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ReligionMakers have provided spiritual leadership at both local and national levels. Pastors, theologians, and chaplains are all examples of ReligionMakers.

Reverend Julie Johnson Staples

Journalist, corporate executive and minister Reverend Julie Johnson Staples was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1978, she received her B.S. degree in journalism from the William Allen White School of Journalism and Public Information at the University of Kansas.

Johnson Staples was first hired as a reporter for regional newspapers including the Orlando Sentinel and the Baltimore Sun, where she was a White House correspondent. In the late 1980s, Johnson Staples was appointed as a White House correspondent for The New York Times. A few years later she left The New York Times to work as the Supreme Court correspondent for TIME magazine, and then as the Justice Department correspondent for ABC News.

In 1994, Johnson Staples received her J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Also in the 1990s, she worked as a visiting professor in the School of Communication, Information and Library Studies at Rutgers University. In addition, she was a guest speaker and lecturer at such prestigious institutions as Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and the Ford Hall Forum in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1998, Johnson Staples was named senior managing director and director of the U.S. Media Services practice for Hill and Knowlton. In the early 2000s, she joined the private equity firm of Warburg Pincus as a vice president. She was then promoted to managing director in 2003, and was later named the first African American woman partner at Warburg Pincus.

After almost a decade at Warburg Pincus, Johnson Staples returned to school and received her M.Div. degree in Biblical Studies/Hebrew Bible from the Union Theological Seminary in 2011 and was ordained as a Congregational minister at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York. In 2012, she received her Th.M. degree in Religion, Literature and Culture at Harvard Divinity School and was named interim minister for education at The Riverside Church in New York City.

Johnson Staples serves as moderator of the New York-New Jersey Regional Association of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC), and is a member of the NACCC national ambassador team, executive committee and board of directors. She was a fellow of the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies and has served on the Georgetown University Law Center board of visitors; the University of Kansas Journalism School's board of trustees; the board of the Congregational Library of the Congregational Christian Historical Society in Boston, Massachusetts; and the Peace Action of New York State board of directors. Johnson Staples is also former chair of the board of directors of healthywomen.org and Changing Women's Health Naturally (P.B).

Johnson Staples is married, lives in Brooklyn, New York, and has one son.

Reverend Julie Johnson Staples was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 16, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.240

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/16/2014

Last Name

Staples

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Johnson

Schools

University of Kansas

Georgetown University Law Center

Union Theological Seminary

Harvard Divinity School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Julie

Birth City, State, Country

Des Moines

HM ID

STA12

State

Iowa

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/11/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Short Description

Journalist, corporate executive, and minister Reverend Julie Johnson Staples (1957 - ) is the minister for education at The Riverside Church in New York City. Prior to being ordained a minister in 2011, she was a managing director and partner at Warburg Pincus and senior managing director for Hill and Knowlton. From 1978 to 1998, she worked as a correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, The New York Times, TIME magazine and ABC News.

Employment

Orlando Sentinel

Baltimore Sun

The New York Times

TIME Magazine

ABC News

Rutgers University

Hill and Knowlton

Warburg Pincus

Riverside Church

Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr.

Religious leader Reverend Dr. Jim Holley was born on December 5, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Effie Mae King Holley and Charles James Holley, Sr. Holley graduated with his B.S. degree in 1965 and his M.S. degree in international relations in 1968, both from Tennessee State University. He went on to receive his B.A. and M.Div. degrees in the Old Testament from Chicago Theological Seminary, and then his Ph.D. degree in higher education from Wayne State University in 1978. He later received his D.Min. degree in economic development from Drew University.

On June 9, 1972, Holley became pastor of Detroit, Michigan’s Little Rock Baptist Church. In addition to his role as pastor, he was named president and chief executive officer of Cognos Advertising Agency in 1988, and has served as dean of the Ashland Theological Seminary, police commissioner, president of the Council of Baptist Pastors, and president and chief executive officer of Country Preacher Foods, Inc., the largest minority food distributor in the world. He also went on to establish and chair the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997.

As a community leader in Detroit, Holley has acquired the St. Regis Hotel, the Little Rock Pharmacy, the Family Life Center, the Little Rock Health Care Home, a local strip mall, and an education complex for high school dropouts. He is also the author of numerous spiritually-focused books, including the Handbook for Brotherhood Organizations (1990); Manual for Brotherhood Organizations (1990); The Mission, The Minister, The Ministry (1990); A Guide to Successful Preaching & Pastoring (1992); The Drama of Human Suffering (1992); The Buck Stops Here (1994); Jesus, This is Jimmy (1994); The Spirit Speaks: Daily Spiritual Motivation for Successful African Americans (1997); Creating a Can Do Attitude in a Can't Do Atmosphere (2000); and When the Vision is Larger Than the Budget (2006).

Holley has been rated by the Detroit Free Press as one of the top five ministers in Michigan, and was named Michiganian of the Year by the Detroit News in 1990. He has been recognized by Crain's Business Magazine as one of the foremost voices in Detroit, and was honored at the 2010 Trumpet Awards.

The Reverend Dr. Jim Holley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 24, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.227

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/24/2014

Last Name

Holley

Maker Category
Middle Name

James

Occupation
Schools

Tennessee State University

Chicago Theological Seminary

Wayne State University

Drew University

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

HOL18

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nassau, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

The Measure Of A Man Is How He Handles His Vicissitudes. (Paraph. fr MLK)

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Interview Description
Birth Date

12/5/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Religious leader Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. (1943 - ) has been the pastor of Detroit, Michigan’s Little Rock Baptist Church since 1972. He also founded the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences and served as president and CEO of Cognos Advertising Agency, dean of the Ashland Theological Seminary, and president and CEO of Country Preacher Foods, Inc.

Employment

Cognos Advertising Agency

Country Preacher Foods, Inc.

Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences

Detroit (Mich.). Police Dept.

Little Rock Baptist Church

Ashland Theological Seminary

Favorite Color

Black or Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:5620,66:6340,76:6660,81:8900,214:18830,363:25796,469:31131,515:32459,546:35281,586:35779,593:36692,606:40178,658:42502,694:42834,699:44909,741:45739,756:47150,782:47565,788:52213,891:60008,929:60404,938:60800,945:66172,1004:70030,1033:70350,1038:75230,1120:75950,1132:77470,1154:80670,1201:81150,1208:86190,1291:86670,1298:91455,1316:93580,1336:98595,1411:100210,1439:100635,1445:103440,1493:112316,1587:113756,1623:114260,1633:116636,1665:116924,1670:123230,1708$0,0:910,20:1218,25:4606,102:5299,114:5992,125:6685,136:13486,195:16396,251:16881,257:17754,263:18239,270:32566,508:35694,544:48714,720:54660,789:55276,798:56277,815:57740,837:58202,844:63130,921:64362,943:65209,962:65594,968:67596,1007:67904,1012:72388,1030:73264,1048:75070,1071:78350,1113:85310,1236:85630,1242:91470,1331:103558,1422:103874,1427:105217,1451:107271,1478:107824,1487:137750,1840:138100,1849:138380,1854:141110,1903:141390,1908:142440,1932:144470,1974:148423,2030:151270,2080:151635,2086:152073,2093:156380,2152:175653,2403:177470,2411
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes being raised by his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. lists his brothers and sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. considers which parents' disposition he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memories in West Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. talks about segregation and poverty in rural West Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. talks about racism in West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes race relations in his community in West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. talks about attending Laurel Creek Baptist Church in Wolfe, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. remembers watching Oral Roberts' televangelist program, 'The Abundant Life'

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes sights, sounds and smells of his community in West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes his experience at Roseville Elementary School in West Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes his experience at Roseville Elementary School in West Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes his sixth grade experience at Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes moving to Mount Pleasant, Tennessee with his aunt and uncle

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes attending Mount Nebo Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes his experience at Clarke High School in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes how he got to Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes his experience as an undergraduate student at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. remembers participating in Nashville, Tennessee civil rights demonstrations

