation in Waco, Texas
Transcript
So we were talking about the Southern Baptist Convention, okay. So tell me more about your position there and then we're in 1948.$$I had an office downtown in the black area, the Hall [Street] and Thomas [Avenue] and it was a building, we stayed in it, we had classes for children, after school and we also had classes for youth on Wednesday night and I taught two nights a week to ministers who needed help and I stayed there about two and a half years, two, three years, then I, I came home one day, in the meantime my wife [Lois King Griffin] had a job teaching in Dallas [Texas] 'cause both of us were from Dallas and as far as our adult life was concerned, had been in Dallas, I came home one day and the teacher, well let me see, how did it happen? I, my wife (pause), I had the privilege of trying to collect this (pause), they put me on the program for the B.M.E. Convention [Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention of Texas; Baptist Missionary and Education Convention], I start there. That's the oldest convention, black Baptist convention in Texas and I grew up in the church that was a member of that convention and they put me on after I finished Oberlin [Graduate School of Theology, Oberlin, Ohio] and when, the young minds, you know, upcoming leaders, they put me on, for the theological lectures. They didn't ask me, they just put me on and I was in it then. I said, you know, I mean, they didn't give me the courtesy of, of responding, they just put me on. I'm not going, I'm not going to say anything and they put me on without saying anything, well that's the way I looked at it, I'm not going. So they put me on again. I said I'm going this time. They have the courage, the nerve to put me on, twice, and I'm saying maybe, and I'm going to select something to talk about that they may not like. I was young and rebellious. So I went, and I went and talked about the inspiration of the scriptures and I got down there and behold, my college president, President Rhoads [Joseph J. Rhoads], who was president of Bishop [Bishop College, Marshall, Texas] when I was a student there, was in the audience and he sat on the front row and led the question period. And so, and they enjoyed it so much they wanted me to repeat and have another session the next day and a week or so after that I went home from the convention I got, came home and my wife said, "You have a call from President Rhoads' wife [Lucile Bridge Rhoads]," and I called him and he said, "Well, Dr. Jenkins [Joseph Newton Jenkins] is ill. He's a trustee of Bishop and need a young man to carry on during his illness, could you do that?" I said, "Yeah." So I went down there for about a month and he died so I became the elected pastor of the church, the youngest pastor they ever had.$$Of what church is this?$$Ebenezer [Ebenezer Baptist Church, Austin, Texas], not Ebenezer, New Hope [New Hope Baptist Church, Waco, Texas], the oldest, started church 1866. The president [Rufus Columbus Burleson] of Baylor [Baylor University, Waco, Texas] and the pastor [S.G. O'Bryan] of First Baptist Church [Waco, Texas], helped organize that church back in 1866. And so, Texas history has a prominent place in it because of the relationship and I got started. Sam Houston, one of the fathers of the state, was pastor. No, he got baptized by the president of Baylor who was the, so it's rich in history and I stayed there eighteen years. I was the youngest pastor, as I said earlier, at the church it is.$It's a long, it's a long story, you know, but we worked together and we trusted each other, we didn't misrepresent each other and we got through and so I consider, consider Waco [Texas] one of the better--well, they called me the other week about Zilker Park [Zilker Metropolitan Park, Austin, Texas]. The Zilker Park in Waco is Cameron Park, beautiful park, but blacks couldn't go in there, in there. And so, I decided to have a picnic there, a church picnic there. Some of our people were afraid to go to the picnic and no, and after we told them it was open. I guess some of them were thinking, they couldn't carry themselves sit in there and play and rest, a picnic in that park but some people did and they were doing it when I left. What I, we often did, I discovered it when we had a meeting with the leaders and told them what our position was, they agreed with it so it was not like Selma, Alabama. Everybody's not, they were a different type of white person and whenever we laid down over what we thought should be, most of the time they agreed. To illustrate that, we had a housing program. Most of the housing you get in the community comes through the federal government but we had nobody on the board. I talked to the head person about it, "We ought to have a black person on the board." "No, you don't need no black person. We know what you all need, you don't need that." So I went to, to Washington [D.C.] and I went to Washington and I saw some of the records they had in the housing that, over there and the leaders of the city told, said the right things and they done the right thing so you, you can't have a fight unless you've got two people who want to fight. So we worked out every, every matter that I know, that we had. When we came together and sat down, we, Baylor [Baylor University, Waco, Texas] was integrated, the lady who was the first woman on the faculty [Vivienne Malone Mayes], she had a Ph.D. in math, was a member of my church [New Hope Baptist Church, Waco, Texas] and, you know, now when I came to Austin [Texas] I wanted to go over to Baylor and take, just audit the class in Greek and not be enrolled, just let me sit in the class and the professor said, no, and he did it in such a disposition that you, was nasty in the way he said, no. One student followed me out of the class and apologized for the professor but that's the, that's a minor incident compared to the problems we undertook to solve during the time we were there.

Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake

A co-pastor at one of the largest churches in New York, Reverend Elaine Flake was born on July, 2, 1948 an only child to Leroy and Lorene McCollins in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1970, she graduated with her B.A. degree in English from Fisk University and went on to get her M.A. degree in English from Boston University. In 1993, Flake earned her Masters of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She was also awarded a D.D. degree from United Theological Seminary in Ohio where her husband, the Reverend Floyd Flake was an alumnus.

In 1976, Flake assumed a leadership role at The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York alongside her husband. Through their work, The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral became the 57th largest church in America and was featured nationally in media like Ebony Magazine and The History Channel. In 1983, she co-founded the Allen Christian School in Jamaica, NY, serving over 500 African American students. She went on to found the Allen Women’s Resource Center providing services to women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. The Center is also partnered with New York’s ‘Superwoman Program’ to help women find untraditional career fields. That same year Reverend Flake began the Allen Prison Ministry, the Allen Cancer Support Ministry, and the Allen HIV/AIDS Spiritual Support Ministry. These resources together made the Cathedral a central point in Queens, New York. For twenty-seven years, she has also hosted annual spiritual retreats/conferences for women. In 1999, she became the co-Pastor of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York.

In the late 1990’s Flake contributed to publications about spirituality including the Women of Color Study Bible compiled by World Bible Publishing and Souls of My Sisters: Black Women Break their Silence, Tell Their Stories, and Heal Their Spirits edited by Dawn Marie Daniels and Candace Sandy. In 2003, Flake and her husband co-authored their own book Practical Virtues: Everyday Values and Devotions for African American Families Learning To Live With All Our Souls filled with historical narratives related to spiritual values. Together they also wrote the African American Church Management Handbook and in 2007, Flake alone wrote God in Her Midst: Preaching Healing to Hurting Women.

Flake lives in New York City with her husband Floyd and they have four adult children, Aliya, Nailah, Robert, and Harold.

Elaine Flake was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.006

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/27/2010

Last Name

Flake

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Hamilton Elementary School

Fisk University

Boston University

Union Theological Seminary

United Theological Seminary

Hamilton High School

Speakers Bureau

Organizations

First Name

Elaine

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

FLA03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Aruba

Favorite Quote

There Is No Substitute For Common Sense.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/2/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens (Turnip)

Short Description

Pastor Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake (1948 - ) was a pastor at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in New York City, a co-founder of the Allen Christian School and the author of God in Her Midst: Preaching Healing to Hurting Women.

Employment

Newton Massachusetts School District

Allen Christian School

Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

Favorite Color

Peach

Timing Pairs
0,0:5742,132:6264,139:10106,159:11708,185:12153,191:12598,198:17092,253:30567,544:31260,551:33493,585:44800,665:45175,671:45700,680:48775,746:49075,751:50200,769:50500,774:50950,781:51925,806:53575,834:54025,841:54325,846:57925,964:77470,1250:84070,1405:84370,1410:94022,1555:94638,1565:109758,1823:116688,1946:121355,1970:121805,1978:123005,1995:124430,2024:124880,2031:131180,2150:134255,2223:143210,2265:144890,2289:145478,2298:152799,2380:153075,2385:153903,2403:154593,2415:156732,2456:158595,2490:159837,2511:160458,2521:160734,2526:164590,2538:165211,2549:166750,2573$0,0:9072,261:9912,282:50743,835:51155,841:57876,903:59168,929:59624,936:65172,1030:65780,1039:67984,1110:68592,1119:70568,1151:76648,1253:76952,1258:86646,1342:87482,1355:88090,1364:88470,1370:89002,1378:94626,1452:110882,1611:112701,1632:113129,1637:125370,1730:126099,1754:129420,1831:138654,1948:144302,1989:144830,1995
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her family's land ownership

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her paternal uncles' departure from Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her father's U.S. Navy service

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers segregation in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake compares the racial climate in Tennessee and Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers her schooling in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about the class distinctions within the African American community

