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Bishop Imagene Stewart

Social activist, pastor and founder of the Washington, D.C. based House of Imagene Shelter and Women’s Center Bishop Imagene Bigham Stewart was born on January 23, 1942 in Dublin, Georgia.

Stewart arrived in Washington, D.C. in 1963 to participate in the March on Washington for jobs and freedom. After the march, she became ill and never returned home to Georgia. In the mid-1960s, Stewart was homeless and survived by living in Washington, D.C.’s Lincoln Park. She eventually found a job at the Government Printing Office where she worked full-time. Although she was gainfully employed, Stewart never forgot the hardships she faced as a homeless person and was inspired to open her own shelter. She managed to set aside time to organize volunteers and found boarder rooms to house thirty homeless people. Stewart then gained the interest of the late Mayor Walter E. Washington with her plans of opening a shelter, and with a meager budget, she was able to purchase property for the opening of the House of Imagene Shelter and Women’s Center in 1972. That same year, Stewart earned her A.A. degree from the University of the District of Columbia.

The House of Imagene is the first Washington, D.C. based shelter founded by an African American woman. It is comprised of two satellite centers: a shelter for battered women and children, and a shelter that provides temporary housing for homeless veterans and their families.

Stewart went on to become the pastor of the Greater Pearly Gates Baptist Church. She also worked as a radio personality for WOL radio in Washington, D.C. In 1992, Stewart was honored with the prestigious Living Dream Award for her service to battered women and the homeless. In 1993, Stewart served as the National Chaplain for the American Legion Auxiliary and as the director of the United States Department of Veteran Affairs.

Stewart was interviewed by the HistoryMakers on January 30, 2008.

Stewart passed away on May 30, 2012.

Accession Number

A2008.002

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/28/2008

1/30/2008

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Middle Name

Bigham

Schools

Susie Dasher Elementary School

Oconee High School

University of the District of Columbia

First Name

Imagene

Birth City, State, Country

Dublin

HM ID

STE12

Favorite Season

September

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Georgia

Favorite Quote

If I can be of help, that's what I'm here for.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/23/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Pig Feet

Death Date

5/30/2012

Short Description

Civil rights activist and pastor Bishop Imagene Stewart (1942 - 2012 ) founded the House of Imagene Shelter and Women’s Center in Washington, D.C. She became the pastor of the Greater Pearly Gates Baptist Church.

Employment

U.S. Printing Office

House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center

Office of Mayor Walter Washington

Favorite Color

Purple

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bishop Imagene Stewart's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bishop Imagene Stewart lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her early experiences of discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her father's role in her family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers her pregnancies

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes the influence of her father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes the H.T. Jones Village in Dublin, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her father's preaching circuit

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers picking cotton

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her early understanding of pregnancy

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers Susie Dasher Elementary School in Dublin, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her sons' father

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Bishop Imagene Stewart recalls her start as a civil rights activist

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her sisters' social circle

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers joining the SCLC

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her commitment to patriotism, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her commitment to patriotism, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers the Citizenship Education Program

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her political affiliations

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bishop Imagene Stewart recalls picketing the Belk Matthews Company store in Dublin, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about segregation in Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers leaving Dublin, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers the March on Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bishop Imagene Stewart recalls her decision to remain in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers joining Walter Washington's mayoral office in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bishop Imagene Stewart recalls how she came to open the House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bishop Imagene Stewart recalls working at the U.S. Government Printing Office

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bishop Imagene Stewart shares her perspective on black liberation theology, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bishop Imagene Stewart shares her perspective on black liberation theology, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her ministry

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her sons

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her early work at the House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her approach to victims of domestic violence

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about the problem of homelessness among veterans

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about fundraising for the House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes the counseling services at the House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her career

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bishop Imagene Stewart reflects upon the legacy of the House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about the Ebony Women's Society

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her husband

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bishop Imagene Stewart reflects upon her work at the House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about domestic violence in the civil rights community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her family

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her awards

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes the Pearly Gate Baptist Mission in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about the National Black Republican Association

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bishop Imagene Stewart narrates her photographs

Bishop Sedgwick Daniels

Bishop and pastor Sedgwick Daniels was born the second youngest of eight children on August 16, 1959 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to John and Kathleen Daniels. He became City of Milwaukee Plan Commissioner and the first Protestant board member of the Catholic Central City Schools. Daniels joined Antonio Riley and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority on several projects, assisting in developing a housing complex for seniors and developing Milwaukee home ownership.

In 2001, Daniels was elevated to the role of Bishop by Bishop Gilbert E. Patterson and the Church of God in Christ General Board. Daniels’ jurisdiction covered more than 105 Institutional Church of God churches in Wisconsin and northern Illinois. During Daniels’ tenure as Bishop, his own church, Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ, became a multi-million dollar operation that addressed both the educational and social service needs in the Milwaukee community.

In 2002, the Bush Administration began conferences for faith-based groups. President Bush and David Kuo, then-deputy director of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, visited Daniels’ Holy Redeemer Church. A political independent and close friend of Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr., Daniels took a controversial stand two years later, endorsing George W. Bush primarily on the basis of his faith-based initiative. Daniels continues to serve as Pastor of Milwaukee’s Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ.

Bishop Sedgwick Daniels was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 28, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.333

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/28/2007

Last Name

Daniels

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Thirty-Fifth Street Elementary

Addison Elementary

Custer High School

First Name

Sedgwick

Birth City, State, Country

Milwaukee

HM ID

DAN05

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Wisconsin

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

If God Can Do Anything, God Can Do Everything. There Is Nothing Too Hard For God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Wisconsin

Interview Description
Birth Date

8/16/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Milwaukee

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Pork Chops, Ham

Short Description

Bishop and pastor Bishop Sedgwick Daniels (1959 - ) was the pastor of Milwaukee’s Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ. He is a former City of Milwaukee Plan Commissioner and was the first protestant board member of the Catholic Central City Schools. As Bishop, Daniels oversaw more than 105 Institutional Church Of God churches in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Employment

City of Milwaukee

Catholic Central City Schools

Church of God in Christ

Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ

Favorite Color

Purple

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bishop Sedgwick Daniels' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels remembers his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels describes his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels recalls his family's move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels talks about his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels describes his neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels recalls his responsibilities as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels describes the demographics of his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels recalls the role of religion in his upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels remembers the deaths of his father and maternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels remembers Custer High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels remembers his popularity at Custer High School

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Bishop Sedgwick Daniels describes his early aspirations

Reverend Dr. Mable John

R&B singer Mable John was born on November 3, 1930 in Bastrop, Louisiana to Mertis and Lillian John. As the eldest of ten children, John began singing with her siblings as a child, putting on programs and singing traditional gospel tunes while her mother played the guitar. John and her family moved to Arkansas, where her brother, the legendary singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, William “Little Willie” John was born. The family later moved to Detroit, Michigan. Inspired by her brother’s success in the music industry, John started substituting for R&B singer Etta James as the opening act for “Little Willie” John’s show when he came to town. In 1956, she worked as a secretary at the Friendship Mutual Insurance Company where her supervisor was Bertha Gordy, mother of the Motown music founder Berry Gordy.

In 1958, John became the first female artist on Gordy’s new label Tamla. Although her first song, “Who Wouldn’t Love a Man Like That”, did not make the pop charts, it established John as a popular live performer. She sold out shows at the Apollo Theater in New York City and The Howard Theater in Washington, D.C. In 1965, John decided to change labels and signed with Stax Records where she believed her sound was more appropriate.

John’s first song under the Stax label, “Your Good This (Is About to End)” soared to number six on the R&B charts in the summer of 1966, and the following year, she released the single, “Same Time, Same Place”. In 1968, John’s brother William “Little Willie” John died in prison from unknown causes. Subsequently, John went into a deep depression. It was not until 1970, when Ray Charles offered her a job as the musical director of the Raelettes, that John continued her musical career. John was the co-writer of fifty songs for Ray Charles before leaving his organization in 1977. She then became the pastor and founder of Joy in Jesus Ministries in Los Angeles, California in 1986. John earned her doctorate in divinity from the Crenshaw Christian Center in 1993 and, in 1994, she was awarded the Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.

John lives in Los Angeles, California and has five adult children.

John was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 7, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.326

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/7/2007

Last Name

John

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Lafayette School

Duffield Elementary School

Pershing High School

Chicago School of Nursing

Crenshaw Montessori Academy

University of California, Los Angeles

First Name

Mable

Birth City, State, Country

Bastrop

HM ID

JOH33

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii, Venice, Italy

Favorite Quote

By George, Let God Do It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Interview Description
Birth Date

11/3/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Salad, Seafood

Short Description

R & B singer, pastor, and songwriter Reverend Dr. Mable John (1930 - ) was the first female artist on Berry Gordy’s new label Tamla in 1958. She later signed with Stax Records, and had success with songs like "Same Time, Same Place." John went on to cowrite fifty songs for Ray Charles from 1970 to 1977. She was the pastor and founder of Joy in Jesus Ministries in Los Angeles, California.

Employment

Tamla Records; Motown Records

Stax Records

Joy in Jesus, Inc.