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. talks about segregation and poverty in rural West Virginia
Reverend Dr. Jim Holley, Jr. describes sights, sounds and smells of his community in West Virginia
Transcript
I've heard people describe growing up in West Virginia in a rural situation like yours and it always--they, they described a pretty tough--$$Right.$$--existence. I mean--(simultaneous)--$$Right.$$--I have friends that grew up in Glen Rogers, West Virginia--$$Yeah.$$--and another one in--I can't think of the other town, but--$$Yeah.$$--but they're, you know--$$Because it was very--again, segregation was, was not something that was on the, the, the radar screen for anybody. We--you had to do what you--because people did--they did what they wanted to do to you and it doesn't--and nobody really cared outside of the, of the, the community. And so as a child, you basically--you stayed in your area. It's interesting that when I was a child, I would always look to get to the black community, and now that I'm grown, I'm always lookin' to get to, to the other community now. It seems like you're--that your community, you know, is having trouble, so to speak. But, it was, it was very poor. The whole state was poor for the most part. And, and, when I went to school as a kid, I had to walk. There was no bus system, you know, so I would walk about pretty much I think it came out to about eleven miles going one way to Bramwell [West Virginia]] and another, another eleven miles coming back. So I would wash up at--in cold water 'cause there's no heat, and then you wash up and you basically go to school. And you have to go early because you gotta walk, and then you gotta walk back. And so it was, it was, it was difficult. But, again, in those days, it was the way of life and you get used to the way of life, and there's no exposure to make you feel like it was anything different.$$Okay.$Well, we always ask this question or you've, you've already explained some, some of it, but what were some of the sights and sounds and smells of growin' up?$$I'm not quite sure of how to answer that. I hear what--I know what you're sayin'. I'm not quite sure, again, like I said--$$Were there any particular smells, for instance, from a, from the mines or the--(simultaneous)--$$No, not really--(simultaneous)--$$--(unclear) activity?$$I, I, I think, you know, what the--I don't wanna be so philosophical with you, but I think the, the, the smell of poverty. I just--I hated it. I hated it. I hated it. Even though I didn't understand it, I still hate--I--not knowin' how you're gonna make it the next day and my grandmother [Marybelle Holley], and, and, and just knowin' how I can free her from all of this pressure that she was always under. But, I do understand what you're sayin'. Obviously, there's what we call a, a hog killing time where--in the whole area, everybody killed the hogs at the same time. And so the children did what they had to do and the grownups did what they had to do. And so that smell (laughter), you know, of all the--those hogs and stuff like the, you know, the straughter [ph.]--I'm sorry, you know, when you kill the hogs, hogs. So that's--that was a, was a interesting event (laughter) that took place where we all pitched in and obviously they would give, give us some, some, some sausage and things like that for, for helping. So that was always a interesting smell, if you don't mind. I, I would--the only thing, you know, I would, I would go nighttime because I wouldn't have any, any, any coal to--for the fuel, fuel for the fire and so I, I would hop freight trains and throw the, the, the coal off the freight trains and to go back the next day, next morning, and try to pick it up and bring it home because, again, we--many several of us had to do that because we were--didn't have the money, didn't have the money for fuel.$$I've--(simultaneous)--$$So--$$--heard that story before--$$Yeah.$$You know--$$Until the, until the state police used to protect the trains from going through the, through community now and then, so we had to be careful that we not gonna get killed by hoppin' the freight train and then bein' shot by the, the state trooper tryin' to get the coal off. It was, you know--but it's amazing what you would do even as a kid to survive.

Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2014.196

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/12/2014

Last Name

Hunter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Overbrook High School

United Theological Seminary

Nova Southeastern University

University of Pennsylvania

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

Edward Heston School

First Name

Millicent

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

HUN09

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Thailand

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/3/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

USA

Short Description

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

Employment

The Baptist Worship Center

Worship Center Worldwide Fellowship of Churches

United Pentecostal Churches of Christ International

Excell Community Development Corporation

United Theological Seminary

Sanctuary Bible Institute

Eastern School of Christian Ministry

Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Hunter House Publishers

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DASession

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

Reverend Byron Williams

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2013.252

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/4/2013

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley

Idaho State University

University of Nebraska-Omaha

Wenatchee Valley College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Byron

Birth City, State, Country

Berkeley

HM ID

WIL67

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

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

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/22/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Beef Bourguignon

Short Description

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

Employment

Resurrection Community Church

Huffington Post

Bay Area News Group

Favorite Color

Black

DAStories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson

Reverend, W. Franklyn Richardson was born on June 14, 1949 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Westside. His father William Franklyn Richardson Sr. worked in the meat packing district, and his mother Amanda Richardson owned a beauty parlor. Richardson is the eldest of four and grew up anchored in the church. He attended West Philadelphia High School and obtained his B.A. degree from Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. In 1975, he earned his master of sacred theology from Yale University, and his doctorate as a Wyatt Tee Walker Fellow from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

At the age of eighteen Richardson delivered his first sermon at Community Baptist Church in Philadelphia, where he was issued a license to preach. By the age of nineteen, Richardson was subsequently, full-time pastor of Rising Mount Zion Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia and St. James Baptist Church in Varina, Virginia. In 1975, Richardson delivered his trial sermon at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Veron, New York, a year later he was selected to serve at Grace as senior pastor. In 1976, Grace Baptist Church hosted the New Year’s Eve Watch Night service aired on national radio opposite the New Year’s Eve service hosted by the pope. The following year, Grace’s Christmas service aired on CBS (coordinated by actor Ossie Davis). In 1982, Richardson became the host of WVOX, 1460 radio broadcasted nationally every Sunday morning. He is the founder of, “Windows of Grace”, Grace in Port St. Lucie Florida, and the Freedom School. Richardson has been selected by Al Sharpton to serve as chairman of the National Action Network. As chairman, his responsibilities included leading the organization on raising the consciousness of African-Americans.

Richardson has been inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr., Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He has also been elected as General Secretary for the National Baptist Convention United States of America, Inc. Richardson has served on the World Council of Churches Central Committee, the Ujamaa community development corporation and the Harvard University Divinity School Summer Leadership Institute. He has been presented with the Red Cross Award and in 2010, delivered a sermon at Saint Matthew Anglican Church in Soweto, South Africa. Richardson currently resides in Scarsdale, New York. He is married to Inez Nunnally Richardson; they are the parents of two adult children and the grandparents of four.

Accession Number

A2012.122

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/18/2012

Last Name

Richardson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Franklyn

Occupation
Schools

West Philadelphia High School

Virginia Union University

Yale Divinity School

United Theological Seminary

Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School

Belmont Charter School

Hardy Williams Academy

Community College of Philadelphia

First Name

W.

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

RIC16

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Monte Carlo, France

Favorite Quote

My, My, My, My, My.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/14/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Religious leader Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson (1949 - ) was the senior pastor of the Grace Baptist Church and the chairman of the National Action Network.

Employment

Grace Baptist Church

National Action Network

West Park Hospital

Hankins Funeral Home, Inc.

Rising Mount Zion Baptist Church

Conference of National Black Churches

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about his mother's upbringing and career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his father's education and professions

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson remembers his brother

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about his sister's acting career

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson remembers his childhood pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson remembers the African American community in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his conditional admission to Virginia Union University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes the Community Baptist Church of West Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes the Civil Rights Movement in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson recalls his early involvement with the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his experiences at West Philadelphia High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson remembers his calling to the ministry

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his experiences at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson recalls how he came to pastor the Rising Mount Zion Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about the formation of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about the formation of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson recalls his professors at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his organizational activities at Virginia Union University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson remembers Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson remembers Reverend Gardner Taylor

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes how he came to pastor the Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about the history of the Grace Baptist Church

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson recalls his admission to the Yale Divinity School

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson remembers the Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about his graduate degrees

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson remembers his seminary professors

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his affiliation with the Morehouse College Board of Ministers and Laity

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson recalls his appointment to the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about the Grace Baptist Church in Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes the Grace Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about the National Action Network

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about the shooting of Trayvon Martin, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about the shooting of Trayvon Martin, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes the role of the Conference of National Black Churches

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about the theology of storefront churches

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson shares his stance on gay marriage

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about his board memberships

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes the Our Faith Empowers program

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about the notable members of the Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, New York

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about Grace Baptist Church's webcasts

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about the Virginia Union University Board of Trustees

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$3

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson describes the Grace Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools
Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson remembers his calling to the ministry
Transcript
Tell me about the Children's Defense Fund Freedom School [Grace Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools, Mount Vernon, New York].$$Oh man, wonderful. As you know [HistoryMaker] Marian Wright Edelman who worked with Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] in the Civil Rights Movement, one of the byproducts of the movement was she created--well she had a concern that the children of the future would be in better conditions as a result of civil rights and that there continued to be racism that affected children. So she created the Children's Defense Fund [Washington, D.C.] with the purpose of trying to protect children, advocating on behalf of children; legislation, programs and so forth. One of the byproducts of her program is she ended up creating what we call Freedom Schools. Freedom Schools are the result of her passion for the children. I learned about Freedom School, I was invited--she bought the Haley Farm [Alex Haley Farm; Children's Defense Fund Haley Farm, Clinton, Tennessee] and they have retreats there once--annually and other times, but there's a Proctor, Sam Proctor retreat [Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry] that she invited me, they invited me to come speak. While I was there, I was exposed to Freedom Schools. And when I heard about Freedom Schools I was so impacted and influenced that I decided that I would ask our staff to look into how we could do that--we had to have Freedom Schools. So ten years ago we started our first Freedom School. Freedom School is a summer program, six weeks, that's designed to complement public education and to put self esteem into the students. It's based on African motifs; it's written--it's designed for--with a curriculum that's designed for motivation, self esteem. All of the authors are black authors. They get twelve books they read in the course of six weeks. They're exposed to successful African American leaders from mayors to doctors to lawyers to pastors. They come in the mornings and read to them. They go on field trips that are designed to motivation. The whole curriculum, we bring, we take college students, send them to Haley Farm and train them on how to be Freedom School facilitators, and then when the summer comes, we hire the college students to teach the Freedom School scholars. We started out with fifty, then we went to 100, then we went to 150, last year we had six hundred and this year we're going to have six hundred. It cost us about one thousand dollars a student; we don't charge the parents anything. The parents have to pay by--they have to be every Tuesday night at parenting meetings where we give them skills on how to be better parents, more effective parents and so forth. There are so many transformational stories of kids whose lives turned around as a result of Freedom School. Kids who weren't interested in education, weren't interested in school, they go to Freedom School, they go back and the teachers tell us they can't believe the transformation. Some kids had given up on getting an education but Freedom School provides--because Freedom School affirms your identity. It celebrates your blackness, it tells you the story of the struggles of our people. So it's a wonderful place. I'm a total advocate of it. I mean, I wish that every black community in America had the resources to have Freedom Schools. So we, we have sustained this for ten years; we're going to have a ten year anniversary this year of Freedom Schools here in Mount Vernon [New York] that--sponsored by Grace [Grace Baptist Church] and our community development corporation [Ujamaa Community Development Corporation, Mount Vernon, New York].$Now did your mother [Amanda Ellison Richardson] and your uncles kind of--?$$No they, they never, I think that my mother--I think all of my family always thought I was going to be a minister no matter what I said. They felt that I had the markings on me of being a minister and that it was obvious that I was going to be that. In their view there was no question, even though they never pushed it or advocated it, they just put me in the environment. And (laughter), when I decided when I was in high school [West Philadelphia High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] I wasn't going to be a minister, I was going to be a doctor. So I went to high sch- went to work for West Park Hospital [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] after school my last year or the last two years, the eleventh grade. And that's when I was an orderly and so forth. I met the doctors there and they liked me and they said if I were to graduate they would help me go to medical school and so forth. But at the same time, I still struggled with this idea about ministry trying to suppress it and ultimately I had a surgery in 1966, appendectomy, emergency surgery.$$You were like sixteen?$$Right. The surgery was in '65 [1965], and my last year of high school. So at that--long story short, I promised the Lord that if I got through the surgery 'cause at the end of the surgery--the surgery wasn't so bad, but the ap- the spinal they gave me we- malfunctioned and I ended up being paralyzed longer than I was supposed to be and that was really traumatic. And in the process of that, I told the Lord I would go ahead and accept the ministry and preach. When I got out, I still wasn't going to do it (laughter); I still was going to be a doctor. I'll never forget the mixed emotions my dad [William F. Richardson, Sr.] had. When I came home after having presided a funeral one night, I told him I decided I was going to go into the ministry and be a preacher. My dad kind of like you know it was all right that I was going to do that, but he had his mind set on his son being a doctor (laughter). So I accepted--I called my pastor [James Hamlin] the next day and told him that I had finally decided that I'm going into the ministry, I want to go to school. So he said come over and meet with me, and I met with him and from there I ended up preaching my trial sermon, my initial sermon before I left for college, then I went on to Virginia Union [Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia]. So that's the journ- the walk for me.$$Now what did you preach about? What was your first sermon about?$$May 27, nineteen sixty--1967. I preached I have no need to want, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want [Psalms 23:1]. I talked about the, that, that there's no need to want, that God provides all that I, all that I need and that that was worth celebrating, I have no need. Kind of living life with a guarantee, under a--with a foundation, under, underpinning, a s- a net to catch you 'cause God will provide my needs. So I remember that (unclear) it's been fifty- almost fifty years ago.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