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her early musical interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the integration of public accommodations in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her social life at Hamilton High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her experiences at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers moving to Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the reactions to President John F. Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers joining the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls founding the Allen Christian School in Queens, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes the Allen Christian School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the founding of the Allen Women's Resource Center

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about the challenges faced by female ministers

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls her reception as a female preacher

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the election of Bishop Vashti McKenzie

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers her calling to the ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls her theological education

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes the ministries of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her concerns for the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about the reassignment of pastors in the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about the importance of female ministers

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$2

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers her calling to the ministry
Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Transcript
I did not ask you, what was the nature of your call to the ministry (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) My call?$$Yeah.$$I think, to be honest with you--now, I've always loved church. I'd never seen a female preacher. And remember I said when I heard the Reverend Nurjhan Govan preach at the St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Cambridge [Massachusetts], I cried for a week. I just couldn't stop crying. So my pastor then, John Bryant [John Richard Bryant], said to me, "Are you okay?" He said, "Are you sure you're not being called to preach?" And of course that was a foreign concept to me, because I never knew that women--and I can't say that that was the call. But I think that may have opened the door, or that may have been the beginning of it. Then when we came--and I've always been involved in church, always loved church. So, I worked very hard at the church there in Cambridge. Then when I married Floyd [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Floyd Flake] and we came here [Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, Jamaica, New York], it was just kind of a natural fit. I just do church; I just love church. And so I took the missionary society, I took the women's department. And then people began to ask me to speak, ask me to come and speak for Women's Day, and to speak for different occasions in the church. And so then I was out there doing it. And then finally somebody said, "Well, you may as well make it official." In fact, I think it was my former pastor who said, "You know, you're jack legging. You may as well make it official." So I cried and prayed, and I went to see Dr. Jim Forbes [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr.] down at Union Seminary [Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York], because I needed a voice that was not--you know, kind of a detached voice--not my husband, not people who knew me well. And I had met Dr. Forbes and I asked for an appointment, and he listened to me. And he said, "I just think you just are hard to convince. But I think that, you know, God is really calling you." And he encouraged me to go to the seminary. And that's kind of how it happened. It was kind of a--you know, I was not knocked off my donkey on the Damascus Road. It was just kind of an evolution into ministry. I've always done ministry in terms of working and fundraising and missions, outreach. But all of a sudden, people were just asking me. I was getting all these invitations to come and preach, to speak, not preach. And so I just kind of went into it that way, very cautiously, asking for signs all along the way.$Now you were out of high school [Hamilton High School, Memphis, Tennessee] when Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] was killed.$$Well, I was at Fisk.$$You were at Fisk.$$I went to Fisk University [Nashville, Tennessee].$$Okay.$$On April 4, 1968. I remember we were, we were at--a friend of ours had gotten her boyfriend's car, or her brother's car, and we were driving around listening to the cassette tapes then. And when we got to campus, we saw the campus was deserted. And I remember the dean of students running across campus telling us, "Get in, get in." You know, they just, Dr. King had just been assassinated. So, I remember it was just hysteria. And we had to run to our dorms, because the riots, there were riots in Nashville [Tennessee] that night. And I can remember just the anger. And the girls, you know, they made stay in the dorm. The boys somehow got out. And I remember hanging out of a window throwing Coke bottles [Coca-Cola] down to the boys so they could go take them. And they were throwing bottles into the--I don't know if I should be telling this. They were throwing bottles into the car windows of people. You know, just the rage, the anger, that was felt. And the girls couldn't do anything. The only thing we knew to do was to give them ammunition. So, in the girls dorm--and then I remember the National Guard walking across our campus and surrounding our dorms trying to keep us calm.$$Now, what did Martin Luther King mean to you?$$Well, for us, Dr. King was the engineer of the Civil Rights Movement. He was our voice, he was our hero, he was our Moses. So, the idea that someone would assassinate him produced, evoked a kind of rage that--it was even hard--it was hard to contain, it was hard to express. The tears, the anger--you know, it was a mess in there, in that dorm, you know. People were just angry, but we couldn't strike out at each other. They were hitting walls and breaking bottles, you know, just--it was awful.

Reverend France A. Davis

Reverend France Albert Davis was born on December 5, 1946 on a farm, outside of Gough, Georgia to John and Julia Davis. He attended and graduated from the segregated Waynesboro High & Industrial School in Waynesboro, Georgia in 1964. In 1966, Davis joined the United States Air Force where he served as an aircraft mechanic. He went on to earn his B.A. degree in rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley and his B.S. degree in religion from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Davis also earned his M.A. degree in mass communications from the University of Utah. He has attended several other universities including the Tuskegee Institute and Laney College in Oakland, studying subjects ranging from Afro-American Studies to arts and humanities.

