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Adams, Henry
Birth Year : 1802
Death Year : 1873
Henry Adams was a Baptist leader in Louisville, KY, where he established the first African American Church. He also set up a school for African American children; the school survived while other schools established for African Americans by white ministers were being destroyed. Rev. Adams was born in Franklin County, KY. He was the father of John Quincy "J. Q." Adams. For more see Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright; "Rev. Henry Adams" on pp.196-197 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas.

See photo image of Rev. Henry Adams in the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Fathers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Franklin County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

The African American Herndons from Simpson County, KY
Start Year : 1852
The following information was submitted by Gayla Coates, Archives Librarian at the Simpson County Kentucky Archives. Melford, Solomon, Bob, and Amy were the slaves of James Herndon in Simpson County, KY. In 1852, they were all to be freed when James Herndon's will was probated. The will stipulated that the slaves were to be freed if they agreed to go live in Liberia, Africa; otherwise, they were to remain in bondage to a member of James Herndon's family. Robert Herndon (b. 1814) and Melford D. Herndon (b. 1819) sailed to Liberia in 1854 aboard the ship Sophia Walker. Solomon Herndon (b. 1811) left aboard the ship Elvira Owen in 1856. In Monrovia, Liberia, Melford Herndon attended the Day's Hope mission school where he learned to read and write. He became a missionary among the Bassa people. During the American Civil War, his salary for his missionary work was discontinued. Melford returned to the U.S. and was able to secure assistance for the mission in Liberia. He also brought two of his sons to Liberia. While in the U.S., he was ordained a minister at the First African Baptist Church in Philadelphia. Herndon also collected $2,000 to build a school and meeting house for the Bassa people. He returned to Liberia in 1865 and continued his work without a salary. In 1869, Melford Herndon left his brother in charge of the school in Liberia and again returned to the U.S. for additional fund-raising and to locate his other four children. In 1873, Melford Herndon was back in Herndonville, Liberia. He would again return to the U.S., bringing with him ten Africans who would become students at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. When he returned to Liberia, he brought along his sister, Mrs. Julia Lewis, from Kentucky. They sailed on the ship Liberia, which was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Colonization Society. For more see G. Coates, "Melford D. Herndon: Freed Slave and Missionary to Liberia," Jailhouse Journal, vol. 18, issue 2 (04/2009), p. 22. [The Simpson County Historical Society is housed in the old jail, thus the name of its journal.]
Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Simpson County, Kentucky / Monrovia and Herndonville, Liberia, Africa

African Baptist Church (Henderson, KY)
Start Year : 1840
The African Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, located in Henderson, KY, held its meetings in fields, barns, or any location where they could gather. In 1840, the African Baptist Church received membership into the white Baptist Church, according to "African Baptist Church," pp. 476-480 in the History of Henderson County, Kentucky, by E. L. Starling. The group stayed within the white Baptist Church until 1845, when the African Baptist Church was organized, after which the group held services in the basement of the white Baptist Church. Willis Walker, a slave, was chosen as the pastor of the African Baptist Church, and the church purchased his freedom for $560. Rev. Walker died during a creek baptism and was replaced by Rev. Henry Green from Danville, KY. In 1866, the African Baptist Church split: 33 members left to form the Race Creek Baptist Church. In 1866, the African Baptist Church separated from the white Baptist Church and moved into its first building, the old Methodist Church building at the corner of Elm and Washington Streets. The church was renamed First Missionary Baptist Church, and several more churches would grow out of the congregation: St. Paul's Baptist Church in Corydon; St. John Baptist Church; New Hope Baptist Church; Walnut Hill Baptist Church; and Fourth Street Baptist Church.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

The African Repository and Colonial Journal (periodical)
Start Year : 1825
End Year : 1892
Published by the American Colonization Society, the journal was first known as The African Repository and Colonial Journal. In 1850 the title changed to The African Repository and in 1892 to Liberia. The journals contain reports, records, and activities of the American Colonization Society. Included in the issues are the names of slave owners, estates, and the freed slaves who were to be colonized in Liberia, Africa. An example of the listing can be found under the heading "African Colonization in Kentucky at the Google Book Search site.
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Inheritance, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Liberia, Africa

Akins, Clyde B., Sr.
Birth Year : 1950
Clyde B. Akins, Sr. is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Bracktown, KY, and an educator. He is also author of From burden to blessing. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in Social Work, and his Master's of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry are from Lexington Theological Seminary. He served in the Army as a multilingual interpreter and taught foreign languages, having studied eight languages. Akins was appointed to the Kentucky Board of Education in 2006. He was appointed by Governor Steve Breshear to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustee in 2011. For more see First Baptist Church Bracktown; "Governor Fletcher Appoints Members to the State Board of Education," 02/24/2006 (a Kentucky government press release); F. E. Lockwood, "Expanding a ministry - First Baptist Church Bracktown moves into its $6.5 million facility with lots more room and outreach opportunities," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/08/2006, Main News section, p. A1; the Akins interview, "Future Black Males Working Academy," Connections with Renee Shaw, #215, 06/02/2007, at KET (Kentucky Educational Television); and L. Blackford, "Lexington minister joins UK board - Breshear fills number of college posts," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/02/2011, p.A4.
Subjects: Authors, Civic Leaders, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Bracktown, Fayette County, Kentucky