Fourth House Music Publishing

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Mable John's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Mable John lists her favorites

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers her maternal and paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers her mother's cooking

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes the community of Cullendale, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers the itinerant workers in Cullendale, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers lessons from her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes segregation in Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers the Lafayette School in Cullendale, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers her father's discipline

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her early musical influences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Mable John recalls the importance of music during her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers her family's decision to move to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her community in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her experiences in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers Pershing High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Mable John recalls her family dynamics

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Mable John talks about her aspiration to become a nurse

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her first marriage, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her first marriage, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Mable John talks about her first husband's gambling addiction

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Mable John recalls working as a nurse in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her and her brother's early singing careers

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Mable John talks about Little Willie John's start in the music industry, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Mable John talks about Little Willie John's start in the music industry, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers meeting Berry Gordy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers opening for Billie Holiday

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Mable John recalls the mentorship of Billie Holiday and Ruth Brown

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers signing a contract with Tamla Records

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers touring with Etta James

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers touring with Little Willie John

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers transitioning to Stax Records

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers Otis Redding's death

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Mable John talks about her brother's incarceration and death

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her decision to leave the music industry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Mable John talks about her second marriage

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers joining The Raelettes, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers joining The Raelettes, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers joining The Raelettes, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Mable John recalls negotiating her contract with Ray Charles, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Mable John recalls negotiating her contract with Ray Charles, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes Ray Charles' work ethic

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Mable John talks about her work in music publishing

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers Ray Charles

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Mable John talks about the Fourth House Music Company and Joy in Jesus, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers her calling to the ministry

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Mable John recalls leaving The Raelettes

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her career as a minister and author

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Mable John talks about the movie 'Ray'

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her advice to young people

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Mable John reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Mable John describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Mable John reflects upon her values

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Mable John reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Mable John reflects upon her life

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Mable John shares a message to future generations

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Reverend Dr. Mable John talks about Little Willie John's start in the music industry, pt. 2
Reverend Dr. Mable John remembers joining The Raelettes, pt. 2
Transcript
Willie stood right there, waited 'til the red light went off and went in there, on the break, and stood in the back. And, he heard Titus Turner, who wrote 'All Around the World,' singing and he was trying to make a run and Syd kept telling 'em, said, "We want you to do a certain thing when you get ready to say, grits ain't groceries and Mona Lisa was a man." And, Willie was listening to Titus trying to make that run. So, while the break was going on, Willie walked down and said, "I'm Little Willie John and I'm here to see to Mr. Syd Nathan." He said, "Sir," talking to Syd--talking to Titus Turner, "Are you trying to make a run that sounds like--," and Willie just sung the song.$$(Laughter).$$And, Titus Turner looked at him and said, "You know my song?" He said, "Well, I heard you singing it as I was standing back there waiting to talk to Mr. Syd Nathan." He said, "Do you know the whole song?" He said, "Well, I know what I heard you sing." He said, "Sing it." So, at that time you know, everybody's in the studio together, the musicians--$$All the--everybody, everybody got quiet now (laughter).$$Everybody's quiet, but all the--everybody is together.$$Right.$$'Cause they didn't, you didn't do--$$There were no booths.$$No. So, they started the music and he did it in his key, did all the runs. He told--and, so, Syd--Titus told Syd, "Let's record him doing it." He said, "Well, I came here for a contract with Mr. Syd Nathan." He said, "I wrote the song and this is Syd Nathan." And, he said, "What do you say Syd?" He said, "Well, let's, let's have lunch and we'll bring--we'll see if he can do it." And, that was history.$$So, he went and took a record deal?$$He took a record deal.$$(Laughter).$$Called me on the phone, said, "Meet me at the airport. Pick me up." Willie got off the, off the plane in shorts and the demo in his hand, like big like the 78s [78 rpm record], and walked off the plane. Not coming inside the airport 'cause at that time they didn't, you didn't get off on the inside. Coming down the steps, "I told you I wouldn't be back until I got a hit record."$$Wow, as he told his big sister. Now, big sister had to make the phone call.$$Well, I had to make to phone call when he left home to say, "Willie decided that he was just gonna go on to New York [New York] and make it."$$And, what happened then? What was the comments from your father [Mertis John, Sr.]?$$Well, Willie was a boy. He wasn't me. And, everybody knew what Willie wanted to do. And, my dad didn't say very much of anything. So, when he got back home, they found Harry Balk and Frank Glussman and he became, they, they became Willie's manager and my dad left his job at Dodge Main [Dodge Factory, Hamtramck, Michigan] and went on the road with Willie--$$So, now (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) until he, until he became a man.$When I got to Detroit [Michigan], I told my mother [Lillie Robinson John]. I said, "Guess who's been calling me?" She said, "Who?" I said, "Ray Charles." She said, "Well, what did he want?" I said, "He wants me to help find him a lead singer for The Raelettes. He says he doesn't have a lead singer." And, she said, "Well, what did you tell him?" I said, "I don't know anybody I would recommend to him." I said, "If they don't work out," I said, "my name would be mud with him." I said, "Now, he doesn't have this number but if he calls just tell him I'm not in, or anything." She said, "Well, you know I'm not gonna lie." I said, "Well, tell him something." I said, "Just don't give me the phone." Do you know the man called me one morning early, I was asleep. She brought the phone in the bedroom to me and put the receiver to my ear and said, "Mable [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Mable John], Mable awake up, telephone." And, before I opened my eyes to see the phone, she said, "It's Ray Charles on the phone." And, I opened my eyes and I said, "Didn't I tell you--?" And, he finished my sentence. He said, "I'm sorry darling, I know you told her you didn't wanna talk to me. But I got to talk to you."$$(Laughter).$$"I need a lead singer." I said, "I cannot find you anyone. I don't know anybody with your kind of sound. And the way you sound, I would not give you anybody that couldn't do what you want them to do." He said, "How do you know what I want them to do?" I said, "I know how you sound." I said, "I've been listening to you for years. I don't know anybody that could duplicate your sound." He said, "Well, is it all right if I just call you one more time?" And I said, "Yes, but the answer is probably gonna be the same."

Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts

Reverend Joseph L. Roberts was born on February 17, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois. Roberts attended Chicago Public Schools throughout his childhood and graduated cum laude from Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1956. In the 1960s, Roberts attended the Union Theological Seminary in New York City and obtained his Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) degree; he subsequently attended Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned his Masters of Theology degree.

During the early part of the 1970s, Roberts became senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia; handed picked by Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. Roberts served as the senior pastor for a total of thirty years and was recognized for being an energetic orator and an accomplished musician. During the thirty years that Roberts presided as pastor, as many as 2,000 new members were added to the church’s congregation. Under Roberts’s leadership, Ebenezer Baptist Church’s congregation’s financial giving also increased 300 percent. When Roberts took the helm at Ebenezer Baptist Church, he launched an extensive community outreach program that included the Teenage Mother’s Ministry; tutoring and counseling programs; a food co-op; and an older adult daycare center. Roberts also envisioned starting a parochial school that would concentrate on providing a good education and clear role models for young males. Roberts was an accomplished administrator who successfully negotiated bank financing for Ebenezer’s new Horizon Sanctuary; the sanctuary, dedicated on March 21, 1999, was an eight-million-dollar edifice which encompassed the early roots of Christianity as well as symbols of African American heritage.

In 2004, Roberts was a recipient of distinguished alumni awards from Union Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2006 Roberts published Sideswiped by Eternity: Sermons from Ebenezer Baptist Church; this collection of sermons demonstrates Roberts’s commitment to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the lives of his parishioners, and the message of Jesus Christ.

Roberts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers in 2007.

Roberts passed away on February 15, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Esther Wortham Roberts, one son, two daughters and six grandchildren.

Accession Number

A2007.263

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/14/2007

Last Name

Roberts

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Schools

Edmund Burke Elementary School

Austin O. Sexton Elementary School

Englewood High School

Knoxville College

Union Theological Seminary

Princeton University

First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

ROB17

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Northern Michigan

Favorite Quote

The Only Thing Necessary For The Triumph Of Evil Is For Good People To Do Nothing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Interview Description
Birth Date

2/17/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fish (Fried)

Death Date

2/15/2015

Short Description

Pastor Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts (1935 - 2015 ) was handpicked by Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. to be senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Employment

Weequahic Presbyterian Church

Elmwood United Presbyterian Church

Division of Corporate and Social Mission

Ebenezer Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts talks about his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts talks about his paternal aunts and uncles

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes his community on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts remembers his early influences

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts remembers Edmund Burke Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph L. Roberts remembers his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph L. Roberts describes Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph L. Roberts describes his musical education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph L. Roberts describes his aspirations while in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph L. Roberts recalls his organizational involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph L. Roberts remembers graduating from Englewood High School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph L. Roberts recalls his decision to attend Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph L. Roberts describes his influences at Knoxville College

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph L. Roberts talks about his decision to enter the ministry

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Joseph L. Roberts describes his studies at Knoxville College

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Joseph L. Roberts remembers segregation in Knoxville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Reverend Joseph L. Roberts describes the Union Theological Seminary in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls his first impressions of New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls his mentors at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes his conversion to Presbyterianism

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts talks about his spirituality

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts remembers his marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls pastoring the Weequahic Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls pastoring the Weequahic Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls his transition to Elmwood United Presbyterian Church in East Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes his accomplishments at the Elmwood United Presbyterian Church

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts talks about his role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes his congregants

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts talks about civil rights legislation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls joining the national office of the Presbyterian church

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls becoming the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls becoming the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts remembers Alberta Williams King

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls his challenges at the Ebenezer Baptist Church

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls his plans for the Ebenezer Baptist Church

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes the Intergenerational Resource Center in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Revered Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes the programs at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Revered Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes the programs at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Revered Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls the death of Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Revered Dr. Joseph L. Roberts remembers Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr.'s influence in the community, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Revered Dr. Joseph L. Roberts remembers Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr.'s influence in the community, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Revered Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls the obstacles to building the Horizon Sanctuary, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Revered Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls the obstacles to building the Horizon Sanctuary, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Revered Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes the Horizon Sanctuary

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Revered Dr. Joseph L. Roberts reflects upon his time at the Ebenezer Baptist Church

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls choosing his successor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts talks about Raphael G. Warnock

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts recalls serving as the interim pastor of Mount Olive Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts talks about his book