Minister Louis Farrakhan was born on May 11, 1933 in the Bronx, New York to Sarah May and Percival Clarke. He was born Louis Eugene Walcott, but would later adopt the surname of Farrakhan after his conversion to Islam. Louis and his brother, Alvan Walcott, were raised by their mother and step-father in Boston, Massachusetts. As a youth, Farrakhan was a talented violinist and athlete. He graduated from Boston English High School and attended Winston-Salem Teacher’s College, during which time he recorded calypso albums under the name “The Charmer.” In 1953, Farrakhan married his wife, Khadijah Farrakhan (born Betsy Ross), and he dropped out of college during his senior year to assist her during her pregnancy.

After attending the annual Saviors’ Day address delivered by Elijah Muhammad, Leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI), Farrakhan decided to join the NOI in 1955. Farrakhan became minister of Muhammad’s Temple No. 11 in Boston, Massachusetts in 1956. Nine years later, he was appointed by Elijah Muhammad to serve as Minister of Muhammad’s Temple No. 7 in New York City. Farrakhan worked with the Harlem community to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood, but the decisions made by Imam W. Deen Mohammed to make the NOI resemble Sunni Islam prompted Farrakhan to gather his own supporters and rebuild the NOI based on the leading principles of Wallace Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad. Farrakhan first assumed the role of Leader of the NOI in 1978.

Although at times a controversial figure, Farrakhan’s message of a unified community and the importance of reversing negative stereotypes has been the guiding principle of many of his actions. To combat the negative image of African American men often presented by the media, Farrakhan organized the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. on October 16, 1995 and the Millions More Movement ten years later. Farrakhan was voted the Person of the Year by Black Entertainment Television in 2005, and the following year, he was voted the fifth most important African American leader in the AP-AOL “Black Voices” poll.

Louis Farrakhan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 29, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.111

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/29/2010

12/14/2010

Last Name

Farrakhan

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Asa Gray School

Sherwin School

Boston Latin School

English High School

Winston-Salem State University

First Name

Louis

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

FAR05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Quote

Up You Mighty Nation, You Can Accomplish What You Will!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/11/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Short Description

Minister The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (1933 - ) , leader of the Nation of Islam, was known for his work as an advocate of civil rights and social activism.

Employment

Temple No. 7

Temple No. 11

Guaranty Bank and Trust Company

Temple No. 2

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his mother's early life

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls visiting his maternal grandparents in Bermuda

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his brother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his mother's decision to move to Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers his home life, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers his home life, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the role of religion in his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his childhood temperament

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his experiences of discrimination at the Boston Latin School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers being falsely accused by a white teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the influence of Marcus Garvey

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his mother's encouragement

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers being discouraged by a white teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his lack of mentorship in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about the education of African American youth

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers appearing on 'The Original Amateur Hour'

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his interests during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about his West Indian heritage

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his social life

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his early musical performances, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his early musical performances, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about actor Harry Belafonte

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers his arrival at the Winston Salem Teachers College in Winston Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls winning the Horace Heidt talent show

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls being denied entry into the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about his experiences in the segregated South

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers his marriage, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers his marriage, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls performing in the 'Calypso Follies' show in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his first meeting with Elijah Muhammad

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers his calling to the Nation of Islam

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his decision to retire from music, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his decision to retire from music, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers becoming the minister of Temple No. 11 in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the guidance of Elijah Muhammad, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the guidance of Elijah Muhammad, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers Malcolm X

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his training for the Nation of Islam, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his training for the Nation of Islam, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about the Chicago City Council's opposition to the Nation of Islam

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes the portrayal of the Nation of Islam in the 'The Hate That Hate Produced'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers the reaction to 'The Hate That Hate Produced'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his tenure as the leader of Temple No. 11 in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan reflects upon his leadership

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about Malcolm X's role in the Nation of Islam

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes the Nation of Islam's business enterprises

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes the history of the Nation of Islam, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes the history of the Nation of Islam, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about the leaders of the Nation of Islam

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes the prophesy of Wallace Fard Muhammad

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the disappearance of Wallace Fard Muhammad

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes Elijah Muhammad's role as a Wallace Fard Muhammad's representative

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers joining the Nation of Islam

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers the conflict between Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers the conflict between Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls Malcolm X's departure from the Nation of Islam

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls Muhammad Ali's conversion to the Nation of Islam, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan reflects upon Elijah Muhammad's decisions

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the attacks against the Nation of Islam

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers the assassination of Malcolm X

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about Malcolm X's trip to Mecca

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes the Nation of Islam's development initiatives

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls Muhammad Ali's conversion to the Nation of Islam, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes Muhammad Ali's reaction to Malcolm X's departure

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls Muhammad Ali's protests against the Vietnam War

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers his leadership of the Nation of Islam in New York City

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his ministry in New York City

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers Black Family Day

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the jealousy of his fellow ministers, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the jealousy of his fellow ministers, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan his selection as Elijah Muhammad's successor

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan reflects upon the Nation of Islam's role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes the Nation of Islam's trade and banking initiatives

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his nomination as Elijah Muhammad's successor

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the death of Elijah Muhammad, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the death of Elijah Muhammad, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his conflict with Wallace D. Muhammad

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers Godfrey Cambridge's funeral

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers advice from a seer

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his decision to return to the Nation of Islam

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes Wallace D. Muhammad's views on the Nation of Islam

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about his relationship with Wallace D. Muhammad

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about his decision to return to the Nation of Islam

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the supporters of his return to the Nation of Islam, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the supporters of his return to the Nation of Islam, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers his study group in Holly Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls the protection of the Afro American Patrolmen's League

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his supporters in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his supporters in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about The Final Call

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his reconciliation with Warith Deen Mohammed

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about the growth of Saviours' Day

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about the formation of the Fruit of Islam

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers his defense of Reverend Jesse L. Jackson

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about his followers

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his economic POWER initiatives, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his economic POWER initiatives, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his economic POWER initiatives, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his efforts to reconcile with the Jewish community, pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his efforts to reconcile with the Jewish community, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers meeting with Jewish leaders, pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers meeting with Jewish leaders, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers Khalid Abdul Muhammad

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about his relationship with Khalid Abdul Muhammad

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls a lesson from Elijah Muhammad

Tape: 13 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers his attempted assassination by Qubilah Shabazz

Tape: 13 Story: 9 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his encounter with the Mother Plane, pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 10 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his encounter with the Mother Plane, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 11 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his message to the Libyan government

Tape: 13 Story: 12 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers the bombing of Libya

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls American interference in Muslim countries

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls challenges he faced while organizing the Million Man March

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan remembers the interfaith unity at the Million Man March

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his World Friendship Tour

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan reflects upon the Million Man March

Tape: 14 Story: 6 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about his cancer diagnosis

Tape: 14 Story: 7 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about the future of the United States

Tape: 14 Story: 8 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talks about the persecution of African American men

Tape: 14 Story: 9 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan reflects upon his life, pt. 1

Tape: 14 Story: 10 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his hopes for the Nation of Islam

Tape: 14 Story: 11 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 15 Story: 1 - The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan reflects upon his life, pt. 2