In 1968, Davis served as the assistant to the pastor at St. Paul Baptist Church in Boise, Idaho. Then, in 1971, he received his certificate of ordination at Center Street Baptist Church in Oakland, California where he later became an associate and youth minister. In 1972, Davis came to Salt Lake City, Utah to fulfill a one-year teaching fellowship at the University of Utah. That same year, he joined Calvary Baptist Church where he later served as pastor and chief administrator.

During the 1960s, Davis participated in the Civil Rights Movement and marched from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama promoting voting rights for African Americans. At the onset of the Civil Rights Movement, he met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and received his spiritual calling into the ministry as a young man. In 1972, Davis was confronted by his minority status, when he was removed from the LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University campus for wearing an afro. As a political activist, Davis was also instrumental in declaring Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official holiday, an achievement for which his church office was riddled with gun shots. He later furthered his education by earning his M.M. degree in ministry from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho in 1994.

Davis has served as the secretary of the Salt Lake Ministerial Association; a member of the South Africa Preaching Team for the National Baptist Convention’s Foreign Mission and as an advisor, vice-president and assistant to the Dean of the Intermountain General Baptist Convention. He has also taught as an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Communications at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Davis has written several publications including Light in the Midst of Zion: A History of Black Baptists in Utah 1892-1996 and his autobiography, France Davis: An American Story Told in 2007.

Davis lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife, Willene. They have three children: Carolyn, Grace and France; and one grandson, Cedric.

Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 13, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.049

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/13/2008

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Schools

Gough Elementary School

Waynesboro High and Industrial School

Merritt College

Tuskegee University

Laney College

University of California, Berkeley

Bay Cities Bible College

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary

Westminster College

University of Utah

Northwest Nazarene University

First Name

France

Birth City, State, Country

Cooperstown

HM ID

DAV23

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Yes, I Have A Goodly Heritage.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Utah

Birth Date

12/5/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Salt Lake City

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish (Fried)

Short Description

Civil rights activist and pastor Reverend France A. Davis (1946 - ) was the pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah. He participated in the Civil Rights Movement and was instrumental in declaring Martin Luther King Jr. Day an official holiday in Utah. Davis also taught at the University of Utah and published two books.

Employment

University of Utah

Westminster College

Salt Lake Theological Seminary

Calvary Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:231,4:770,19:7084,89:9317,153:9779,161:11088,197:12243,214:12782,223:13860,241:17787,327:18326,336:19635,353:29110,422:29990,431:33750,493:34070,498:34390,503:35430,516:35750,521:46110,613:48350,644:48750,650:49390,658:52190,694:54270,737:54670,743:54990,748:55950,760:56990,776:57470,784:66746,864:67186,871:69914,901:72730,931:73698,943:80030,979:80306,984:80582,989:81272,1002:81755,1015:83687,1054:84515,1070:84929,1077:85205,1082:86792,1109:88379,1161:92174,1241:93761,1274:100810,1349:101440,1360:101790,1366:102070,1371:102350,1376:102630,1381:118174,1611:119239,1666:119665,1673:120162,1682:120659,1691:121653,1720:124422,1774:124848,1782:132658,1860:137910,1966$0,0:3146,37:8564,100:9080,107:11402,188:18626,344:27620,464:28040,471:33430,577:39030,673:39310,678:39870,686:40780,702:107360,1622:116065,1705:116633,1713:123804,1846:129555,1941:129910,1946:130265,1951:137210,1997:140638,2020:141886,2032:147034,2088:147580,2096:148516,2108:150310,2134:150622,2140:157214,2213:157478,2218:157742,2223:159260,2253:160910,2271:167906,2423:185767,2642:191151,2678:210180,2973:211298,2992:220460,3080:221580,3099:225780,3186:240416,3518:244350,3577
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend France A. Davis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend France A. Davis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend France A. Davis describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls his maternal family's experiences with the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about his early religious experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers his father's storytelling

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his family home

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend France A. Davis describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend France A. Davis describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls his childhood pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls his favorite teachers at Gough Elementary School in Gough, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers Waynesboro High and Industrial School in Waynesboro, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls his decision to attend the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers his early interest in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers the March on Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers the Selma to Montgomery March