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Reverend Joseph L. Roberts describes his aspirations while in high school
Revered Dr. Joseph L. Roberts remembers Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr.'s influence in the community, pt. 1
Transcript
You talked about being a dreamer, what were some of the things you were dreaming about at that time?$$Some of the things that I was dreaming about was ways that I could make a contribution to the world but, let me be very honest--the first dream I had about a profession was that I would be a dentist. And I wanted to be a dentist because I remembered as a child, maybe when I was about eleven or twelve, we had a family dentist who almost killed me when he extracted a tooth. And I had fixed in my mind--I said it to myself. I'm gonna go to dental school and hope one day I get him in the chair, and pay him back for what he did to me. So, I mean, that was a, you know, a fleeting thing and a, a sign of immaturity. I later thought of law because I loved to read and I loved to argue. And so, I said, you know, this might be something that I might want to do. I wasn't thinking about ministry at the time, because later on I had a sort of negative experience with ministry. When we were in Chicago [Illinois] and I was coming up on my senior year at Englewood High School [Chicago, Illinois], the bishop decided to move my dad [Joseph L. Roberts, Sr.] from Chicago to Detroit [Michigan], which meant I wouldn't be able to finish my senior year in Chicago. And my friends were there, I had grown up there, I had been born there. And he asked for leniency and the bishop did not allow him to stay one more year. He had done an admirable job in Chicago, had remodeled the church [Coppin Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church, Chicago, Illinois], built an educational building, and done a bunch of things. And I thought the man should have left him--let him stay. And I'll never forget the day he received his assignment to go to Detroit, we were going into the DuSable High School [Chicago, Illinois]--and he--the whole church had been praying, just believing that the Lord would make a way for him somehow. And I just didn't--I, I thought I had a better sense of reality, maybe growing out of my mother's [Marguerite Reed Roberts] ability to deal with what is, and I said, "You're not gonna be assigned back to the church in Chicago. He's determined to move you to Detroit." And my dad who was of a more pious and gentle nature said, "No, the Lord's gonna make a way." Well, that night, and I'll never forget it, at Englewood High School when they read the assignments, they read his last and we had entertained the conference. I don't know if you know anything about African Methodist Episcopal but we had entertained the conference in our church and everybody was in there. And that was gonna be the big thing, would the bishop move him or would he not. And he said, you know, he was gonna move him and he thought he was--this was--this would be appropriate. And I'll never forget that my father broke down and cried. I was sixteen years of age and my sister [Jacqueline Roberts Michael] was there, she cried and my mom cried. And we were driving home, and he allowed me to drive home because he was just out of control. And I said to myself, you know, I will never put myself in a position where another person can determine my destiny. And I didn't know anything about life, I mean, that was an oversimplified thing. But, anyway, that's what I said and that stayed in my mind. And they used to talk about the godly judgment of the bishops, I never thought they had godly judgment. I always thought that they had human judgment, I thought they put on one shoe just like me. And for that reason, there was a hostility that grew up in me toward the whole system of the episcopacy, where you can take a family and move somebody from one place to another because--and sometimes it works very well. Sometimes it very much needed, but to a sixteen year old, who was coming up on his senior year in high school, it did not hit me well. And I thought the man should have been more flexible. And so, it turned me off on ministry and I was thinking about everything else. But gradually, as I got into college [Knoxville College, Knoxville, Tennessee], a number of things happened that made me reconsider it.$We had one young man here [Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia] who was in serious trouble but it was his first offense, and Daddy King [Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr.] and I both went to the courthouse. And he'd do this all the time and he was a lawyer. And he said, when they were getting ready to sentence the young man, "Judge I wanna have a word to say." I said, "God, what you gonna do?" Said, "I just want you to know," and he start walking up toward the--to the bench. Now you know everybody's scared of him, and respected him. "Yes, Dr. King." He said, "I just want you to know that I know that you and I are old men." "Yes, sir." And he said, "I've done some wrong in my life and you have too, haven't you?" He said, "Yes, sir." Said, "Now, if everybody punished us for what we did, we'd be in bad shape, wouldn't we?" "Yes, sir." Said, now, "Judge, I wanna throw this young man on the mercy of the court. And this is his first offense. And I don't want you to sentence him as harshly as you might, remembering this is his first offense. But even more importantly, remembering that you and I have done a lot of wrong things in our life that we didn't get caught for, for. Am I right, Judge?" He said, "Yes, sir." The boy got off, boy got off. And that was Daddy King's genius, he was able to do that. So people missed that, you know. He taught me also, he said, "Joe [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Joseph L. Roberts], never mess with anybody at the bottom. If you go in to talk to somebody at, at a corporation, see the CEO, don't see the assistant to the CEO 'cause they can't do nothing, no way. Go and talk to them and, and, you know, get it done." He enjoyed being Martin Luther King's [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] father 'cause he got extra fame coming to him. And we'd be driving down the street, he loved chicken. He'd say, "I want some chicken," (unclear) I'd be back in the office. "Ain't nobody here to take me to Church's [Church's Chicken]. Will you take--?" "Sure, Dad. You know, what the hell," but don't put that in there. But, anyway, I said--and it was delightful going with him. We'd be going down the street and it was no U-turn, he said, "Turn around right here." I said, "Dad, I can't do that, you know, we're in the, we're in the middle of the block." He'd say, "What'd I tell you, turn around. I'm Martin Luther King, Sr., they ain't gonna bother me."

Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins

Civil rights activist and pastor Rev. Joseph Metz Rollins, Jr. was born on September 8, 1926 in Newport News, Virginia to Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins, Sr. and Alice C. Rollins, as the first of two children. Rollins’ father was the pastor of the Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church for forty-four years, beginning just one year before Rollins’ birth. In 1970, his church had become one of the largest in the Southern Virginia Presbytery when Rollins retired.

In 1954, at the age of twenty-seven, the presbytery sent Rollins from Newport News to become the first pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, Florida. There, Rollins was active in the Tallahassee Bus Boycott, which was coordinated by the Inter-Civic Council. Rollins served as treasurer for the group, working with civil rights activist Reverend C.K. Steele. During the boycott, many in the group’s leadership were threatened with violence. Rollins, in particular, received death threats. Despite this, he became known for his outspoken nature and unwillingness to compromise on important issues. Rollins’ activism had consequences on his career. The Florida Presbytery fired him and abandoned Trinity Presbyterian Church, which forced Rollins to take a job as a hospital orderly. His congregation, in the meantime, purchased new land and joined the “Northern Presbyterian Church,” becoming Trinity United Presbyterian. Steadfast in service to civil rights, in 1961, Rollins was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for his participation in the Freedom Rides. He was struck in the head by a rock in 1963 protesting in Nashville, Tennessee. Rollins served as Vice President of the Nashville Christian Leadership Council, a branch of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference and acted as the field director for United Presbyterian’s Board of Education.

In 1964, Rollins moved to New York to work as a staff member for the United Presbyterian Church; also, he continued his work in the Civil Rights Movement. Rollins became the first Executive Director of the National Committee of Black Churchmen in 1967, an organization dedicated to advocating for racial awareness within churches. The following year, Rollins lost a race for the White Plains, New York school board. As leader of the National Committee of Black Churchmen, Rollins was involved in numerous controversies in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including the debate over James Forman’s “Black Manifesto,” which demanded reparations from white churches, and the National Committee of Black Churchmen coordinated “Black Referendum” on the Vietnam War. By 1972, the National Committee of Black Churchmen had 800 members, and Rollins had relocated to become Pastor at St. Augustine Presbyterian Church in the Bronx, New York. Rollins remained the pastor until 2005, when, at the age of seventy-eight, he became Pastor Emeritus.

Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 14, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.264

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/14/2007

Last Name

Rollins

Maker Category
Middle Name

Metz

Schools

Marshall Elementary School

Hampton University

Johnson C. Smith University

Collis P. Huntington High School

First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Newport News

HM ID

ROL02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Canada

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/8/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Hamburgers

Short Description

Civil rights activist and pastor Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins (1926 - ) served as pastor of St. Augustine Presbyterian Church in the Bronx, New York from 1972 to 2005. He was active in the Civil Rights Movement including the Freedom Rides of 1961.

Employment

Johnson C. Smith University

Trinity Presbyterian Church

Nashville Christian Leadership Council

United Presbyterian’s Board of Education

National Committee of Black Churchmen

St. Augustine Presbyterian Church

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes his mother's occupation and education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers segregation in Gastonia, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers segregation in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers John Marshall Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls the entertainment of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his early interest in literature

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes his experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers Marcelino Manuel da Graca

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers his ordination as a minister

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls teaching at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers moving to Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls the formation of the Inter Civic Council

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers the Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers working as a hospital orderly

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls the bus boycott in Tallahassee, Florida, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls the bus boycott in Tallahassee, Florida, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls moving to Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls joining the Nashville Christian Leadership Council

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers his daughter's appendectomy

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his activism in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers visiting Canada with his family

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers visiting Virginia with his family

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins talks about the National Committee of Black Churchmen

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his activism in Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his activism in Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers James Forman's Black Manifesto

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes the influence of black liberation theology, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes the influence of black liberation theology, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers his opposition to the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls Black Solidarity Day

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls pastoring St. Augustine Presbyterian Church in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls campaigning to join the school board in White Plains, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls advocating for prisoners at the Attica Correctional Facility

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins talks about Billy Graham

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins reflects upon his personal theology

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes the history of African Americans in the Presbyterian church

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls pledging Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers Cecil Ivory

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins reflects upon desegregation, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins reflects upon desegregation, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes how he would like to be remembered, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes how he would like to be remembered, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers Russell Anderson