DASession

1$2

DATape

5$10

DAStory

2$9

DATitle
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan describes his first meeting with Elijah Muhammad
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls his decision to return to the Nation of Islam
Transcript
So I came back in February of 1955 while I was here September '54 [1954]. So, I go to the mosque. My oldest child, my first child, she was two weeks--one year and two weeks old. So my wife [Betsy Ross Walcott; Khadijah Farrakhan] and I, we put her in her little stroller, and we walked around to 5335 S. Greenwood Avenue [Chicago, Illinois]. But I noticed when we went in, they took, separated my wife from me. I didn't know that that was the custom in the mosque [Temple No. 2, Chicago, Illinois], but they took me and put me up in the balcony where, when you're first timers, you always sit down in the front so you could see and hear. And the leader or whoever is teaching could see you and how you're responding. But Malcolm X was told by Rodney Smith that this very popular entertainer from Boston [Massachusetts] was coming to the convention. So he mentioned me to Elijah Muhammad. So Elijah Muhammad, the year before, the Saviours' Day before, he said, "I'm expecting or looking for my little helper." And the next year, '55 [1955], he hears about this young boy. And so he puts me in the balcony, near a pole, but he put behind me at that pole somebody that he knew so he could look up and see that man and then get a view of this young man. And so by my being a student of English, and he did not speak English very well, I was critical of him in my mind. And he looked up at me, and he said, "Oh brother, I didn't get the mighty fine education that you got. When I got there, the school door was closing, but don't you pay no attention to how I'm saying it. You pay attention to what I'm saying. Then you take it and put it in that fine language that you know, only try to understand what I'm saying." And, of course, I was frightened because he was, in a sense, reading my thoughts. And I listened to his lecture. It was called A Savior is Born for the Black Man and Woman of America, and when he finished, he asked for acceptances. My wife got up and took my baby, but I wasn't quite ready. So my [maternal] uncle [Samuel Manning (ph.)] came and told me, "Get up, get up." And I'm never disrespectful to my uncle or elders. So I got up and went and took my form, and my wife and I went back to our little place at the Wilmington Arms [Wilmington Arms Hotel (ph.)]. And we wrote our letter of acceptance. I never got an answer.$I was put on the West Side [Chicago, Illinois] to teach, upstairs in a storefront in the back. In a few weeks, it was full. We moved further down to a ballroom. In a few months, the ballroom was full. What to do with Farrakhan [HistoryMaker Minister Louis Farrakhan]? So Akbar [Larry 4X; Abdul Akbar Muhammad] tells Imam Wallace D. Muhammad [Warith Deen Mohammed] because he's now the special assistant. He said, "Well, Farrakhan is from the Caribbean. Maybe you could send him--his people are from the Caribbean. Maybe if you send him down there, he would spread Islam there." So they arranged a tour for me. Well, that's like putting the rabbit in the briar patch. And when I went in the Caribbean, I mean they came out by the thousands (laughter). And by the time I got to Guyana in South America, I was in a mosque. And they were introducing me, and they started speaking very negative of Elijah Muhammad. And in that mosque, I threatened to whoop the imam, and I cussed, you know, I went back to my old days. And I said, I'd, I'd, I'd tear his butt up. And so someone was with me that was reporting my actions, and it got back to the imam, so they pulled me (laughter) out of the Caribbean. So I was due to go to the Virgin Islands and that was cancelled. But the point was, what to do with me? So finally, I decided I would leave, and I met with the imam, and I told him, "60 percent of what you teach, I agree with. But 40 percent of it, I don't agree with." He said, "Well, teach the 60 percent that you agree with." And he offered me five different mosques. And I told him, "I'm afraid that if I teach the 60 percent that I agree with, some of the 40 percent that I disagree with will come out, and it will tend to confuse an already confused group of people. I think that I would rather go back into show business." I said, "I would like to do the life of Malcolm X to his transition to orthodox Islam and et cetera, et cetera. I believe I could play his life because I've walked up in his shoes." So he said, "Okay," but then he said, "but don't do anything that would discredit the Honorable Elijah Muhammad." And I said, "I would never do that." And I left. And my journey now takes me to Egypt, then to Saudi Arabia, and finally I don't meet with Baldwin [James Baldwin]. He gets sick. He can't come to Egypt. I meet with Idi Amin, and Idi Amin, when he hears about my desire to do the movie on Malcolm X, he calls Muammar Gaddafi, and Gaddafi agrees to see me. And so he flies me up to Tripoli [Libya]. And I missed the flight because Gaddafi is on his way out of Tripoli to Benghazi [Libya] or somewhere, celebrating the out- ousting of the British, I believe it was Benghazi. But anyway, I missed the flight and missed Gaddafi. So I go to Mecca [Saudi Arabia] and I speak with the scholars about raising money to do the movie. And they downplayed it. And while I was in Mecca, I decided, you know, that I would come back and rebuild the work of Elijah Muhammad.

Bishop T.D. Jakes

Bishop T.D. Jakes, Sr., was born on June 9, 1957, in South Charleston, West Virginia, to businessman and entrepreneur Ernest, Sr. and educator Odith. The youngest of three children, Jakes was known in his community as “the Bible boy.” However, due to his slight lisp, he was told he would never preach. When Jakes was ten years old, his father developed kidney failure. Jakes and his mother cared for him until his death in 1973. Jakes preached his first sermon in 1976 and was officially ordained in 1979. He met his wife Serita Ann Jamison while guest preaching at her neighborhood church. In 1981, the two were married. In 1980, at the age of 23, Jakes established the Temple of Faith Church in Montgomery, West Virginia, a storefront church with only ten members. Jakes worked simultaneously at the Union Carbide to keep his ministry afloat. Friends International Christian University awarded Jakes his B.A. degree in biblical studies in 1985, his M.A. degree in biblical studies in 1990, and his D.Min. in 1995.

In 1987, Jakes was ordained into the Bishopric, and in 1992, he first preached Woman, Thou Art Loosed, a sermon that addressed the pain of women. The next year, Jakes launched a weekly television broadcast on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, catapulting himself into the world of televangelism. In 1994, he began his weekly broadcasts on Black Entertainment Television, and that same year, he initiated the first ManPower conference, designed to motivate men in their relational and community roles. In 1996, after moving his congregation from small town to small town in West Virginia, Jakes moved his family and fifty other church employees to Dallas where they established the Potter’s House. The first church service drew more than 2,000 people, and since then, the membership has grown to more than 30,000. In 1998, Jakes founded the Metroplex Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and established Clay Academy in the heart of Capella Park, a mixed-use, “new urbanism” community.

One of PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly’s “Top 10 Religious Leaders” in 2000, Jakes holds a place in the Black Americans of Achievement series, The Encyclopedia of African-American Christian Heritage, as well as the Who’s Who Among African Americans. In 2000, Jakes served as the keynote speaker at the annual conferences of the National Council of Black Mayors, the National Black Police Association, and the 2000 Congressional Black Caucus. In 2001, Time magazine and CNN distinguished Jakes as America’s Best Preacher, and the next year, Savoy magazine named him one of the “Top 100 Powers That Be.” In 2009, President Barack Obama asked Jakes to deliver the morning service before the historic Presidential Inauguration. Bishop Jakes, having spent over thirty years in the ministry, is also the author of more than twenty books and a Grammy-award winning gospel musician. Currently, Bishop Jakes lives in Dallas with his wife, Serita. They have five children and two grandchildren.

Jakes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 25, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.106

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/25/2010

Last Name

Jakes

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

D.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Vandalia Elementary School

Weberwood Elementary School

First Name

T.

Birth City, State, Country

South Charleston

HM ID

JAK01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

West Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

You'll Win If You Don't Quit.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/9/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Beef Stroganoff

Short Description

Bishop Bishop T.D. Jakes (1957 - ) was a leading televangelist and the pastor of The Potter's House megachurch in Dallas, Texas.

Employment

Greater Emmanuel Apostolic Faith Tabernacle

Greater Emmanuel Temple of Faith

‘Get Ready with T.D. Jakes’

The Potter's House

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bishop T.D. Jakes' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bishop T.D. Jakes lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his paternal family's roots in Petal, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bishop T.D. Jakes talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bishop T.D. Jakes talks about his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his neighborhood in Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes the sights, sounds and smells of his neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Bishop T.D. Jakes talks about the coalmining industry in West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bishop T.D. Jakes recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bishop T.D. Jakes remembers the black barbershops of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes downtown Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bishop T.D. Jakes remembers his speech impediment

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bishop T.D. Jakes recalls the assassinations of the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bishop T.D. Jakes remembers his father's illness, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bishop T.D. Jakes remembers his father's illness, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes the impact of his father's illness

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bishop T.D. Jakes talks about his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Bishop T.D. Jakes remembers his father's funeral

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bishop T.D. Jakes recalls his initiation to the Pentecostal church

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bishop T.D. Jakes remembers his neighbor, Bobbie Tolliver

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bishop T.D. Jakes remembers his calling to the ministry

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bishop T.D. Jakes reflects upon his early career as a minister

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes the structure of the Pentecostal church

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bishop T.D. Jakes remembers the congregation of the Greater Emmanuel Temple of Faith in Montgomery, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bishop T.D. Jakes recalls the inspiration for 'Woman, Thou Art Loosed!'

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bishop T.D. Jakes talks about his television show, 'Get Ready with T.D. Jakes'

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his family

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bishop T.D. Jakes remembers the need for 'Woman, Thou Art Loosed!'