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers his commitment to civil rights

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Frances A. Davis recalls leaving the Tuskegee Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his experiences in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about his call to the ministry

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his college education

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls his first impressions of Oakland, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers D'Army Bailey

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about his college coursework

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls teaching at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls pastoring the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Reverend France A. Davis describes the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend France A. Davis describes the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about the history of Utah's black Baptist churches

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his religious studies

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about the Buffalo Soldiers

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls advocating for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Utah

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his civic involvement in Utah

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls his experiences in South Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his membership in the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend France A. Davis describes 'Light in the Midst of Zion: A History of Black Baptists in Utah'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend France A. Davis describes 'France Davis: An American Story Told'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about the programs at the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about his religious philosophy and mentors

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend France A. Davis reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend France A. Davis reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about the congregation of the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend France A. Davis describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Reverend France A. Davis narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

4$5

DATitle
Reverend France A. Davis recalls his maternal family's experiences with the Ku Klux Klan
Reverend France A. Davis recalls advocating for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Utah
Transcript
Any stories about, about Reconstruction or what, you know what it was like in those days between the (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) One of the stories that my mother [Julia Cooper Davis] told us almost daily was about an activity with her family and the Ku Klux Klan [KKK], and there're two of those stories. One of them is that her uncle's wife was walking and refused to step off, out of the way of some white ladies that was walking in the town of Waynesboro [Georgia] and that when she came home that evening that night the Ku Klux Klan showed up to get her. Her husband interfered, who was my uncle, and they then took him down to the local African American Baptist church and put him inside, set the church in fire, and he was never seen again. The other story was that my mother's father [July Cooper] got somehow in trouble with the Klan when she was just a small baby and as a result of that the Klan came and sat on their porch waiting for him to come home and he came home later in the evening, but before he came, he never did come home that night. He always came home after dark, and so my grandmother [Scoatney Scott Cooper] sent one of the children, she had sixteen of them. It was easier to send one out and not miss, that would not be missed out the back door to meet him and tell him not to come home and his life was saved because he never came home that night. But the Klan was sitting on his porch, on their porch, my parents, my mother's grand- my mother's parents' porch waiting for him to come home. And he didn't come home for several days.$$I suppose the Klan didn't have any idea how many children were really there anyway.$$They didn't have any idea how many children were there and they certainly wouldn't miss one. There were just so many of them, and so they didn't miss that one.$$Okay, now that's, that's cert- those stories certainly tell you something about the atmosphere--$$Yes.$$--in that part of Georgia.$$Yeah, yeah.$I have a note here that says--oh did somebody actually, now you were involved in the, making Martin Luther King's [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] birthday a holiday?$$Yes.$$Right.$$Nineteen eighty-three [1983] Congress passed the law and President Reagan [President Ronald Wilson Reagan] signed the federal law making Martin Luther King holiday [Martin Luther King Jr. Day], Martin Luther King's birthday a holiday on the federal side. Utah was one of the states that decided that that federal law would not work for them, did not apply to them, and so we had to get a separate bill introduced in the state legislature here in Utah. Senator Terry Williams was the only African American in the legislature at the time. He sponsored the bill, I then took it as chair of a committee to educate and agitate on behalf of the passage of the bill and eventually had a debate with the Representative Robert Sykes [Robert B. Sykes], S-Y-K-E-S who was opposed to the bill. I debated him on television, and at the end of the debate he volunteered to help sponsor the bill.$$So you convinced him?$$Convinced him in the debate that this is something worthwhile, that it's good for everybody. And he sponsored it and the bill passed. We brought Mrs. King [Coretta Scott King] out, and she spoke to the legislature.$$Now what argument did you offer that would actually change the mind of someone that bent on stopping the bill?$$Well a number of their initial arguments against the holiday were erroneous. They were arguing or not proving. They were arguing that Martin Luther King was a womanizer, that he was a drunken, that he never did anything for Utah, that he never came to Utah and that it was an African American holiday. So, those were their arguments. I simply countered all of those. I reminded them as far as Martin Luther King's coming to Utah that he was on the front page of their own newspaper right here in Salt Lake in Salt Lake City [Utah]. I also pointed out to them that what he did in, in the country was manifested more for white women in Utah than it was for African Americans. They were the minority in Utah, white women, so I pointed that out. I also argued with them that, they, they said that there was no holiday for Brigham Young and that if there was gonna be a holiday for anybody, there ought to be one for him. And I suggested to them that we would exchange the holiday for a city called Brigham City that's in Utah and of course they wasn't about to do that, so.$$Okay, but you convinced Robert Sykes to back?$$Yes.$$Okay, now this--$$I saw him by the way just about a month ago, and he reminded me that, that it was that interactions with him that caused him to be the man that he is today.$$Okay and, but this activity was not without its dangers (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Absolutely not.$$Someone shot up your office I heard.$$Shot my office up. I had seventeen bullet holes in my office. I got threatened, threatening letters all of the time. The worse one came to my home as well as to my office, and they promised to pour gasoline on me and take me out to the Great Salt Lake and drown me and if that didn't work they'd take me back to Africa. So, it was not without danger. My wife [Willene Witt Davis] and children [Carolyn Davis, Grace Davis and France Davis] were afraid.$$The last threat didn't seem so bad I mean to take you to Africa.$$Take you back to Africa (laughter).$$That would have been--$$That would have been good for me. It would have been like throwing the rabbit in the briar patch (simultnaoeus).