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls the bus boycott in Tallahassee, Florida, pt. 1
Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers the Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, Florida
Transcript
Tell us some more about the Inter Civic Council and the development of the Tallahassee bus boycott. How did that work itself out or did it work itself out?$$Well it did because the Inter Civic Council was called, was created when we decided to support the students and C.K. Steele [Charles Kenzie Steele] was, was a pastor of Bethel Baptist Church [Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Florida] and, as I said, had been preaching since he was ten years old in the, in the mountains of West Virginia and in the coal mines. DuPont [King Solomon DuPont], and then we even had, most important of all, the chaplain at Florida A and M [Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida] was a man by the name of Dr. James Hudson. He was the only real faculty member who ended up supporting us and his, you know, his welfare was threatened. They didn't fire him but when the investigation started and then they arrested us, I'll never forget, I was supposed to be down at court at nine o'clock in the morning and when I got downtown I found that I only had fifty cents in my pocket 'cause I had rushed out to be on time so that they wouldn't create any more problems. And so, there was a lady there, a black woman, bless her heart, she's about eighty or ninety years old and so she over--she was there attending the court session and she had heard me say something and she reached in her pocket and gave me fifty cents. I told her, I said, I'm going to the bank, I don't need this, but she said, "That's all right, you stick to your guns and do what you's got to do, Reverend," and you know so that was the way it was and, of course, the, I won't say, he wasn't a judge but he was a low, low-life lawyer and so he spent time trying to create the illusion that we had all kind of money and we have been receiving some support from the National, NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and the like, but when he was passing this case, he would talk about the fact that this wasn't the poor Inter Civic Council, that we were getting money from everywhere and we were getting some money from some places but it wasn't that much but they end up, to make a long story short, they found us all guilty, C.K. Steele, myself, K.D.S. DuPont, everybody that was on the, the board of directors on the Inter Civic Council, was found guilty.$Now let me ask you, we skipped a little talking, discussing your church in Tallahassee [Florida]. Can you tell us the name of your church and a little bit about it, Trinity [Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Tallahassee, Florida] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well, when I started the church, I was living on 1710--no, I'm sorry, that's, that's another place, I'm sorry, but anyhow, I started, I, I had found a home to rent and we started holding services in my home. This was in 1953 and it got to the point where it was too crowded and an inconvenience 'cause this is where I was living. I used to have to clean up, set up chairs in the living room and the dining room and then, one of the interesting things was, we had one of the few televisions that we had brought, black and white, and so when service was over, we'd turn it on and some of them would stay around to watch television because some of them didn't have, hadn't seen, it was all black and white, but finally we ended up with, 'cause it was inconvenient and when we got some growth and everything, it got to the point where we, we, it was just inconvenient to have to try to clean up on Saturday night, set up folding chairs and we had people standing on the outside. And so, with some help from our white friends from downtown, they got us a rental agreement with a black school and we started worshiping in the auditorium in, and this was still part of, of the area in Tallahassee, near Florida A and M University [Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College; Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University]. And one of the things was after we moved there to the school, we had services and I had found an organist, or a pianist played for us and he taught on the faculty at Florida A and M University, FAMU by this time, by, except the legislature hadn't voted that way. And so we, we, we met at, the name of, see again, I can't remember the name of the school but I think it was Barnes School [ph.]. I'll say that, I think I'm correct, and we started holding services there and it was interesting because some of the white people from downtown came to worship with us and they were quite complimentary. Oh, you all worship just like we do, 'cause they had come expecting us to be jumping and shouting and all that kind of foolishness and I'm a Presbyterian, I'm a third generation Presbyterian minister. I probably was too careful to have, was too dignified 'cause it wasn't 'til I sort of learned from C.K. Steele [Charles Kenzie Steele] and there was a, an A.M.E. Zion [African Methodist Episcopal Zion] minister whose name was K.D.S. DuPont. Wouldn't you like to guess what the K.D.S. stood for? His father had named him King David Solomon DuPont [King Solomon DuPont] at Fountain Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church [sic. Fountain Chapel A.M.E. Church; Greater Fountain Chapel A.M.E. Church, Tallahassee, Florida]. DuPont was as tall as I was and a very well-known man in the, in the black community and he had a knack for finding out everything in terms of, 'cause we didn't have to worry what white folks were saying about us, the maids and things who went, would come to the meeting. White people thought they were deaf and then they would talk about 'em in front of them and then they'd come back and tell us what they were up to.

Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr.

Civil rights activist and pastor Rev. Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. was born on September 13, 1933, in Birmingham, Alabama to Maggie Rosa Lee Wallace Woods, a homemaker, and Abraham Lincoln Woods, Sr., a plant worker and Baptist minister. Woods entered Parker High School at age twelve, where he discovered and developed a skill for shoe repair, tailoring and a gift for public speaking. He graduated in 1950, with a partial scholarship to Miles College.

Throughout the years, Woods would attend the Universal Baptist Institute, the Universal Baptist Seminary and Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College. He holds a B.S. degree in social science, B.D., B.R.E., M.B.S. and D.D. degrees. Woods, his brother, Reverend. Abraham L. Woods, Jr. and Reverend. Fred L. Shuttleswoth co-founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) in 1956. The Woods brothers were introduced to Reverends Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph Abernathy in 1962, when they began working closely with the ACMHR.

In 1960, at the age of twenty-seven, Woods served as pastor for East End Baptist Church. He was arrested and convicted for advocating boycotts of Birmingham’s segregated city bus system. He was sentenced to prison for six months and fined, becoming the first member of the Woods family to be arrested for their participation in the Civil Rights Movement. Woods continued fighting segregation and was heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement, and in 1963, Woods was arrested and beaten by the police for his participation in public protests. The same year, Woods joined the March on Washington. In 1965, Woods protested Birmingham’s voter registration procedures under the leadership of Reverend Edward Gardner, and one year later Woods worked as the strategy chairman for the protest of the shootings of five black protesters at a Birmingham supermarket.

In 2006, at the age of seventy-two, Woods succeeded his brother Abraham as President of the Birmingham SCLC, and became president of the New Era Baptist State Convention a year later. Woods is currently the leader of Shiloh Baptist Church and leads a group called the Prayer Intercessors.

Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 7, 2007

Accession Number

A2007.248

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/7/2007

Last Name

Woods

Maker Category
Middle Name

Wallace

Occupation
Schools

A.H. Parker High School

Tuggle Elementary School

Miles College

East Thomas Elementary School

Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College

Union of Baptist Seminary

Universal Bible Institute

University of Alabama at Birmingham

First Name

Calvin

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

WOO08

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Atlanta, Georgia

Favorite Quote

Time Is Not On Our Side Unless We Grasp It. Tradition Is Not On Our Side Unless We Live And Create It. God Is Not On Our Side Unless We Listen And Obey.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/13/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Pastor Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. (1933 - ) co-founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and participated in the Freedom Rides of 1961, other events of the Civil Rights Movement. He was also the leader of Shiloh Baptist Church, and president of the Birmingham SCLC and the New Era Baptist State Convention.

Employment

Shiloh Baptist Church

Golden Sons Lodge Hall

East End Baptist Church

Roby's Chapel AOH

Believer's Temple Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:444,8:1406,65:6290,250:24204,575:58230,1072:75120,1204:84620,1323:96880,1424:106039,1680:143290,1956:153980,2083$0,0:2187,16:4155,35:70549,616:123735,1151:146828,1462:166756,1706:182566,1939:185592,1996:191820,2033
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his grandfather, Reverend Callie Denson Wallace

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. comments on the Wallace family name

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recalls his relationship with his mother and his childhood church

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recalls living with his grandmother, Rebenia Frazier

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his grandmother's ministry

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recalls how his parents met and were married

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his father's work and his father's calling to preach

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. clarifies his father's family history

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes where his parents lived after marrying

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recalls the sounds, sights and smells of East Thomas, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recalls life during the Great Depression

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers East Thomas and Tuggle Elementary Schools

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recounts being called to preach in the seventh grade

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes himself as a child and his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. talks about his extracurricular activities as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his elementary school and Parker High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his experiences at Parker High School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers his high school activities and teachers at Parker High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his memories of Parker High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recalls his years as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his first experience with racism

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his decision to attend Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama, and to marry

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his start in the ministry, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. continues describes his start in the ministry, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes being arrested trying to integrate Birmingham buses in 1959

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his introduction to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes teaching at the Urban Training Center for Christian Mission

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes the 1963 Birmingham riots

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers Colonel Stone Johnson, Joe Hendricks, and the Freedom Riders

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his children

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his children's and HistoryMkaer James Bevel's involvement in the 1963 Birmingham riots

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers the political and social environment in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers confrontations with the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. talks about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Project C and the 1963 March on Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes picketing the Liberty Supermarket, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes picketing the Liberty Supermarket, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes integration efforts in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes the Civil Rights Movement after Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes the revival of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes the revival of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes his college degrees

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes the churches that he pastored, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. describes the churches that he pastored, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. expresses his concern for the African American community