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Bishop T.D. Jakes reflects upon his success

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bishop T.D. Jakes recalls the growth of his ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bishop T.D. Jakes remembers building The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bishop T.D. Jakes remembers the death of his mother

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bishop T.D. Jakes recalls his invitation to the White House

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bishop T.D. Jakes talks about his position as a megachurch pastor

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bishop T.D. Jakes recalls the creation of the ManPower conference

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bishop T.D. Jakes talks about MegaFest

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bishop T.D. Jakes reflects upon his relationship with his mother

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Bishop T.D. Jakes reflects upon his career

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Bishop T.D. Jakes talks about his relationship with President George Walker Bush

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Bishop T.D. Jakes reflects upon his role in President George Walker Bush's administration

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Bishop T.D. Jakes describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Bishop T.D. Jakes reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

12$7

DATitle
Bishop T.D. Jakes describes his neighborhood in Charleston, West Virginia
Bishop T.D. Jakes recalls the inspiration for 'Woman, Thou Art Loosed!'
Transcript
Now, you, let's--you were describing the house that you grew up in. Can you describe the neighborhood?$$Absolutely (laughter), yeah, I can see it in my mind right now. We lived on, in an area called Vandalia [Charleston, West Virginia]. The main thoroughfare, if you were to call it that, would be Mountain Road. It was a two lane, winding road that brought up on the mountain on one side and back down on the other side. And there were several little alleys in between that people lived on. And one of them was Page Street and there were several others, Clinton Road [sic. Clinton Avenue] and others. And you'd walk around the road to the church. It was a very close knit neighborhood. Everybody knew everybody and everything about everybody (laughter). And, but it was a great place to raise kids. It really was. There was a white side of the hill and all the white people lived on one side of the hill. And there was, everything past the water tanks was black. Everything on the other side of the water tanks was white. And my brother [Ernest Jakes, Jr.] went to school during the first years of integration, and there was great conflict when he went to school. By the time I went to school, it was a little bit more normal, and we were on the school buses. The busing thing had existed, and we interacted with Caucasians in a way that at the time they fought more than we did. It was, it was a very, very interesting time in the community. Everything was very segregated and the residue still existed down to my generation. Residuals in terms of, very seldom did you see white families migrate beyond the water tanks. It started to happen, but not to a great degree. And it's still largely African American today. And gradually, some blacks would move on that side of town, but that was a slow process. It was just an unspoken line in the sand. But things were very simplistic. I can remember walking around Mountain Road on Sunday mornings and hearing a lady named Mrs. Dean [ph.] singing on Sunday morning. And it was something. She had this amazing voice, and I would love to hear, just walk around the road and just hearing her singing. And out of her screen door, you could hear her singing every Sunday morning. And I ended playing the piano for the church there. And as a little boy, at eleven years old, I was playing for the church and the choir. And it was just interesting to experience that neighborhood. There was a recreation center there that the kids began to play at. There was finally some federal funding for entertainment for minority communities. I can remember vividly big debates over, gosh, I can almost think of the name of the swimming pool. It might have been White Rock Lake pool, I think--no, not White Rock, Rock Lake Pool [South Charleston, West Virginia], when they first allowed blacks to come in the swimming pool, and there were big fights about it and all of that. So it was, even down there--as I think about it more and more, even down to my age, it was still some racial struggles there. West Virginia is less than 5 percent African American even now. So we were extremely minority. And I can remember, I can remember when we went to Detroit [Michigan], I was just astonished to see that many black people (laughter). I was just (laughter) was so fascinated because I grew up in an environment where I went to school around with and worked with and all I ever saw was white people. And I was awed to be in a city where there were really that many black people. I didn't know that many black people existed, existed, and it was just a very interesting perspective for a little boy.$And then I moved to Charleston [West Virginia]. And I moved to Charleston because I was drawing more people from Charleston who drove like maybe an hour away than I was drawing out of the community I was in [Montgomery, West Virginia]. I thought, the tail is wagging the dog and you're getting older, and you need to make a move. And I made that switch and went to Charleston and started preaching in South Charleston [West Virginia], actually, across from the Row City Cafeteria, the little building there. And when I came there, that's when I did the Sunday school class called Woman, Thou Art Loosed! and about forty-six women in the Sunday school class, and I didn't finish that Sunday and I carried--I didn't finish that Sunday and I carried it over a second week and twice as many women came. (Laughter) So after twice as many women came, I didn't wanna finish. I said (laughter), "Let me (unclear)." (Laughter) 'Cause this is going somewhere. And after a while there were women standing outside to hear me talk about this Woman, Thou Art Loosed! I didn't even call it that at the time. I didn't even have a name for it.$$That's what I'm wondering. How did it, how did it even come to you to do this or to speak--I mean I'm just--$$It was inspired because I counseled women who had secrets and suffered with secrets that I wanted to help. I related to their pain. I related to their suffering, and I thought there are biblical answers that would help you with this and I wanted to share it. And I thought if I brought them all together in one place and I started teaching on this, maybe I could really make a difference. And it was, it was amazing because I did it for about four weeks, and it was crazy. And I had these tapes, and I developed these tapes. And I called a friend of mine named Archie Dennis [Archie L. Dennis, Jr.] who lived in Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania], and I told--actually, in Monroeville, Pennsylvania at the time, and I told Archie, I said, "Archie, I'm teaching this class for women and they're going nuts about this class." And he said, "Oh, tell me about it." So we're on the phone and I'm preaching all this stuff to him over the phone. And he said, "Well, you need to come up here and share that." And I said, "Really?" And I said, I said, you know, "I'll come." So I said--he said, "So what are you gonna call it?" I said, "I don't know." I said, "Let's call it Woman, Thou Art Loosed! 'cause that's what the Bible said, 'Woman, thou art loosed [Luke 13:12].' Let's just call it that." And he said, "Okay." So he did it, and he advertised it and so many women signed up he had to move it from his church to the hotel. And I went there, and, and taught on it and got four more tapes. Now, I had eight tapes to the series. Next thing I know, somebody was talking to me about doing a book. So they took all my tapes and they transcribed them and tried to make a book of it, but I hated it because between what the author was writing and you speak differently than you write. So it doesn't sound good when you write it. And then by the time he was rounding it off, it was like, "What women ought to do is, you know," and, "what's wrong with women today." And I thought, none of this, it's not in the spiritual. I went in there to try to fix it and ended up rewriting it all together to protect the brand of what I wanted to say. And then I couldn't get anybody to publish it. They wanted me to pay to publish it ['Woman, Thou Art Loosed!,' T.D. Jakes]. And I almost walked away from it because it was gonna cost fifteen thousand dollars to publish it. And that was all the money we had in the world. And we were trying to get a house. There wasn't church money. That's my money (laughter). And we were trying to get a house, but my wife [Serita Jamison Jakes] and I talked about it, and, and I did it. I went ahead and put the money into it, and the book exploded. I've never had a book ever do any better. And the rest was history.

Sister Mary Alice Chineworth

Nun and teacher Sister Mary Alice Chineworth was born on July 16, 1917 in Rock Island, Illinois. Her mother, Victoria, was German-American, while her father, Alexander, was the son of a former slave. A student of St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Rock Island from kindergarten through twelfth grade, Chineworth was inspired by the charity of the nuns who taught her. In 1936, after learning that her race prevented her from joining most religious orders, Chineworth took vows with the Order of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the oldest religious organization for black women in America. Chineworth went on to earn her B.A. degree in English from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1952 as well as her M.A. degree in psychology and her Ph.D. degree in higher education from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Chineworth dedicated her adult life to educating young people. For over thirty years, she taught in schools administered by her order, including St. Frances Academy, the school founded by the first members of the Oblates in 1828. In 1966, she became an administrator at Mount Providence Junior College, an Oblate community college, before serving as president from 1969 until the college closed three years later. In 1973, she began to hold higher-level positions within the Oblate administration, culminating in her appointment in 1989 to the position of superior general. She was a member of the National Black Sisters Conference, an association of African American nuns. In 1996, Chineworth edited Rise ’n’ Shine: Catholic Education and the African-American Community. In 2002, Chineworth was interviewed by Camille Cosby, a former Oblate student, for the National Visionary Leadership Project. Chineworth’s story was included in the 2004 book A Wealth of Wisdom: Legendary African American Elders Speak. In 2005, she accepted a $2 million donation from Camille Cosby to start a scholarship fund at the school.

Chineworth was interviewed by The HistoryMakers July 12, 2010.

Chineworth passed away on June 21, 2017 at age 99.

Accession Number

A2010.072

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

7/12/2010

Last Name

Chineworth

Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Alice

Occupation
Schools

St. Joseph’s High School

Mount Mary College

St. Ambrose University

Catholic University of America

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Mary

Birth City, State, Country

Rock Island

HM ID

CHI01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Oregon Coast

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Interview Description
Birth Date

7/16/1917

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Death Date

6/21/2017

Short Description

Teacher and nun Sister Mary Alice Chineworth (1917 - 2017 ) was a member and former superior general of the Order of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the oldest religious order for black women. An educator for more than thirty years, Chineworth was profiled in the book, "A Wealth of Wisdom: Legendary African American Elders Speak."