Reverend Raleigh Trammell

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) national board chairman, Reverend Raleigh Trammell was born on December 30, 1936, in Grantville, Georgia. His father, Walter Trammell, worked in a cotton mill and his mother, Thomasina Smith Trammell, was a homemaker who ardently preached to him the benefits of education. Trammell attended segregated Grantville School all twelve years, graduating in 1955. He went on to attend Clarke University, then known as Clarke College, where he was influenced by Reverend Dr. William Holmes Borders of Wheat Street Baptist Church and Dr. C. Eric Lincoln, founder of the Black Academy of Arts and Sciences. When he graduated in 1959, Trammell was an ordained minister and was well-seasoned in civil rights doctrine.

Trammell met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and joined the SCLC in 1960. In 1963, he participated in the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama, Albany, Georgia and the March on Washington. Trammell also participated in the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, promoting voting rights for African Americans. After the assassination of Dr. King in 1968, Trammell played a major role in the Poor People’s Campaign. He later moved to Dayton, Ohio, joining his parents and siblings as residents and was hired as pastor of Central Missionary Baptist Church. In 1966, he started working for the Montgomery County Welfare Department as deputy director. Then in 1983, Trammell was elected president of the Dayton chapter of the SCLC. Working closely with Andrew Young, Trammell rose to vice chair of the SCLC in 1996 and chairman of the national board in 2004.

Trammell was the first non-union recipient of the AFL-CIO Community Award in 1991. He received the Outstanding Service Award from the NAACP in 1995, the 1996 IBPOE of W Award in 1996 and was inducted into Selma, Alabama’s Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2005, Trammell garnered the Humanitarian Award from the State of Alabama, and in 2006, he received the Doug Couttee Award. Trammell lives in Dayton, Ohio where he has organized an annual march of 10,000 people to commemorate the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is the country’s largest march. Trammell and his wife, Ann, have two daughters, Angela and Cheryl.

Accession Number

A2008.034

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/27/2008

Last Name

Trammell

Maker Category
Schools

Grantville Elementary

Grantville High School

Clark Atlanta University

First Name

Raleigh

Birth City, State, Country

Grantville

HM ID

TRA02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

To Serve This Present Age; My Calling To Fulfill.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

12/30/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dayton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Civil rights activist and pastor Reverend Raleigh Trammell (1936 - ) was the National Board Chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He participated in the Civil Rights Movement, played a major role in the Poor People's Campaign and is the pastor of Central Missionary Baptist Church.

Employment

Central Missionary Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Raleigh Trammell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell talks about segregation in Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his parents' personalities and his likeness to his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell talks about his role as the seventh son

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his childhood home, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his childhood home, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers the Greater Jehovah Baptist Church in Grantville, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the Grantville School in Grantville, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers playing basketball

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the Grantville School in Grantville, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers his aspiration to join the ministry

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell talks about singing in the choir

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls funding his studies at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers Benjamin E. Mays

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers his professors and peers at Clark College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the 92nd Division in World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his studies at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls the early Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the philosophy of nonviolence

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers his early civil rights activism

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers his move to Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the civic organizations in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls his activism with the Dayton Organization

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers the March on Washington, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers the March on Washington, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls the press coverage of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls protesting against the Rike-Kumler Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls his involvement with the SCLC

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the Central Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the racial discrimination in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls the City of Dayton's black elected officials