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. recounts being called to preach in the seventh grade
Reverend Calvin Wallace Woods, Sr. remembers confrontations with the Ku Klux Klan
Transcript
Tell me what happened.$$Well, I was sitting in the classroom, at what we call the library table. It was just a little table in the room, in the corner of the room. And we had different books. And she would send some children to sit at the library table. If you finish your lesson wanted to go--you could go to the library. And I was a rather smart boy and I could go to the library most--table most any time. And I was sitting there one day and I had this vision, something happened. I didn't know what was going on. I heard some singing and I was looking around and look like heavens opened up. And I saw this long, white pulpit it was like a desk stretched across the bosom of the sky. And Jesus was sitting at that pulpit and people were sitting around him and he was calling me to come up. And I was--was kind of where--where I was but I--I couldn't--couldn't get up, you know, to go. And he stretched out a Bible to me and told me to preach. And so--but before this happened I missed some of it. I heard somebody--I heard the singing and heard somebody calling me. I didn't see anybody and went up to her desk and asked the teacher did she call me. She said, "No." She didn't think that. I set back down and it was still going on. And I started crying. I went up there to her and asked her did she call me. And she said, "Calvin, you must be losing your mind. You're going crazy or something like that." So when I set back down and cried and it really opened up and I saw all of this happen. So it was--I was a little boy. And when school was out, I ran down the hill, my daddy [Abraham Lincoln Woods, Sr.] hadn't gotten home from work. And when he came, I told him what had happened and he said, "Boy, you've been called to preach." So that's what I remember about school. But I didn't preach then, I was a little boy.$$What grade were you in when this happened?$$I think I was in the seventh grade. In the seventh grade when that happened. And I got skipped a lot. I was in high school when I was twelve.$$So you were an excellent student?$$Yes.$This was also a time that you were arrested again and had a confrontation with the Klan [Ku Klux Klan] at that time. Tell me the--$$Well, I was arrested for integrating a downtown lunch counter. And several whites crowded around us and one of the men spit on me. And I told him thank you sir. And a white man standing there couldn't take it. He singlehandedly drove that entire group out of that--that eating establishment. He did that. Now talking about the Klan we had faced the Klan more than one time. And on one occasion we faced the Klan, black woman dropped dead. We were in Hewitt town helping that place. Young man had been killed over there (unclear) and we--we--we were over there helping them. And the Klan were in their regalia and some didn't even have the hoods on. And Ms. Davis dropped dead. On another occasion during the struggle, we went to Decatur, Alabama to assist the people there. And the Klan took over the town, the police and everything and we had to run like rabbits. It was pandemonium in the city of Decatur [Alabama]. And another time when we faced the Klan it was very horrifying. We went to Forsyth, Georgia to help those people. It was terrible. This lady that comes on TV and got all that money, Oprah [Oprah Winfrey]. They brought her in to try to mediate the situation down there. The Klan were all over the place. They outnumbered the police men and all. We had this big march. It's nothing but the grace of God that brought us through. It was out--(unclear) (simultaneous)$$Is this the march that Hosea [Williams] had put together to Forsyth [County?], Georgia?$$Probably so. I don't just recall who put it together, he probably did but we were there. We faced the Klan and we've had instances where we've seen them here. They'd always be dressed up--wouldn't always be dressed up. But we--we--we have faced those things and I've suffice it to say, we've had some white people who stood up with us in the struggle against that dastardly behavior as well as blacks.

Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr.

Religious leader Jerry Alexander Moore, Jr. was born on June 12, 1918, in Minden, Louisiana, to Mae Dee Moore and Jerry Alexander Moore, Sr. Moore graduated from high school at Webster Parrish Training School in 1936 before receiving his B.A. degree from Morehouse College in 1940. Moore then received his B.D. degree from Howard University in 1943, the same year the NAACP sponsored student sit-ins on Howard University’s campus.

In 1946, Moore became the pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. In 1957, Moore earned his M.A. degree from Howard University, and one year later became the University’s Baptist chaplain. In 1969, Moore temporarily left the ministry to become a city council member in Washington, D.C., where he served until 1984. During Moore’s term, he served as “Member-At-Large” for the council seat alongside District of Columbia Commissioner Walter E. Washington, Vice Chairman Sterling Tucker and Chairman Gilbert Hahn, Jr.

Moore co-founded the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) in 1971. This organization was created to provide a forum for senior level minority professionals in the transportation industry. After Moore left the Washington, D.C. City Council in 1984, he became the chaplain for the D.C. Detention Facility, an inmate detention center that offers programs in HIV/AIDS prevention, education and intervention services, individual and group counseling services, religious services, among other life skills development and religious skills.

In 1985, Moore became the executive secretary for the Home Mission Board at the National Baptist Convention (NBC) until 1997. During his time at NBC, he was nominated to be the United States Ambassador to Lesotho, a position previously held by Robert M. Smalley. In 1994, Moore ended his fifty year tenure as pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church.

Moore received numerous civic awards throughout his career including the Minority Transportation Officials’ Award, the Washington Area Contractors Award, the Capital City Rep Club Lincoln Award, and the NAACP service award.

Moore passed away on December 19, 2017 at age 99.

Accession Number

A2007.171

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/27/2007

Last Name

Moore

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Webster Parrish Training School

Howard University School of Divinity

Morehouse College

Dillard University

La Salle University

First Name

Jerry

Birth City, State, Country

Minden

HM ID

MOO12

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

A City

Favorite Quote

Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart And Lean Not On Your Own Understanding; In All Your Ways Submit To Him, And He Will Make Your Paths Straight.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/12/1918

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Cabbage

Death Date

12/19/2017

Short Description

Association chief executive, city council member, and pastor Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. (1918 - 2017 ) was the former pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and a former city council member for the City of Washington, D.C.

Employment

Nineteenth Street Baptist Church

Howard University School of Divinity

D.C. City Council

Council of the District of Columbia

Washington Baptist Seminary

Baptist World Alliance

Timing Pairs
0,0:249,14:2905,61:8440,95:11672,130:12680,142:28080,286:28850,297:30530,330:31370,342:58168,564:59104,576:73987,753:75301,784:90094,923:100500,1058:125135,1429:138618,1572:139098,1578:140930,1633$0,0:2162,70:12180,202:13710,269:33120,535:50389,755:57584,888:62372,957:64424,1132:85676,1357:87880,1369:90770,1385
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his father's position as a school supervisor

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his father's influence in the community

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls segregation in Minden, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the discrimination in Minden, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the influences on his education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his church activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers a tornado in Minden, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls learning about black history

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his professors at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers Charles Dubois Hubert

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his decision not to attend the Julliard School of Music

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers Benjamin Mays' guidance

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his musical activities at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers the Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. talks about color bias at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his mentors at the Howard University School of Divinity

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his employment while at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls becoming a student minister

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers attending chapel as a college student

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his activities at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls working for the United Service Organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his decision to return to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers Walter Henderson Brooks

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the programs at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes the gentrification of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the congregation of Nineteenth Street Baptist Church

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes the black community in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls segregation in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls serving as Howard University's Baptist chaplain

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the March on Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his early voting initiatives

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers teaching at Washington Baptist Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls Walter E. Washington's appointment as mayor-commissioner of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the start of integration in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his decision to join the Republican Party

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls serving on the Washington, D.C. city council

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes the role of non-voting representatives in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls founding the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls founding the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes the District of Columbia Home Rule Act

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. talks about the representatives of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his appointment to the Washington, D.C. city council

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls moving the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his work with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his position at the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his nomination as an ambassador to Lesotho, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his nomination as an ambassador to Lesotho, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers retiring from the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church.

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his philosophy of life

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his Ph.D. degree from La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his life after retirement

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. talks about the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. talks about the Baptist World Alliance

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. reflects upon his career

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Reverend Jerry A. More, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Reverend Jerry A. More, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Reverend Jerry A. More, Jr. shares a message to future generations

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Reverend Jerry A. More, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$3

DAStory

10$5

DATitle
Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls serving on the Washington, D.C. city council
Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers Benjamin Mays' guidance
Transcript
Explain to me what, you were a member-at-large, explain what that entailed.$$Under the charter that [U.S.] Congress issued to the District of Columbia [Washington, D.C.], I might say, the charter giving the District limited home rule, two seats were reserved for minority parties. The Republican Party is a minority party in the District of Columbia. So, I ran to be a councilman-at-large. That's what it means. All over the city instead of a ward. By that time, I conceived politically. I had established enough identity and performed enough service in the District of Columbia, be known by a good percentage of the people everywhere. And, so, I ran on that platform that I wanted to be a council member-at-large. And, I won.$$Did you get much backlash from, since this is a Democratic city basically, from black who were Democrats?$$I got wonderful cooperation. Many of them changed their party to vote for me. That is in the primary. And, then they switched back so they could vote in their party in the final.$$What was some of the committees that you worked on as a council member?$$I was assigned to the committee on public works [Committee on Public Works and Transportation]. That's--and, I reminded there for the entire period of my council-matic activity. Public works included all the streets, all the alleys in the District of Columbia. It included the air, the water, the garbage, sewerage, everything that affects the environment I had that under by charge. Now, I was appointed. Centered also included transportation, I was appointed to the Metro board [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority].$So, when you came (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) No--you see, I was living in the president's house, Dr. Hubert [Charles Dubois Hubert] was acting president. He lived in the acting president's house which was on campus [of Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia]. The president [Samuel Howard Archer] had died [sic. resigned], and that house was vacant. And, they put me in there as a scholarship to watch the house and I lived there. The board of trustees called a new president, Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays [Benjamin Mays]. And, he came to look at the house and I happened to be in the house when he came in there. And, he asked me, "What was I going to do?" When he ascertained that I was a college graduate. And, I told him that, I was not sure. That I thought the Lord had called me to preach and I wanted to go to a seminary. I didn't know one to go to and I was just sitting there trying to figure it out. And, he said, "What if I offer you a scholarship to come to school of religion at Howard University [Howard University School of Divinity, Washington, D.C.]?" I didn't even know there was a school of religion. That was the only and the best offer I had. So, I took him up on it. These rest is history.$$How long after you graduated did you, did it take you to get to Howard? Was that right away when you, after you met--?$$That was that fall.$$That fall, okay.