Employment

Oblate Sisters of Providence

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sister Mary Alice Chineworth's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls her maternal ancestors' emigration to the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about her maternal grandparents' arranged marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her father's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls her paternal grandfather's occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about her father's education and occupation

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her maternal grandparents' reaction to her parents' marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls her family's relocation to Rock Island, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers the industry in Rock Island, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about her father's business in Rock Island, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls her mother's homemade sauerkraut

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls encountering discrimination in her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her childhood home in Rock Island, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth lists her siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her parents' personalities and whom she takes after

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls the black businesses in Rock Island, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her high school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls her experience growing up biracial

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about her studies at St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls joining the Oblate Sisters of Providence

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes the history of the Oblate Sisters of Providence

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about Mother Mary Lange

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes the mission of the Oblate Sisters of Providence

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers the Oblate Sisters of Providence's property

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about discrimination in the Catholic church

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers her arrival at Saint Frances Church and Convent in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls the racial demographics of the Oblate Sisters of Providence

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers her early teaching positions

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about African American religious orders

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her attire as a nun

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about her experience as a teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls her teaching experience in the South

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about her brother's war experience

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers her former students

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her brother, Joseph Chineworth

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls the integration of the Catholic orders, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls the integration of the Catholic orders, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls editing the magazine for the Oblate Sisters of Providence

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers the construction of the Our Lady of Mount Providence in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls her role at Mount Providence Junior College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her perspective as an African American nun

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls the National Black Sisters' Conference

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about black liberation theology

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls closing Mount Providence College

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers founding a child development center

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls obtaining her Ph.D. degree from the Catholic University of America

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers her election as superior general of the Oblate Sisters of Providence

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth recalls editing 'Rise 'n' Shine: Catholic Education and the African American Community'

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes the challenges in recruiting nuns to the Oblate Sisters of Providence, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes the challenges in recruiting nuns to the Oblate Sisters of Providence, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth shares her hopes for the future of the religious orders

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth reflects upon her Catholic faith

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth talks about ecumenism

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes her family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sister Mary Alice Chineworth narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$3

DAStory

1$11

DATitle
Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers her arrival at Saint Frances Church and Convent in Baltimore, Maryland
Sister Mary Alice Chineworth remembers the Oblate Sisters of Providence's property
Transcript
So, well what was the experience like? I mean did you, I mean did the experience meet your expectations? I mean what, what was it like? Was it, was it a, too become involved in an order [Oblate Sisters of Providence]?$$You know, from the minute, I can still remember September 14, 1936, on Chase Street in Baltimore [Maryland], I had come by train, my, my father [Alexander Chineworth, Sr.] had gotten me a first class bedroom or whatever it is, he didn't want me to be Jim Crowed, he know that--he knew enough to do that, you know? He wasn't that naive about travel.$$Well I thought you did, didn't have a choice at a certain point and when you got to the South there they would--$$He knew I was going south of the Mason-Dixon Line, so he got me into a first class accommodation bedroom or whatever it is.$$Oh, so they couldn't segregate you if you were--?$$No.$$Okay.$$So I got that, I came in first class, I got off at B and O [Baltimore and Ohio Railroad] station, which was just a walking distance from the convent [Saint Frances Church and Convent, Baltimore, Maryland], but I didn't know that and I hailed a cab and the cab took me like around the block to the--and he said, "Are you entering the convent or the academy [Saint Frances Academy, Baltimore, Maryland]?" So I must have looked kind of youngish, I was wearing a suit that I had knitted, you know what knitting is? I knitted the whole suit, skirt and, and jacket, navy blue and the trim was red, I wore a red hat and I said I'm entering the convent, he said, "Oh, well this is where you get out." So I went in and rang the doorbell and the sister who opened the door had a big red birthmark on half her face, and I said, "Oh my, they took her in spite of that birthmark?" 'Cause I thought nuns had to be perfect, you know? So, she said, "Do you--I'm, just sit here and I'll get mother for you." I said, "Mother?" 'Cause we never had any mothers in the order that I was taught by [Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary], so I sat there obediently and along came mother and she had the whole half of her face was de- deformed by lupus and I said, maybe they have to have something wrong with your face to enter here, you know? Two out of two, so I sa- she said, "Now dear tell me your real name? First of all, tell me your real name." I said, "Innocence [HistoryMaker Sister Mary Alice Chineworth]." "I mean your baptismal name?" I said, "I'm baptized Innocence." Well she didn't believe it, anyway, it was legal, so she took me downstairs, they were eating supper, September 14th it was Monday, and it was the first day that they were back in school and in school, when we were in school, we used to have reading like in monasticism, they setup monastic tables, long tables and there was one person appointed to read from a lectern during the meal. So I saw her go up to the reader and tell her she doesn't have to read, she wanted me to be comfortable and I wouldn't have been comfortable at, had I heard reading, so she stopped. So then she gave me a place at table and they had meat, cold cuts, tomatoes and lettuce, I remember so well the whole, because it's the best supper, we had it the whole week, you know, I didn't know at that time, but I enjoyed the supper and I was excited and they introduced me to my companions who then, I was the last to enter because I didn't want to enter right away so I, I'd been to a party, September 8th was my entrance date and then my mother [Victoria Schlicker Chineworth] had taken me to a party in Indianapolis, Indiana and I didn't rush home so I was a week late. So all my companions had gotten here and they were settled you know? So I was a late comer and I thought that would keep me from saying, making my vows with rest of 'em, but they didn't penalize me for that eight days, those eight days. So, I had the most unique feeling as I walked through that gate, I'm home, I felt so at home and at peace, I cannot exp- it's--the only comparison with that is when I went to Madagascar, I just felt, this is it, I'm home and I cried when I left Madagascar, now I don't know whether it's, that's all imagination or not, but that's how I felt. Well that's how I felt when I entered the convent, I just felt so at home.$This is 1936, you joined this order [Oblate Sisters of Providence], now where did you join, in?--$$On Chase Street, which is in the inner city--$$He- here in Baltimore [Maryland] (simultaneous)?$$--(simultaneous) it's the old motherhouse.$$Here in Baltimore?$$Yeah, the old motherhouse was called Saint Frances Convent [Saint Frances Church and Convent, Baltimore, Maryland] and academy [Saint Frances Academy, Baltimore, Maryland], it, it, it really was a trifle thing 'cause at one time we had orphans, so it was an orphanage, too. But when I entered it was simply an academy and the convent, the motherhouse that was really very crowded with novices and students and sisters. So, when then got a chance to by this property out here in 1933, mother superior was approached by the lawyer, Mr. Galvin [ph.], he said, "Mother, there's a property out in (unclear) that you can't afford to miss and it's on sale for," I forget what amount, what amount it was, but it was more than Mother had. But eventually, it didn't sell, it was the Depression [Great Depression], so eventually it came down to such a low price that Mother said she couldn't afford not to buy it. So she had three bonds and in cashing in the three bonds, she had just enough to buy the property, forty-six acres, a couple of buildings were on it, a mansion, which burned down in 1946, electrical wiring and a barn and a couple of other buildings there. But, we couldn't build this house for ye- decades af- after that, you know, it just, we had ride out the depression. Then one day sister said to mother superior, "Mother I know how I can get you a million dollars." And she said, "How can you get a million dollars?" She said, "We'll make aprons and sell 'em for a dollar a piece, I'll make a million aprons and we'll have a million dollars." Mother said, "Go ahead." So, we sold, made and stitched and sold aprons for some years, we, we couldn't visit home, but we knew that if we took a sales at our home, like have a Avon [Avon Products Inc.] sale. That our parents would be glad to support that because we couldn't home, at home any other way, so we had all over the country, we had sales, and we financed the building of this place [Our Lady of Mount Providence, Baltimore, Maryland], it cost a million dollars to build it, now it would cost many million, you know, but in those days it cost only one million dollars, the ground was broken in '58 [1958], I believe it was, you know, my dates are, take all this with a grain of salt.$$Okay.$$But we moved in in 1960 [sic. 1961].$$Okay.$$I moved in with the first crowd.

Reverend Henry Mitchell

Religious leader and religion professor Reverend Henry Mitchell was born in 1919, in Columbus, Ohio to Orlando and Bertha Mitchell. He received his B.A. degree from Lincoln University and went on to attend Union Theological Seminary, from which he received his B.D. and M.Div. degrees. After graduation, Mitchell was hired as pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Fresno, California and later moved to the Cavalry Baptist Church in Santa Monica, California. He also earned his Th.D. degree from Claremont School of Theology and his M.A. in linguistics from California State University.

In 1969, Mitchell became the first Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Black Church Studies at the consortium of Colgate Rochester Divinity School, Bex Ley Hall, and Crozer Theological Seminary. He also served as professor of religion and Pan African Studies at California State University and academic dean and professor of history and homiletics at Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. In 1988, Mitchell and his wife, the Reverend Doctor Ella Pearson Mitchell, began team-teaching as visiting professors of homiletics at the Interdenominational Theological Center. They became well known for their team-teaching and preaching style, where they would speak to their audience in dialogue with each other.

Mitchell served as the founding director of the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies and has written a book on the history of the African American church called Black Church Beginnings: The Long-Hidden Realities of the First Years . In addition, Mitchell has also written Black Preaching: The Recovery of a Powerful Art , a history of African American preaching styles, Fire in The Well , a collections of sermons Mitchell and his wife have given, and Together For Good: Lessons From Fifty-Five Years of Marriage , Mitchell and his wife’s joint autobiography. He has also co-authored the book Preaching for Black Self-Esteem .

Mitchell has been awarded an honorary D.D. degree by the American Baptist Seminary of the West and an honorary L.H.D. degree by Lincoln University. He and his wife are also the recipients of the 2008 Union Theological Seminary Trailblazer Award.

Henry Mitchell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 16, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.084

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/16/2010

Last Name

Mitchell

Marital Status

Married

Schools

Lincoln University

East High School

Eastwood School

East Pilgrim Elementary School

The Ohio State University

California State University, Fresno

Claremont School of Theology

Union Theological Seminary

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Henry

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

MIT11

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Any

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/10/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Religion professor and religious leader Reverend Henry Mitchell (1919 - ) held positions as a professor both of religion and African American history, including the first Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Black Church Studies at the Colgate Rochester Divinity School. He also pastored the Second Baptist Church in Fresno, California and the Cavalry Baptist Church in Santa Monica.