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls his arrest

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls his presidency of the SCLC chapter in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his roles with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the importance of civil rights organizations

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell talks about gun violence

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the changes in the SCLC

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his family and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

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DAStory

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DATitle
Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration in Dayton, Ohio
Reverend Raleigh Trammell reflects upon his legacy
Transcript
And organized the biggest Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] celebration that we had--they have in the country because we have a whole week of celebration. We, we changed this, the street out here to Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. We had Mrs. King [Coretta Scott King] come here and, and bless the street the day it was changed. The federal judge, Judge Walter Rice [Walter Herbert Rice] was a part of that. And so we organized the community in celebration, Martin Luther King. We have the biggest banquet, the biggest march.$$There are at least, I know in 2006, I came back I noticed there was like five or six banquets, breakfast and lunches and banquets during that (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$--week or the week of his--$$We start at the first of January with the Emancipation Proclamation celebration and we make that a part of the Martin Luther King celebration. And, of course, we go right on down the line. We have a, we have a student participation, youth participation, they have workshops, we have a, a musical, we have a worship service, we have a cultural service, then we have an ecumenical service, and then we have a march and, of course, we have the, what is called the Presidential Banquet.$$Okay.$$And--$$And as many as ten thousand people march down 3rd Street which is now Martin Luther King Way.$$And we have it coming from four ways.$$Okay. That's right, that's right.$$We have the biggest come from west but it comes from four ways and meet up there in the community (unclear)--$$You mean downtown at the, at Courthouse Square [Dayton, Ohio], right?$$Yes.$$Yeah.$$We meet up at the Courthouse Square all four ways, south, west, east, and north.$$Now, this year the governor of Ohio spoke--$$Yes.$$--Governor Ted Strickland, the mayor, of course--$$Um-hm.$$--Rhine McLin. This is, it's the largest Dr. King march in the country.$$Yes.$Now, when you look back on everything you've done to this point, again, what today would you consider to be your legacy?$$I think the people of Dayton [Ohio] has given a great deal of support to the leadership of SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference], and in such a fashion that we have been able to put together the leading Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] celebration in the country and it is modeled throughout the nation and I'm proud of that. It was not just me, it was all the folks that we bring together. The--we, we have what is called a Martin Luther King committee for which I chair, we bring 'em together and we sit down and plan the celebration. I am really proud of that Martin Luther King celebration because people look forward to it.

Bishop Eddie L. Long

Pastor Bishop Eddie Lee Long was born on May 12, 1953 in Huntersville, North Carolina, to Floyd and Hattie Long. Long graduated from North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, North Carolina in 1972. In 1976, he earned his B.A. degree in business administration from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina where he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

From 1979 until 1981, Long worked for the Ford Motor Company as a zone manager in parts and services. He then was hired at HoneyWell where he worked in the energy management division from 1981 until 1987. In 1986, Long received his M.A. degree in divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 1987, he became the senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia. Since his installation, New Birth’s membership has multiplied to well over 30,000 members. In 2001, Long began serving as co-chair for the “Hosea Feed the Hungry” Project, and in 2004, he established a mentorship program known as the Longfellows Summer Academy in order to assist in the mental, physical and spiritual development of young men between the ages of twelve and sixteen. In 2006, Long earned his Ph.D. in pastoral ministry from the International College of Excellence in Tampa, Florida.

Long served as a member on several boards including the Morehouse School of Religion Board of Directors (Vice President); Board of Trustees for North Carolina Central University; Board of Trustees for Young Life; Board of Directors for Safehouse Outreach Ministries; and 100 Black Men Of America. Long authored numerous books, including I Don't Want Delilah, I Need You; Power of a Wise Woman; What a Man Wants, What a Woman Needs; Called to Conquer; Taking Over; It's Your Time!; Gladiator: The Strength of a Man; The Blessing in Giving and Deliver Me From Adam.

Long married Vanessa Griffin Long, a native of Columbus, Georgia on March 10, 1990. They were married at Central United Methodist Church. Long had two adult children, Eric and Edward, and two teenage children, Jared and Taylor.

Bishop Eddie Lee Long was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 28, 2008.

Long passed away on January 15, 2017.