Alexander, Kelvin E.
Birth Year : 1969
Kelvin Alexander was born in Clinton, KY, the son of Mildred Alexander. He now lives in Bowling Green, KY, where he is serving a second term as vice president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 453, the first African American to serve in that position. Alexander is a graduate of Hickman County High School and Western Kentucky University, where he earned a B.A. in mass communication and minored in public administration. He is a member of the Oakland Mount Zion Baptist Church in Oakland, KY, and will soon be a deacon. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Kelvin and his wife Diana are the parents of William Alexander. Information submitted by Mildred C. and Kelvin E. Alexander.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Postal Service, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Clinton, Hickman County, Kentucky / Oakland and Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Allensworth, Allen [Allensworth, California]
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1914
Allen Allensworth was born a slave in Louisville, KY, the son of Levi and Phyllis Allensworth. He escaped and became a nurse during the Civil War and later joined the Navy and became a chief petty officer. After the war, he returned to Kentucky and became a schoolteacher, an ordained minister, and a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1880 and 1884. He was appointed chaplain of the 24th Infantry by President Cleveland and received promotion to lieutenant colonel. In 1890, Allensworth moved to California and established a company to assist African Americans in their migration to California. The town of Allensworth was developed, the first and still the only California town founded by African Americans. Today the area where the town once stood is Colonel Allensworth State Historical Park. Allen Allensworth was the husband of Josephine Leavell Allensworth, also a Kentucky native. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; "Rev. Allen Allensworth, A.M." on pp.198-199 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in KentuckyHistory of Allensworth, CAFriends of Allensworth; and for more about Allen Allensworth's military career see his entry in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier by F. N. Schubert.

See photo image of Allen Allensworth on p.189 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Parks, Religion & Church Work, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Nurses
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Allensworth, California (no longer exists)

Allensworth, James L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1922
Reverend James L. Allensworth, Sr. was a pastor, veteran, and respected man; he was also the first African American coroner in Hopkinsville, KY. He owned a single lot of land on Lovier Street, according to the city property tax list for 1893 and 1894. He was manager of the Good Samaritan Association in Hopkinsville [see NKAA entry Colored Lodges - Hopkinsville, KY]. He was editor of The Baptist Monitor newspaper while it was located in Hopkinsville [source: "Papers published by Negroes" in Chapter 13 of A History of Christian County Kentucky by C. M. Meacham]. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. In 1905, he ran for re-election as the county coroner, and his son James Allensworth, Jr. (1872-1927), was named for the position of constable [source: "Nominated for magistrate, and Jim Allensworth, Jr., for constable," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 09/12/1905, p. 1]. Allensworth, Sr. was re-elected as coroner in 1905 and 1909 [source: "Slate went through easy," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 04/27/1909, p. 1]. He was first elected to the position of coroner in 1894 and in 1895 held an inquest into the death of a man who was hit by a train while walking down the tracks [source: "A stranger killed," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 01/22/1895, p. 1]. He is listed among Christian County's first elected Negro officials [see NKAA entry], and he served as the coroner of Hopkinsville until 1920. Rev. Allensworth's duties included cutting down the bodies of lynched persons and burying them, one case being that of "Booker" Brame, who was said to have been lynched by an unknown party [source: "Coroner cuts down body," Springfield Sun, 04/19/1909, p. 1]. Rev. Allensworth was the husband of Gracie McComb Allensworth; they married in May of 1899 [source: "County Corner weds," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 06/02/1899, p. 5]. Gracie McComb Allesnworth is listed on James's military pension record. His previous wife was Minerva Perkins Allensworth. Rev. Allensworth, his wife, and their four children are listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Rev. Allensworth was a Civil War veteran, having served with the 13th Heavy Artillery division of the U.S. Colored Troops. According to his enlistment record, James L. Allensworth, Sr. was born in Christian County, KY, around 1845; he enlisted in Bowling Green, KY, on September 24, 1864. He may have been a slave prior to enlisting in the military; his parents were listed as unknown on his death certificate.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