Employment

North Carolina Central University

Northern California Baptist Convention

Second Baptist Church

Calvary Baptist Church

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies

Interdenominational Theological Center

Proctor School of Theology

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Henry Mitchell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his paternal great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his father's occupation and personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his childhood home in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his experiences of school segregation in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls the Eastwood School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers singing in the choir at the Second Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about the clothing styles of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers Pilgrim Junior High in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers East High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his preparation for college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his graduation from East High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his experiences during the Great Depression

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his calling to the ministry

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls working at the Truck Tractor Equipment Company

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his exemption from the draft

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls leaving The Ohio State University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers enrolling at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his summer work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his activities at Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his time at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his preparation for seminary

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about the history of the Baptist denomination

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his transition to the Union Theological Seminary in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his first year at the Union Theological Seminary

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his decision to propose to his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his wife's ordination as a minister

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his start as an expert on the black church

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about African American religious symbolism

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell reflects upon his philosophy of religion

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls becoming the dean of the chapel at the North Carolina College for Negroes in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes the impact of World War II on his brothers

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his time as dean of the chapel at the North Carolina College for Negroes

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers the birth of his first child

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his children

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls working as a field secretary of the Northern California Baptist Association

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his graduate education

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls the tragic deaths of his family members

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers the adoption of his son

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls pastoring the Second Baptist Church in Fresno, California

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers the assassinations of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers pastoring the Calvary Baptist Church in Santa Monica, California

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Professorship of Black Church Studies

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his career in academia

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls founding the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies in La Verne, California

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his publications

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell reflects upon the success of his marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his collaborations with his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about the history of the black church, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell the history of the black church, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his trips to Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Reverend Henry Mitchell reflects upon the role of women in the black church

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

4$3

DATitle
Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his calling to the ministry
Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his role in the Civil Rights Movement
Transcript
Now, you talked a little bit about religion. But I want you to tell me more about your church [Second Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio] and your affiliation, besides the choir. When did you, when did you get the call?$$I got the call after I finished high school [East High School, Columbus, Ohio]. I was working on a job that was made for me, 'cause they didn't need me in that place [Truck Tractor Equipment Company]. But the fellow that was the head Negro in charge was a good friend of my dad [Orlando Mitchell]. My dad had been very helpful to this fellow when he almost died in an auto accident. They were in the Mat- Ma- Masonic lodge together, and he was the foreman. So my dad went to him one day and said, "My boy is finishing high school. Is there any possible chance you'd give him a job?" Said, "I don't have a job, but I'll make him a job." The result was that at points on the job where I was making twenty-five cents an hour, twelve dollars a week, he would have to put me somewhere to make it look like I was really needed, 'cause otherwise, the boss would have made him fire me. "You don't need that little boy." So, I handled freight that I shouldn't have handled. And I still got problems from that. And he would put me up in a warehouse assembling farm implements have been shipped in in pieces before he needed them. Usually, he would assemble whatever the harvester was or something like that. He would assemble it after he needed it. But he put me up there to put some stuff in stock already assembled. Well, I'm up here looking busy, pushing a ratchet wrench, putting spade lugs on a real big tractor wheel, and didn't take any brains at all, and my mind was floating all the time, they call free association. And one day it dawned on me, every time my mind floats I wind up in a church somewhere, in a pulpit somewhere, either in Africa or in the United States or wherever. And finally, it dawned on me that I was being called. And well, I did, I admired both of my grandpas [Henry Estis and Henry Mitchell] who were Baptist preachers, but I didn't admire them enough to want to join them. But it got on me so bad I couldn't sleep, so finally I yielded to the call. I to- I tried to keep it a secret 'cause people have been calling, telling me I was preacher all along. My--I don't know how this happened, but I, I could recite chapters from the Bible, and I don't even know when I memorized them. When I couldn't read, I could relate that: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so--," [John 14:1-2] when I did my first funeral, after I became a professional pastor, I'm walking down the aisle reciting this stuff in front of the coffin as it rolls down the aisle. And you would have thought I had been pastoring, 'cause I wasn't reading any--(laughter); I was just reciting. But it was because I've known when I couldn't read I could recite that stuff.$$And, and that was just from going to church and hear- hearing it over and over again, you think?$$I haven't any idea how I got it. It must have been something like that, because I don't remember my parents sitting down telling me, "Now memorize this or memorize that."$$But you did go to Sunday school.$$Oh yeah. I memorized the books of the Bible and all that sort of stuff.$In the 1950s--we're going into the 19--the end of the 1950s, 1956. This is when civil rights is starting to--$$Yeah.$$--come to the forefront. Were you involved in civil rights? In, in what way?$$I was involved in all kinds of ways. We had one demonstration with har- Martin King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] right there in Fresno [California].$$Tell me about that.$$I have pictures of it in the stuff that I've got some pictures of. In Fresno I was able to clear up police brutality and stuff, got them to deal with blacks, black justly and e- even made them hire blacks, where they didn't plan to and so forth. I almost got to be ordered to the--elected to the school board, but I had found the school board was wrong on some things. So all the teachers organized the whole--that's a big bunch of people against me because I had caught the school board. And the school board really didn't want me to be on the board 'cause I had caught them wrong too many times.$$Okay. Now, were you involved in the National Baptist Convention [National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.]?$$Yeah.$$Can you tell me what the involvement of the National Baptist Convention was to the, in this--I guess there was some kind of little--a rift between civil rights or their views on civil rights in the National Baptist Convention. Do you know about that, or do you have an opinion about that?$$Well, we had some strange things happen. For one thing, Martin Luther King should have been president of the Congress of Christian Education. And the president had a power base in Mississippi and places like that. And they thought of Martin too radical, and they moved him--he was elected president of the congress, and the president stopped him, did not rec- it was, it was a, a, a technical thing where the presidency or the, the, the, the, the mother convention had to approve the officers elected by the congress. And the congress elected Martin King as president, and the president re- had the convention to deny the usual form of approval. And they picked a new president for the congress because they thought was, that Martin King was too, too radical, stupid stuff like that. So the president was unfortunately the sort of person who, who was almost satisfied with things like they were. And he said just let us, let us fix it with the vote. We don't have to have all of these demonstrations and stuff.$$All right.$$I was quite active in the city. I was too far out to be terribly importantly involved in nationally. But I did have a demonstration in San--in Fresno, in which Martin King did came and--did come, and take part.

Lawrence Carter

Chapel Dean and religion professor Lawrence Carter was born in Georgia to John and Bernice Carter and grew up in Ohio. He received his B.A. degree from Virginia University of Lynchburg and his M. Div., S.T.M., and Ph.D. degrees from Boston University. After his graduation he served as Baptist Counselor, Residential Counselor, and Executive Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Afro American Cultural Center, and as Associate Dean of Daniel L. Marsh Chapel at Boston University. He went on to teach at Harvard University Divinity School and serve as coordinator of African American studies at Simmons College.

Carter eventually became a tenured professor at Morehouse College, a college that Martin Luther King Jr. had tried to recruit him for years earlier. In 1979, Carter became the first Dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel and college curator. In the same year, Carter also founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel Assistants Pre-seminarians Program at Morehouse. In 1982, he began lecturing at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.

Carter was responsible for choosing and researching the site for the new edifice for Ebenezer Baptist Church, a church that both Martin Luther King Jr. and his father preached at. Carter has published several books, including Walking Integrity: Benjamin Elijah Mays, Mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. and Global Ethical Options, in the Tradition of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Daisaku Ikeda . He also commissioned the Gandhi Ikeda King Hassan Institute for Ethics and Reconciliation in 1999, and created the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Community Builder’s Prize of the Morehouse Chapel in 2001. Carter is an advocate of the work of Doctor Daisaku Ikeda, president of the lay Buddhist organization Soka Gakki International, and has done much to publicize Ikeda’s work in the U.S., including helping to create a traveling museum exhibit on the life and work of Gandhi, King, and Ikeda.

Carter has received four honorary degrees from Lincoln University, Al al-Bayt University, and Soka University of Japan. He has been elected delegate to numerous international religious conventions, among them the Second and Third Synthesis Dialogues in Italy. He has also been given many awards, such as the Seikyo Award for Highest Honor and the Trumpet Award for Spirituality. Carter has been a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow twice, a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar, and has been voted a member of the Class of Leadership Atlanta.
Lawrence Carter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 15, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.080

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/15/2010

4/18/2011

Last Name

Carter

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Edward

Schools

West High School

Virginia University of Lynchburg

Boston University

First Name

Lawrence

Birth City, State, Country

Dawson

HM ID

CAR23

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ that Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/23/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Trout, Salmon, Eel, Crabcakes, Green Vegetables

Short Description

Religion professor and chapel dean Lawrence Carter (1941 - ) was a professor and chapel dean at Morehouse College, and worked to promote and preserve the legacy of civil rights leaders around the world.