Reverend Eugene Rivers

Youth activist Reverend Eugene Franklin Rivers, III was born on April 9, 1950, in Boston, Massachusetts. Rivers spent his early years in Chicago where his parents, Mildred Bell Rivers and Eugene F. Rivers, Jr. were members of the Nation of Islam. Rivers’s father, as Eugene 3X, designed the masthead for Muhammad Speaks. Rivers attended Edmund Elementary School and McCosh Elementary School in Chicago. After his parents divorced, Rivers attended Joseph Parnell Elementary and Wagner Junior High School. Mentored by Reverend Benjamin Smith of Philadelphia’s Deliverance Evangelistic Temple, Rivers graduated from Dobbins Vocational High School in 1968. Rivers then studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, while he became active in street level organizing and black church politics. In 1970, Rivers was a part of the Black Economic Development Conference working with Muhammad Kenyatta; he later joined Lucius Walker and James Forman in the Reparations Movement. Rivers attended Yale as an unregistered activist from 1973 to 1976. Officially admitted to Harvard University in 1976, Rivers was mentored by Dr. Martin Kilsonl. Rivers met his wife, Jacqueline, at Harvard University.

Recognized as one of the most effective crusaders against gang violence, Rivers founded Azusa Christian Community in 1984 in the Four Corners section of Boston’s inner city Dorchester neighborhood. As President of the National Ten Point Leadership Foundation, he worked to build new grassroots leadership in forty of the worst inner city neighborhoods in inner city America. Rivers served as president of the Ella J. Baker House, the separate 501 (c)(3) non-profit originally created by the Azusa Christian Community.

Rivers has appeared on CNN's Hardball, NBC's Meet the Press, PBS's Charlie Rose, BET's Lead Story, and National Public Radio, among other programs. Rivers was featured or provided commentary for publications such as Newsweek, The New Yorker, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Herald, and the Boston Globe, as well as periodicals such as the Boston Review, Sojourners, Christianity Today, and Books and Culture. Rivers authored or co-authored numerous essays, including On the Responsibility of Intellectuals in an Age of Crack, Beyond the Nationalism of Fools: A Manifesto for a New Black Movement, Black Churches and the Challenge of U.S. Foreign and Development Policy (2001), An Open Letter to the U.S. Black Religious, Intellectual, and Political Leadership Regarding AIDS and the Sexual Holocaust in Africa (1999), and A Pastoral Letter to President George W. Bush on Bridging our Racial Divide (2001). In addition to television and print appearances, Rivers lectured at universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Calvin College.

Accession Number

A2007.063

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/12/2007

2/13/2007

Last Name

Rivers

Maker Category
Schools

Murrell Dobbins Vocational School

Edmund Elementary School

Emmett Louis Till Math & Science Academy

Joseph Parnell Elementary

Wagner Junior High School

Harvard University

First Name

Eugene

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

RIV01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bookstores

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/9/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Mangoes, Corn Chowder

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive and pastor Reverend Eugene Rivers (1950 - ) was the founder of Azusa Christian Community, and the president of the National Ten Point Leadership Foundation.

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:1530,61:12000,213:15668,227:17560,241:18253,251:20320,265:33423,328:33938,334:34762,345:35174,350:36710,356:37406,363:38682,378:55757,595:56758,646:67545,753:68504,777:75865,822:77636,849:78406,864:78868,872:89050,1018:92106,1032:99482,1135:99896,1143:114510,1403:115035,1411:120688,1473:122464,1508:122834,1514:123944,1533:141610,1705:142492,1719:142807,1725:157690,1856:158306,1866:163050,1933:163950,1948:166365,1981:166640,1987:166915,1993:167355,2002:167960,2020:170900,2053:171940,2070:172340,2076:172820,2085:173140,2090:173460,2095:174340,2108:174740,2114:177119,2148:179831,2180:180490,2187$0,0:1840,67:2240,73:3280,87:4480,119:19700,314:20130,320:24261,362:24918,374:25356,381:27892,410:28552,422:31850,455:32890,466:40158,558:41343,580:42291,594:42765,601:43239,608:62660,850:67570,955:87326,1347:91510,1379:91895,1385:98620,1526:102010,1591:106342,1671:106923,1704:114116,1766:114804,1775:115320,1782:118580,1787:119204,1800:121076,1836:122714,1878:128306,1958:132053,1994:133578,2029:134066,2038:134432,2046:136786,2060:137297,2069:137808,2078:138319,2087:138611,2092:139049,2099:147670,2127:151926,2157:152706,2170:153330,2181:156138,2238:164275,2351:165225,2362:169580,2467
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Eugene Rivers' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Eugene Rivers lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about his paternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers his paternal grandfather, Eugene Rivers, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his father's artistic talent

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the schism in the Nation of Islam

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his family's decision to move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Eugene describes his father's position at Muhammad Speaks

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about his father's role in the Nation of Islam

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his mother's personality and his likeness to her

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the sights and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about his relationship with his parents

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his early interests, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his early interests, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers the Summersville gang in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers the Summersville gang in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his initiation into the Summersville gang

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the impact of his gang activities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about his early interest in art

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his early influences

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls the Nation of Islam in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his religious background

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about regional differences in the black church

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his experience at Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about the Black Arts Movement in Philadelphia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the relationship between black nationalism and the church

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his perspective on black nationalism

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his early community activism

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers Muhammad Kenyatta

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his activism with Muhammad Kenyatta

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls the Black Theology Project

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Eugene Rivers reflects upon the Black Power Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers George L. Jackson

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his decision to study at Yale University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his experience at Yale University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Eugene Rivers reflects upon the Angola Civil War

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers the Committee for a Unified Newark

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls the rebellion at Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his autodidactic education at Yale University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his issues with the Black Power Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes how he supported himself during his studies

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his intellectual influences at Yale University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his peers and mentors at Yale University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the intellectuals in the Black Nationalist movement, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the intellectuals in the Black Nationalist movement, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers matriculating at Harvard University

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$6

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his religious background
Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the intellectuals in the Black Nationalist movement, pt. 2
Transcript
So, we were talking about the Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]--$$Well, yeah, Philadelphia (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) Nation of Islam.$$--had a different kind of sensibility. There is a uniform gang culture. There is a, a stylistic and aesthetic sensibility. There is a hoodlum, gangster, tough guy persona. And the, the black church, in this case, helped pull me out of that reality. It was amazing. It was absolutely amazing. And so--$$Well, had you been used to attending church in, in Chicago [Illinois] before you moved to--$$Yeah, oh yeah. No, no, my folk were church-attending people. My, my mother [Mildred Bell Rivers] was a Christian, and my father [Eugene Rivers, Jr.] messing up made her more of a Christian. And my aunt and my mother were good church people, so I understood that reality. And I understood negotiating the reality of the street, because as the oldest brother with two younger sisters, I was morally obligated to protect my two younger sisters. So you were gonna step up and step out, and that reality shaped my understanding. And when Benjamin Smith [Benjamin Smith, Sr.] pulled me off the street, that made the world of difference.$$How did that happen? How did you encounter him?$$Well, I visited the church [Deliverance Evangelistic Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], and what was significant, unlike the previous church I'd attended, is that it was a working class black church. And you go into one of these Pentecostal churches and there are hundreds of young people and lots of young men, all of whom look like regular brothers, but they were Christians. That made a world of difference because it gave me a, a sense of fraternity and a fraternity, because their value system was one that I could identify with. And that made all the difference in the world. That was very important, you see. And this is a reality that was very significant but was beneath the radar skean- screens of the intelligentsia. In other words, these black churches were functionally black nationalist institutions. They were run by black people. They were supported by black people. They were owned by black people, and they were for black people.$And here again, my point goes back to Cruse [Harold Cruse] and the other intellectuals that were--I mean Cruse in some sense was saying the same thing that [HistoryMaker] Martin Kilson was saying, but from a nationalist perspective. You've got to have a political strategy. There's got to be a long-term view, a macro view, a comparative view, if you're gonna play on the global stage, if you're going to be someone who gets it. I mean you can be some hopelessly utopian loser, who at the end of the day, right, was a very sincere person, waiting for the revolution. It's the embarrassing, almost tragic figure who's wearing the corduroy short--corduroy shirt, the, the, the, the dungarees, and the work boots selling the Spartacus Youth League paper, waiting for a revolution. Now that's, that's sad. I mean it is--and it's interesting for me because I run into Conrad Worrill [HistoryMaker Conrad Walter Worrill] in an airport, right, head of the Black United Front [National Black United Front]. And he knows who I am 'cause he's seen me during the Bush days [President George Walker Bush], right, all over the media. And I said listen, man, I started out with Buff [ph.], when it was Herbert Daughtry [HistoryMaker Reverend Herbert D. Daughtry] in Brooklyn, New York, in 1979, and Jitu [Jitu Weusi], and Adeyemi [Adeyemi Bandele], and Michael Amon-Ra, right, and all these guys, and it was Conrad Worrill, right, then it was the Black Political Independent Party [National Black Independent Political Party] with, with the boy named, you know, [HistoryMaker] Manning Marable and that crowd and Ben Chavis [HistoryMaker Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.]. Where is the program? Where is this theory? Where is the politics? They petered out. And here again, my point is simply that they weren't thinking in real hardball political terms. They were thinking in ideological terms, and they confused ideology with politics. If politics is the art of the possible, right, and, and, and, and money is as Tip O'Neill said, "The mother's milk of politics," so that you have the power to make things happen. That's what it was about. You know, and, and so that was the thinking. These were all the questions that were germinating in my mind when I'm in New Haven [Connecticut] and when I leave and I come to Boston [Massachusetts] in '76 [1976] and eventually enroll at Harvard [Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] and become a registered Harvard student.

Reverend Joseph Darby

Reverend Joseph Anthom Darby, Jr., was born on August 7, 1951, in Columbia, South Carolina, to Eloise and Joseph A. Darby, Sr. Darby was raised in the Wheeler Hill community of Columbia, South Carolina. An excellent student, Darby attended Booker T. Washington High School where he was in the honor society and was elected class president; he graduated in 1969 and enrolled in South Carolina State University. Darby transferred to the University of South Carolina and received his B.A. degree in sociology in 1973.

Darby held positions as an adult eligibility worker for the Department of Public Welfare and an employment counselor for a youth opportunity program. Darby was a juvenile probation counselor for thirteen years for the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.