Accession Number

A2008.035

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/28/2008

Last Name

Long

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Schools

North Mecklenburg High School

North Carolina Central University

Rand Elementary School

Robert Lacy Ranson Junior High School

Northwest Junior High School

First Name

Eddie

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

LON03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

Watch This.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

5/12/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

1/15/2017

Short Description

Pastor Bishop Eddie L. Long (1953 - 2017 ) was the senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, in Lithonia, Georgia. He was co-chair for the Hosea Feed the Hungry Project, and in 2004, he established a mentorship program for boys known as the Longfellows Summer Academy.

Employment

Ford Motor Company

Honeywell, Inc.

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bishop Eddie L. Long's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bishop Eddie L. Long lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls moving to Montclair, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes Rand Elementary School in Montclair, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his elementary school teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his home in Montclair, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls Northwest Junior High School in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes Ranson Junior High School in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers working for his father

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers working as a school bus driver

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his aspirations to become a preacher

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his father's challenges as a minister

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his courses at North Carolina Central University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his activities at North Carolina Central University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bishop Eddie L. Long talks about developing his confidence

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers paying for his education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his early career

DASession

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DAStory

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DATitle
Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his aspirations to become a preacher
Bishop Eddie L. Long talks about developing his confidence
Transcript
Your father [Floyd Long, Jr.] was a preacher. What church did he pastor, or did he preach at (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) What church he didn't pastor. This is the history of my dad. My dad is a pastor. My dad would go start a church, a lot of times from scratch, build a new building. He'd grow the membership, get in the new building, and within six months, on just a normal Sunday, he'd get up, cuss the deacons out, and telling my mom [Hattie Alston Long], "Let's go." And he'd walk down the aisle and leave, and we followed behind him, and would never come back. He'd go start another church. So, he was a church builder. He could grow a church with members, and then he would always build a nice building. And it never failed; within six months he's going to get up, cuss the deacons out, and leave.$$Did you ever find out what the problem, what problem he was having with the deacons (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well, as a--as a pastor myself, (laughter) it is very challenging at times to work. And he was always in a rural church. So in a rural church, the deacons generally always felt that they were supposed to run the church, and all the pastor was to do was to come and preach and do ceremonial things. But they controlled the pastor and everything else, and my dad just wasn't going for that. He would deal with it, and argue with them for a while, and after a while he'd get sick of them. I guess he was looking for a place where he would be the visionary, et cetera. But my dad was a tough man, too. He was a tough guy, I gotta, you know. So--$$So you spent your Sundays in church?$$Yeah, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the sun, all day.$$And what were your thoughts about church? Did you have any idea that you would become a preacher at that time?$$At one time, I really wanted to be a preacher. I used to be the little cute boy, and Mama would say, "He's going to be a preacher." And I'd be playing preacher. "Oh, look at him," you know. And then after a while, it's like I don't want nothing to do with this. I, I just didn't want it. I had seen what my daddy was going through and all that, and I wanted to be a businessman. That's the side of my daddy I caught. That's why I went to North Carolina Central University [Durham, North Carolina] and majored in business and marketing.$And why do you say you were shy?$$I was very shy. I was (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Really?$$Because I never, it took me a long time to grow out of secondhand clothes, and people always looking at me as a secondhand guy. I was a senior in high school [North Mecklenburg High School, Huntersville, North Carolina] before I got a pair of Converse. You either had Converse, or you had nothing. Converse was only ten dollars, and I, I couldn't afford them. And so if you had something from Kmart [Kmart Corporation] on, kids would make fun of you, you know. And so, you had to have some Chuck Taylor Converse. So, I always made myself second. I just--it was hard, and I never--because I didn't dress right, and I never thought a girl would want to talk to me. I was surprised when I went up to them. I just, I got my nerve up when I talked to my girlfriend in tenth or eleventh grade, and we got together. I didn't think she was going to pay me any attention. I just said, "I'm desperate now for a girlfriend (laughter)." But I just never--I had this thing in my head. Even now, my wife [Vanessa Griffin Long] pushes me, you know. I can deal with it. I was raised with three boys, wasn't no sisters. And the challenge me and my wife has, she was raised with--she's seven of seven girls, no boys. And I'm four boys, you know, and all of that. And so I said, "You don't know nothing about men." And she said, "You don't know nothing about women." I say but I'm very comfortable in ministering the men and addressing men. When it gets around to talking to women, I get nervous, you know. So, she pushed me to do the women thing--elect ladies. And it just, and I'm surprised that I have something to say. But it's more so a mental thing, that I'm still thinking I'm still in the secondhand clothes. I'm thinking I'm Cinderella after the carriage turned back to the pumpkin, you know. And so--pray I overcome.