Employment

Morehouse College

Boston University

Simmons College

Bates College

Favorite Color

Scarlet, Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:3050,11:3590,22:4250,36:5870,43:6794,51:15788,136:22866,232:23262,239:28542,375:35296,520:36612,541:37270,549:45830,633:49425,683:64255,877:73103,1020:76092,1115:79435,1147:79810,1154:80110,1163:80635,1176:85440,1259:85926,1266:86412,1273:87222,1283:88032,1295:92754,1347:95606,1426:97320,1433:97656,1438:99645,1457:109126,1622:114992,1709:115296,1714:116208,1729:119360,1769:122140,1790:122416,1795:122761,1801:124094,1812:126405,1834:126915,1841:127425,1848:131072,1875:131402,1881:134823,2034:140414,2116:141200,2124$0,0:3888,65:4320,73:4608,78:9333,159:11244,185:12154,198:12609,204:13246,213:14793,235:20545,250:22795,291:25195,342:25645,349:30295,392:30834,400:36340,454:37110,467:48932,575:49762,588:51339,615:55221,652:55537,657:56880,694:57433,702:58302,707:63413,760:64142,825:64790,835:73161,941:75452,1015:83355,1107:103388,1299:103857,1307:104192,1313:108176,1370:110251,1424:115291,1491:119570,1532:130523,1691:140000,1800:140642,1808:141605,1822:156750,2060:157010,2065:166604,2152:169442,2209:169958,2216:170732,2226:173719,2246:173915,2251:174111,2256:176260,2285:177880,2316:178840,2343:183084,2441:183320,2446:189264,2505:199219,2619:205814,2734:213290,2805:214018,2821:214837,2831:224580,2981:224930,2987:225350,2995:225980,3006:230913,3078:232383,3092:235028,3139:236456,3165:240250,3219:240550,3228:246947,3304:251595,3478:256360,3492:261070,3548
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lawrence Carter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter lists his favorites

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter remembers his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter describes his relationship with his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter describes the foods of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter remembers his early religious experiences

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

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter remembers pivotal moments from his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter describes his maternal grandmother's home in Dawson, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter remembers his maternal grandmother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter recalls his convalescence in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter remembers his first train trip to Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter remembers his early education in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter remembers his fifth grade teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter talks about his academic achievements at Garfield Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter describes the Hilltop neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter describes the Hilltop neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter describes his mother's occupations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter remembers the day of his mother's funeral

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter describes his mother's personality

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter describes his experiences at West Junior and Senior High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter describes his role as bailiff in the student court at West Junior and Senior High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter recalls his decision to attend Virginia Theological Seminary and College in Lynchburg, Virginia

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

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter describes his call to ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter talks about his baptism and the pastor of his church

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter recalls his first encounter with racial discrimination

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter remembers a minstrel show from his youth

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter recalls attending Virginia Theological Seminary and College in Lynchburg, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter remembers a valuable lesson about his education

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter recalls his early jobs as a teenager

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter remembers working as a camp counselor at Camp Wheeler in Chesterville, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter recalls applying to the Boston University School of Theology in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter explains the difference between licensure and ordination

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter remembers facing racial discrimination in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter remembers the events of the Cold War

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter describes his membership in the Un-American Activities club

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter reflects upon his experiences during the 1960s

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter describes his participation in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter remembers the March on Washington

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter describes his graduation from Virginia Seminary and College

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter describes his vacation on Huckleberry Island in Canada

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter remembers a close friend

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter recalls his childhood adventures in a junkyard

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Lawrence Carter describes his dating experiences at the Boston University School of Theology

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Lawrence Carter recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Lawrence Carter's interview, session 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter describes the early years of his marriage

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter recalls his start as a university instructor

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter talks about his organizational memberships in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter remembers joining the Masons

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter describes the connections between Masonry and Christianity

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter talks about his appointment as dean of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Chapel

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter describes his plan for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Chapel

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Lawrence Carter remembers his relationship with the King family

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Lawrence Carter describes the Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapel Assistants Pre-seminarians Program

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Lawrence Carter remembers the Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children cases

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter remembers Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter recalls the activities at Morehouse College in the late 1980s

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter describes the Leadership Atlanta program

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter talks about his involvement in the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter talks about Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s expulsion from the National Baptist Convention, USA

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter describes his son

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter talks about his research for his books

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter remembers his ethics research in the Fulbright-Hays Program

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Lawrence Carter describes the culture and geography of Brazil

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Lawrence Carter remembers revitalizing the campus of Morehouse College

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter remembers reinterring Benjamin Mays at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter recalls finding the new location for Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter recalls editing the centennial collection of Benjamin Mays' writings

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter talks about founding the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Institute for Global Ethics and Reconciliation, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter talks about founding the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Institute for Global Ethics and Reconciliation, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter describes his peace work after September 11, 2001

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter remembers hosting Cheikh Anta Diop at Morehouse College

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter describes the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter recalls his inaugural address at the Soka University of America

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter recalls planning the first Interfaith Resurrection Assembly

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter talks about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter describes his various honors

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter talks about his wife

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter shares his plans for the future

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter shares a message to future generations

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Lawrence Carter shares his thoughts about contemporary churches, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - Lawrence Carter shares his thoughts about contemporary churches, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 11 - Lawrence Carter shares his gratitude in joining The HistoryMakers collection

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DATitle
Lawrence Carter remembers meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Lawrence Carter describes his call to ministry
Transcript
And so the school was living on its heyday decades past. But I stayed, and in 1961, Martin King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] came to Lynchburg, Virginia to speak, and I didn't know he was coming, and this was gonna be my second time going to hear him. Maybe I should put in, before I tell you this, that in the tenth grade the superintendent of school was at our church, Oakley Baptist [Oakley Full Gospel Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio], on a Sunday morning with no warning, took me across town to hear him speak at Union Grove Baptist Church [Columbus, Ohio]. It's the first time I heard him--tenth grader. And I was impressed, and couldn't figure out why I had been brought, but I was considering the ministry--didn't know for sure, and I had figured out a habit that was a good practice, that when I visited churches, I should go and ask the minister could I look at his study--library. And I asked Dr. Hale [ph.], a Morehouse man [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia], if I could see his study after church, and he said, "Of course, go right in, there's nobody there." I went in and closed the door and started looking at the books, from the floor to the ceiling, and when I turned around to view the books on the other side of the room, Martin Luther King, Jr. himself was seated in a chair, alone. I was astounded, and the first thing I thought was the pastor lied to me (laughter); he said nobody was here. King said, "What's your name?" I told him. He said, "Have you considered college?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Have you considered Morehouse?" I said, "Yes." And I said, "But one of my neighbors talked me out of it." He said, "Why?" "He said it wasn't up to snuff." He then started a very persuasive conversation on why I should consider Morehouse. Long story short, the neighbor won, and the church people said to me, "Basically, we think that you'd be better off at Virginia [Virginia Theological Seminary and College; Virginia University of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, Virginia] because we think that Morehouse would be too hard for you."$$Wow.$$That's how I got to Virginia to college.$Before we go forward, I just wanna go back a little bit and, and pick up some pieces. I wanna know about when--I mean you told about the tenth grade you were considering ministry, but when was the first time you felt that you had the call?$$Oh. My calling was not a Pauline call, of being knocked off some proverbial horse and blinded by a bright light, it didn't happen abruptly; it was a gradual thing from the ninth grade to the twelfth, and it got stronger and stronger by elimination. And it wasn't until January of the twelfth grade; I was so anguishing that if God wanted me to preach, why didn't he just tell me? And of course I could hear Bill Cosby's voice, "You know, he doesn't operate like that" (laughter). Well, one day I was seated in the sanctuary [at Oakley Full Gospel Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio] trying to decide, and my pastor came down the aisle. Nobody else was in the sanctuary but me. And as he passed, I said, "Reverend Ashburn [Jacob Ashburn, Jr.], I think I've been called to preach." He kept right on going (laughter); didn't say anything. I was shocked; I thought this would cause for some kind of conversation. So I watched him go on back to the narthex, and then I decided to sit there until he came back, and he walked right by me and I said, "But I'm nervous about having to preach all these Sundays." And he said, while passing by me, "I thought you said you were called to preach," (laughter), and he walked right on into his office, and I thought, what's going on? I was dealing with my ambivalence. So I followed him into his office and so we talked a moment. And he said, "Well, if you think you've been called," he says, "I'll set a date for you to preach your trial sermon." And that was January. He set the date of May 11th; that gave me time to finish and to graduate [from West Junior and Senior High School; West High School, Columbus, Ohio], though the graduation wasn't 'til June. I'll never forget--the church was full; it was like a Wednesday night. My mother [Bernice Childs Johnson] had told everybody. People from out of town came. I was as nervous as you can imagine. I had only preached one other sermon a few Sundays before at a United Methodist church, and I don't know what happened, but the sermon was received thunderously, and the word spread throughout the community, "[HistoryMaker] Lawrence Carter has been called to preach, and you should of heard him last Sunday." But I had not preached at my church. And when I finished that sermon, I didn't have another sermon (laughter), so I had to write another sermon. So I did, and I remember using--I can't even tell you the title of the sermon right now, but I used like these little devotionals, these little handbooks--one of the popular ones; it's not coming to me right now, that everybody knows.$$Daily Word?$$Daily Word--to help me get ready. And I went in with my little manuscript, and I sat there, really sweating, looking out at all these people, wondering, what do they want to hear? And I got up and I delivered it. And I sat down, and the church licensed me. But I remember I was very disappointed at one of my favorite deacons, Mr. Joseph Gentry [ph.]; he did not make the motion and he did not second it, but he voted in my favor. I wanted him to make the motion just because I had so much--he was the one who took me to hear Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr.]; I had so much respect for him. So that is how I started, and I've been struggling ever since (laughter).