Darby was called to the ministry and prepared himself by attending the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary; he was a fourth generation minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1998, Darby became the Senior Pastor of Morris Brown A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which had the largest congregation in the Seventh Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church. He later became the Presiding Elder of the Beaufort (SC) District of the A.M.E. Church.

Darby formerly served as President of both the Greater Columbia Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and the Greater Columbia Interfaith Clergy Association. Darby also served as a board member of the Family Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit’s Drug Court Program; a member of the State Superintendent of Education's African-American Achievement Committee; a member of the Racial Cultural Advisory Council of the South Carolina School Boards Association; and a member of the Daniel J. Jenkins Institute for Children. Darby was also a board member for the Reid House of Christian Service and was the former first Vice-President of the South Carolina Conference of Branches of the NAACP.

Darby’s numerous honors and awards include a Top Achiever Award in the 1993 South Carolina Black Male Showcase, and South Carolina Business Vision magazine’s 1997 South Carolina’s 25 Most Influential African Americans Award.

Darby was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 3, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.043

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

2/3/2007

Last Name

Darby

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

South Carolina State University

University of South Carolina

Florence C. Benson Elementary School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Columbia

HM ID

DAR03

Favorite Season

Winter

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Near Water

Favorite Quote

We'll Work It Out.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

South Carolina

Interview Description
Birth Date

8/7/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Charleston

Country

USA

Short Description

Pastor Reverend Joseph Darby (1951 - ) was the Senior Pastor of Morris Brown A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina; a juvenile probation counselor for thirteen years for the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice; and was involved with numerous educational, social, and religious organizations in South Carolina.

Employment

Employment Security Commission

Richland County Family Court

Piney Grove A.M.E. Church

Pleasant Spring A.M.E. Church

Pine Grove A.M.E. Church

St. Phillip A.M.E. Church

Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church

South Carolina Department of Public Welfare

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:780,17:1404,27:4290,76:5616,104:11730,167:12240,176:13430,225:17170,293:17595,299:19125,329:25925,465:26265,470:27540,490:27965,496:38350,591:40190,623:42670,694:43950,715:44510,731:47550,792:48030,800:48510,836:48990,844:54430,883:55870,907:57150,940:57630,949:58190,958:62430,1024:63150,1037:63870,1047:66110,1087:71630,1191:80030,1266:80750,1275:87033,1354:91191,1454:91499,1459:104512,1789:105051,1802:105744,1816:106283,1824:106668,1830:106976,1835:117525,1966:141014,2389:153441,2520:154105,2529:155433,2552:158919,2603:159666,2614:160330,2623:163235,2682:163650,2688:164314,2697:164812,2704:165144,2709:167800,2747:173705,2776:174029,2781:174758,2792:175082,2797:175568,2805:176459,2823:178241,2862:180995,2908:181481,2915:184478,2972:185126,2983:185531,2989:185936,2995:186584,3004:187232,3022:199004,3176:202020,3213:209572,3284:216772,3429:219748,3493:231952,3672:235980,3748:241979,3808:244242,3861:244534,3873:244972,3881:252734,4041:253074,4047:253414,4053:255794,4117:265710,4263$0,0:495,3:1089,10:6138,96:6831,105:7425,112:8217,119:10692,146:11583,156:21122,280:23228,394:26225,457:26711,465:27440,477:31652,629:33758,661:39509,833:52748,1025:59222,1155:59924,1165:62186,1209:64058,1241:71450,1303:71930,1341:72330,1347:73610,1366:74330,1376:75130,1387:79530,1471:80730,1490:81130,1497:85530,1574:90010,1633:90970,1649:100920,1723:102152,1752:102614,1759:103615,1775:104077,1783:106541,1821:107465,1835:110083,1880:111700,1923:112162,1930:116628,2027:118245,2051:124620,2125:133540,2208
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Joseph Darby's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Darby lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Darby remembers his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls his neighborhood in Columbia, South Carolina, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls his neighborhood in Columbia, South Carolina, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls his summer activities in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Joseph Darby remembers Florence C. Benson Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes his early education in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Darby talks about integration

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls Booker T. Washington High School in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Darby reflects upon desegregation

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes his activities at Booker T. Washington High School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls the March on Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes figures from the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Darby remembers his high school trip to Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls divisions in the African American community of Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Darby remembers his high school trip to Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes the music of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes his experiences in the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Darby remembers his religious conversion

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Darby talks about the African Methodist Episcopal tradition

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes the importance of African American churches

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls his decision to attend South Carolina State Collegein Orangeburg

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Darby remembers South Carolina State College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Darby remembers the University of South Carolina in Columbia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls his experiences of discrimination in South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls meeting his wife, Mary Bright Darby

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls his career in social work

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Darby remembers the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes his experiences as a social worker

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls pastoring Piney Grove A.M.E. Church in Gaston, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes his ministry at Pine Grove A.M.E. Church

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls becoming an African Methodist Episcopal minister

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Darby remembers St. Phillip A.M.E. Church in Eastover, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Joseph Darby remembers his trial sermon

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls his outreach programs at St. Phillip A.M.E. Church

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Darby talks about Christian denominations

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Darby recalls his assignment to Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes the history of Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes the governance of the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes community outreach at Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes the perception of AIDS in the church

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes the church's response to AIDS

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Darby talks about the prosperity gospel, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Darby talks about advocacy in the church

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Reverend Joseph Darby talks about the prosperity gospel, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Darby talks about the finances of Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Darby talks about tithing

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Darby talks about the role of women in the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Darby talks about class discrimination in Charleston, South Caroline

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes his political activism

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Darby talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Darby talks about President Barack Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reverend Joseph Darby reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Reverend Joseph Darby describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Darby narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Reverend Joseph Darby describes his experiences in the African Methodist Episcopal church
Reverend Joseph Darby describes community outreach at Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church
Transcript
Well, let's talk about the church. Were you--well you told me that in your community everybody went to church. What was your religious experience like?$$Well, I was born up, born in the A.M.E. [African Methodist Episcopal] church, went into ministry in the A.M.E. church. If I had made any other choice, there would have been three, four generations, of Janerettes and Darbys just spinning in their graves probably and coming back to haunt me. I don't remember life without the church, quite frankly. I grew up in St. James A.M.E. Church in Columbia [South Carolina]. I grew up on the Sunbeam Choir and then onto the junior choir and then onto a couple of adult choirs before I went into ministry. I grew up going to church school and Vacation Bible School. I grew up going to church with my mother [Eloise Janerette Darby]. I grew up listening to the bad, the good and the sometimes bad of church because churches are filled with people. That was always a part of my life. It got to be what, I believe, religion best is, not something that you compartmentalize but something that kind of runs like a thread through all of life, and regulates all of life. I think that as I grew that got to be more and more the case until I actually entered the call to ministry against my better judgment, you know, so.$$What do you mean?$$I didn't want to preach. I mean, this is not where I saw myself. My wife [Mary Bright Darby] still teases me if we ever have any dispute or if I'm congratulating her on our thirty plus years of marriage, she'll always say, "You know, you told me you were going to be a lawyer." I say, "Yeah, I know that's what I planned to do." I did not want to be a minister. I had two [maternal] uncles [Ivy W. Janerette and Verseal Janerette], I had seen the best and the worst of that because being that close to two preachers, you got to see the official and public face of the church and then you got to appreciate the undercurrent, that drive, that's driven by human nature, not only in individual congregations but on larger governmental entities in the church as well and up to the denominational level. I grew up, really, having my teen years in what was something of a tumultuous time for the A.M.E. church in South Carolina. I saw my uncles ride that out, I didn't want any part of that, you know, and I came out--$$Well, tell me what, what was it that they were riding out?$$We had, what's a nice way to put it? 'Cause all of the parties are not gone to glory yet. There were concerns about the way that the district was operating, the Episcopal district was operating, concerns about the bishop who was the then bishop of the district. Those concerns caused some very hard and fast lines to be drawn, political lines, and you had some people who were able to work across those political lines in the church and some people who drew up those sides and went after things with a my side I must win at all cost kind of mentality, even if it means doing material damage to you and your side, my side must win at all cost. And I saw how that affected people and I really wanted no parts of it. I had really planned to be a lawyer. I rejected the idea of ministry. What really had me into ministry, my mom passed when I was about twenty-one years old, had been married for about a year and that kind of, even though I was in the church, that pulled me a little further into the church, looking for meeting. As a part of that pull into the church, I started to actually attend, be active in, church activities beyond the local church, A.M.E. church is marvelously structured so we have a presiding elder district structure and a conference structure and an Episcopal district structure, started to attend things and get involved in activities at that level and the more I went to those things and the more I looked at some of the clergy, quite frankly, I just kept saying to myself, "Geez, I can do better than some of these guys are doing." And the more I said that, the more there was just that still small voice they talk about on the inside saying, "Well if that's the case, then why don't you?" And that's how I ended up here, that's how I ended up here. So, this was not my career choice but I love it to death.$We talked earlier, and you were saying there were three components and the church is really the only one that's left. What outreach programs are available here for the community (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh my goodness. Let's see what all we do. One of the things we do, because we are a large church [Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, South Carolina], with facilities, is host some things in the area--in the community, free of charge. We host monthly NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] meetings, we host a substance abuse group, an AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] group. We host a group called, Second Chance [Second Chance Recovery, Inc., Charleston, South Carolina], for folk who have run afoul of the law with drugs and are trying to recover. We host a parenting group for fathers who are behind in their child support and trying to get that right. We host a group for homicide survivors. We host an Alzheimer's support group and the congregation has a link into all of those things. There are some things as well that are exclusive to the church. We do feeding at a couple of the community ministries, crisis ministry, and one of the other ones that escapes my name right now, on a monthly basis. We do mentoring at Burke High School [Charleston, South Carolina]. We've adopted two of the community elementary schools and, and provide them, hopefully, with volunteers, as well as, own, in-kind contributions. We have a computer literacy class that is free for grown folk who are terrified of the computer so that they can learn to maneuver in this age of technology. We have a tutorial mentoring program for the kids, free, that provides after school care as well as after school instruction, as well as those little lessons in civics and in government to help them to be responsible citizens. We do that during the summer in what's called, a summer enrichment program that ends with them taking a trip somewhere in South Carolina, on the site of historical intellectual significance. We are about to kick off that same program that I told you about with the young ladies, that rite of passage program. We do a bunch of stuff.

Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary

Theologian Rose Eileen Niles McCrary was born on October 26, 1961, in New York City, the daughter of Jean Niles of Brisbane, Australia, and David Niles of St. Vincent, British West Indies. As a child, McCrary grew up in the University Heights Presbyterian Church in the Bronx where she served as a member of Youth Connection. McCrary received her diploma in 1979 from the Bronx High School of Science, and that same year enrolled in Harvard Radcliffe University where she received her B.A. degree in comparative world religion in 1983. In 1990, in addition to receiving her Masters of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School, McCrary also received training in family and group process at Kantor Family Institute and the Family Center, Incorporated in Somerville, Massachusetts.

McCrary was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament in 1991, by the Presbytery of New York City, and served as Pastor of the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in the Lower Eastside of Manhattan until 1996. McCrary also served as a moderator of the Synod of the Northeast Presbyterian Church. Moving to Mount Vernon, New York, in 1996, McCrary became the Minister of the First Presbyterian Church; included in her ministry are a women’s homeless shelter, a music academy, and an immigration justice ministry. Returning to her studies, McCrary received her doctorate of ministry degree in 1998 from the New York Theological Seminary where she also became a member of the faculty. As a volunteer, McCrary served as a religion professor at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York.

In 2003, McCrary was elected a trustee to the Mount Vernon School District School Board and in 2004 served as the President of the Board. McCrary served for over twelve years as the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. McCrary continued to work with the community and speak out on behalf of the underprivileged in Mount Vernon, New York, where she resided with her daughter, Eupha Jeanne.

Accession Number

A2007.031

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/26/2007

Last Name

McCrary

Maker Category
Middle Name

Niles

Occupation
Schools

Bronx High School of Science

Harvard University

Harvard Divinity School

New York Theological Seminary

First Name

Rose

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MCC09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Jesus Christ, Who Is My Strength And My Life.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Kentucky

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/26/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Lexington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Sweets

Short Description

Pastor and theologian Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary (1961 - ) served as the Minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Mount Vernon, New York. In addition to her work as a minister, McCrary served as a trustee, and later, president, of the Mount Vernon School District School Board; an advocate for the underprivileged of Mount Vernon; and a volunteer teacher of religious studies at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.

Employment

The Kantor Institute

Emmanuel Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church

New York Theological Seminary

Favorite Color

Pink

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her father's education and employment

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her father's experience in Harlem

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Roles Niles McCrary describes the role of religion in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her experience in a mixed race family

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary talks about her parents' approach to her racial identity, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary talks about her parents' approach to her racial identity, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her family's cultural traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her godparents

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary remembers P.S. 26 in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her childhood aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes the diversity of the Bronx

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary recalls her religious influences

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Rose McCrary recalls the assassinations of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her early experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary talks about racial discrimination in the United States and Australia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary remembers The Bronx High School of Science

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her influences in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary remembers Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary recalls her decision to study religion

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes the Phillip Brooks House Association

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary recites her poem, 'Diaspora Dreaming'

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes various approaches to religion, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes various approaches to religion, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her religious perspective as an African American woman

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary recalls joining The Kantor Institute staff

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her work at The Kantor Institute

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her calling to the ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary talks about Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her ordination

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary recalls pastoring Emmanuel Presbyterian Church

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary talks about the black Presbyterian clergy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes the New York Theological Seminary

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary talks about her interfaith outreach

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary recalls joining the Mount Vernon school board

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her achievements at First Presbyterian Church

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her experiences as a black clergywoman

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her concerns for the black community and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

11$6

DATitle
Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary recalls her religious influences
Reverend Dr. Rose Niles McCrary describes her calling to the ministry
Transcript
You talked about the minister that had impressed you and that, did you have any personal relationship with God at this time, as a child?$$You know, I remember going through a kind of a crisis, you know, 'cause, you know, there were ups and downs of family life, ups and downs of school life. All kids go through encountering bullies from time to time and getting picked on and, you know, having to deal with things of that nature. I remember going through kind of a crisis and feeling like I couldn't discuss it with anybody. I couldn't discuss it with my father [David Niles, Sr.], my mother [Jean Davis Niles], anybody, but feeling like I still experienced a kind of, a presence, a relationship. That was, that's the closest that I think I came to understanding that--I used to ask a lot of questions in Sunday school as a child. And I had a teacher in Sunday school, the organist of the church [University Heights Presbyterian Church, Bronx, New York] had also grown up in the neighborhood, and she was a white woman, very brilliant woman. And she was the organist and choir director. And she and her husband at that time, he was an artist, a calligrapher, and he taught my Sunday school class. And I asked him, "If God was the first thing that ever was," you know, "who made God, or what made God?" And so he said to me that, "I can tell you what I believe, and I can tell you what the church believes, but you have to decide what you're going to believe." And I found, you know particularly because of growing up in this very rigid West Indian structured, my father thinking Plymouth Brethren and literal fundamental interpretation was the correct way to go on some level, I think that I found that really--I've never forgotten that. That's, you know, and that's still, in many respects, the, the, the guiding principle. Next week I start to--I, I teach for New York Theological Seminary [New York, New York], and I teach in the master's degree that they award in Sing Sing prison [Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Ossining, New York]. And when I go to the prison, one of the first things that I say to the class--when I go to any class, any of the classes that I teach, one of the first things that I say is, "I will transmit a body of knowledge. Part of it will be my own thinking. Part of it will be more generally rooted thinking, in terms of other authorities, external authorities. But in the end of the day, you have to construct meaning out of all of this. You have to decide what you're going to accept. You know, so, just be, be, be strong" (laughter), you know, because I just got through teaching a class in exegesis at the certificate level, which is a preliminary degree in the seminary. And teaching exegesis is a real challenge when people have not previously had an understanding that the Bible is not a monolithic document that got handed to us from a cloud, you know, but that it developed over a period of time. And it's a lot of different kinds of literature, and it comes from a historical context. And you know, there are two versions of the creation account; you know, there are two versions of the flood account that were mixed together. And you know, I had a young lady say, "You're trying to tell me that Noah didn't really put everything that existed into the--." Said--you know, this language of sacred myth, myth doesn't go down too well the first time. You know, it's a very bitter pill. So it's learning to be able to say to folks, you know, "Use your own hermeneutical suspicion, you know. You have your own reality," as June Jordan would say, "your own ware," you know, so. You come from that place, and you apply your own principles of exploration to the material. And I mean I get all of that from that one moment with that Sunday school teacher, you know (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) That's incredible, yeah.$$Yeah.$What pulled you back to the calling, to say, "Okay, I can't--I've gotta go back to divinity school."$$My supervisor at The Family Center [Somerville, Massachusetts] said to me one day--you know, 'cause I would, you know, be real excited, come barreling into her office and--as I said, we were co-creating the model [Family Union Network (ph.)]--and I'd be like, "We just gotta get these kids singing," (laughter) you know, and: "We just need some, some, some lectures about good ideas for the parents." And she was, she said--(unclear)--you, "You're, you're kind of trying to start a church; you know, I can see that." It was, it was like all the pieces you're trying to bring in here, you know. I said you know, oh, wow. And eventually, my husband just kind of said, "Look, you know, everything you do is ministry, so you might as well go to seminary." You know, so he came to the point of, of accepting and supporting, and we--you know, it just, it just felt the right thing to--'cause I had struggled, should I get a psychology degree? Should I get social--? I knew I had to get some degree, you know, in order to continue, you know, working. That (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Because you wanted at this point your own church, was the idea. To go, going back to divinity school would mean--$$Right, right. At that point, when I'd made the decision to go back to divinity school, it was pretty clear in my mind that I was, really what--I didn't feel call to social work or psychology, you know, that there were limits to all of these feels, whereas I think the key, the key moment came, I worked with a young woman who had a small child. She had a lot of mental problems, a lot of psychological issues. But she also had just a huge story of loss and pain. She, she just had had a terrible life story, and she was afflicted physically, you know, with a lot of ailments, skin diseases, just, just problems that would make people shun her. She had a very beautiful soul. And there was a model that was working in this housing project as well, which was a, a kind of a writing project that had been funded. And so they were working with the women around writing poetry and doing things. And she, this woman, was very involved with that program. And just some of the things that happened, some of the things that we went through in, in working together helped me to understand that the significant issue would not be solved except through spiritually, you know, that the, the, the depth of the healing that was needed and restoration in her life was a--you know, social services could give, get her all sorts of things, you know, could--it, you know, and--but then, none of that seemed to avail, you know. And I started feeling a strong sense that that was, that was my calling, to deal with things that I couldn't talk about with people from the standpoint of a social work contract (laughter), you know. You, you know, I mean it wasn't like I could say, "Okay, so let's now talk about, you know, kind of your faith journey." You know, so I figured that was, and I, I still think it's all necessary, that you can't--I think, I think [HistoryMaker] Marian Wright Edelman talked once that I heard her, about it's, it's kind of like a pyramid. And if you leave out any of the foundational stones, the whole structure is gonna crumble. So it's not enough just to do faith, you know, as they say, "You can be so heavenly you're of no earthly good." You know, so, you know, you've gotta try to cover all the bases in order to really transform some of the stuck places in people's lives.