American Baptist Home Missionary Society Schools in Kentucky
Start Year : 1895
In 1895, the American Baptist Home Missionary Society had 619 African American students in its Kentucky schools: State University [Simmons University], Louisville; Cadiz Normal and Theological College [headed by Rev. W. H. McRidley], Cadiz; Simmons Memorial College [headed by Robert Mitchell], Bowling Green; Henderson Normal School, Henderson; Glasgow Normal School, Glasgow; and Baptist Church School, Danville. For more see the Sixty-third Annual Report, of the American Baptist Home Mission Society, May 30th and 31st, 1895, pp.115-117 [full view available via Google Book Search]. See also the entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Anderson, Dennis H.
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1952
Dennis Henry Anderson was originally from Tennessee. A graduate of Lane College in Tennessee, he became a Methodist minister. His wife was Artelia Harris Anderson. Dennis Anderson came to Kentucky and opened schools in Graves and Fulton counties. He raised funds for the building of the first high school in Fulton County in 1905. Anderson also initiated the building of West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College], starting the building with his bare hands in 1909. The school, located in Paducah, KY, became a state institution in 1918. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; Fifty Years of Segregation: Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1904-1954, by J. A. Hardin; My West Kentucky, by J. M. Blythe; and Dennis Henry Anderson, Founder of West Kentucky Technical College, a Jackson Purchase Historical Society website.

Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Fulton County, Kentucky / Graves County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Tennessee

Anderson, Felix S., Sr.
Birth Year : 1891
Death Year : 1983
Born in Louisville, KY, Felix Sylvester Anderson, Sr. was a graduate of Livingston College and Hood Theological Seminary, both in North Carolina, and Western Theological Seminary in Michigan, where he received his Doctor of Divinity S.T.C. He was the first African American Democrat and the fourth African American in the Kentucky General Assembly. Anderson was elected as a Representative in 1954, 1956, and 1958. He was the first African American to chair a standing committee in the Kentucky House of Representatives when he was appointed head of the Committee of Suffrage, Elections, and Constitutional Amendments in 1958. The sway away from Republicans had continued with the Democratic bid for votes from Louisville's African Americans in 1944 during the Presidential election, with emphasis on the Roosevelt administration's economic contributions. By 1948, the number of eligible African American Democrat voters in Louisville had escalated to an all time high of 32.2% of all African American registered voters. For more on Felix S. Anderson, see "Negro heads Kentucky panel," The New York Times, 01/18/1958, p.9; and contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission. For more on the voting history, see L. C. Kesselman, "Negro Voting in a Border Community: Louisville, Kentucky," The Journal of Negro Education, 26, no. 3, pp. 273-280.

Access Interview Read about the Felix S. Anderson, Sr. oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Arnett, Charles H.
Birth Year : 1858
Born in Henderson, KY, Arnett was an ordained minister, owned a contracting business, and built seven churches (two in Sebree, KY) and a number of homes in Kentucky. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Businesses, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Sebree, Webster County, Kentucky

Ashworth, John Pater
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 2006
In 1972, Reverend J. Pater Ashworth became the first African American to be elected president of the Kentucky Council of Churches. For more see "First Black president named by churchmen," Lexington Leader, 11/16/1972, p. 1.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Atwell, Joseph Sandiford
Birth Year : 1831
Death Year : 1881
Rev. Joseph S. Atwell, from Barbados, was the first colored man ordained a Deacon of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Kentucky, according to his obituary on p.5 of the New York Times, 10/10/1881. Rev. Atwell was Rector at St. Phillips Protestant Episcopal Church on Mulberry Street in New York City when he died of typhoid fever in 1881. He had attended Codrington College in Barbados, and came to the United States in 1863 to attend the Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated in 1866 and next came to Kentucky where he was ordained a deacon by Bishop Smith. Rev. Atwell was a missionary worker in Kentucky and next went to Petersburg, VA, where he was ordained a priest in 1868 and became Rector of the St. Stephen's Church and was head of a parish school. He then went to Savannah, GA, in 1873 and was Rector of the St. Stephen's Church. He went to New York in 1875. Rev. Joseph S. Atwell was the husband of Cordelia Jennings Atwell, a mulatto from Pennsylvania, and the father of Joseph, Robert, and Earnest Atwell [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The family lived at No.112 Waverley Place.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Immigration, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Barbados, Lesser Antilles / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Kentucky / Virginia / Savannah, Georgia / New York

Austin, Helen C.
Birth Year : 1925
Helen Cloud Austin, from Harlan, KY, was the second African American student to attend the University of Louisville School of Social Work, from which she graduated in 1953. With the help of Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, she became the first African American professional hired at the San Antonio State Hospital, a mental health facility in Texas. In 1983, Austin was the San Antonio Social Worker of the Year and the Texas State Social Worker of the Year. She was inducted into the San Antonio Hall of Fame in 1985. Austin retired from the hospital in 1987. Two years later, she was included in the booklet titled Salute to Black Women Who Make Things Happen by the National Council of Negro Women. After her retirement, Austin continued to be active with several organizations, including serving as president of the Board of Directors for the San Antonio Halfway House, Inc., she started the Senior Citizen Ministry at St. Paul United Methodist Church, and she continued her work with Crosspoint, a nonprofit that provides reentry residential services for ex-offenders, an organization that Austin co-founded in 1963. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta. The Helen Cloud Austin Papers are at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Information about Crosspoint and other updates were provided by Joan Cheever.

See photo image and additional information about Helen C. Austin at the NASW Foundation website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Care of the Elderly
Geographic Region: Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / San Antonio, Texas

Baker, Henry Edward
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2014
Reverend Henry E. Baker was a civil rights activist, a pastor, and a city commissioner in Winchester, KY. A school was named in his honor, the Henry E. Baker Intermediate School, dedicated on August 3, 2014. For 38 years, he was pastor of the Broadway Baptist Church, 1955-1993. He was among those who helped integrate the Winchester schools in 1956. In 1977, he was elected the moderator of the Consolidated District Association of Kentucky Baptist. In 1978, he established a fund drive for Elizabeth Greene who was blinded on August 4, 1978, when an unknown person fired into her car and the bullet struck her in the head ["Fund drive," Kentucky New Era, 12/28/1978, p.29 - online]. He was chair of the Winchester Human Rights Commission. In 1979, he became the first African American to serve as a city commissioner in Winchester, and he also served as vice mayor from 1980-1984. In 2000, he was inducted into the Kentucky Human Rights Commission Civil Rights Hall of Fame. In 2006, the block in Winchester between Washington Street and Broadway, was renamed from Bell's Alley to Reverend Baker Way. Reverend Baker also received the Martin Luther King Jr. Award in 2007. Reverend Henry E. Baker was born in The Pocket in Wilmore, KY, he was the son of Mary E. Overstreet Baker (1894-1985) and Henry Baker (1890-1973) [source: Ms. Hallie Miller; Kentucky Birth Index; FindAGrave, Henry Baker; and 1930 and 1940 U.S. Federal Census]. Rev. Baker was the husband of Sarah F. Prentice Baker for 69 years. He was a WWII veteran; Rev. Baker enlisted in Cincinnati, OH, April 16, 1943 [source: U.S. WWII Army Enlistment Records]. He was the brother of Fred Baker. This entry was submitted by Ms. Hallie Miller.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: The Pocket in Wilmore, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Ball, William Baton
Birth Year : 1839
Death Year : 1923
Ball, a former slave, was born in Danville, KY, and graduated from Oberlin College. He served in the U.S. Army, 99th Division, 149th Regiment, and later moved to Texas, where in 1871 he formed a reserve militia, 25th Regiment Company K in Seguin, Guadalupe County. That same year, Ball and Leonard Ilsley, a white minister, established Abraham Lincoln School, the first school for African Americans in Guadalupe County. He also helped found the Negro Baptist College. Ball also served as pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Seguin. A street and a school in Seguin were named in his honor. For more see William B. Ball, by N. Thompson, at The Handbook of Texas Online website; Ball Early Childhood Center website; and A Sure Foundation, by A. W. Jackson.
See William Baton Ball photo images at Southern Methodist University CUL Digital Collections.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Seguin, Texas

Ballard, John and Amanda
John (1830-1905) and Amanda Ballard (b. 1840-died before 1900) were the first African Americans to settle in the hills above Malibu; the site, Negrohead Mountain [a refined version of the name], was named in recognition of the Ballards early pioneering presence in the area. There was an effort underway to rename the peak Ballard Mountain. John Ballard, a former slave from Kentucky, was a blacksmith, a teamster, and a firewood salesman. He was a free man when the family arrived in Los Angeles in 1859. John was able to earn enough money to purchase 320 acres near Seminole Hot Springs, and the family later moved near Santa Monica. John helped found the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles; the services were first held in 1872 in the home of co-founder Biddy Mason. Mason, like Ballard, had been a former slave; she won her freedom, along with 13 others, in an 1856 California court case. Mason settled in the city of Los Angeles. It is not known how John Ballard gained his freedom. When the Ballards moved to their mountain home, the family was sometimes harassed; their house was burnt down in an attempt to run them out of the area, but the Ballards refused to leave. John, and Amanda, who was born in Texas, first appear in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census. The couple had seven children according to the 1870 Census, all of whom were born in California. By 1900, John Ballard was a widow and his daughter Alice, who was a nurse, and two grandsons, were living with him. For more see Happy Days in Southern California, by F. H. Rindge [John Ballard is not referred to by name but rather as an "old colored neighbor"]; Heads and Tails -- and Odds and Ends, by J. H. Russell; B. Pool, "Negrohead Mountain might get new name," Los Angeles Times, 02/24/2009, Domestic News section; and R. McGrath, "Santa Monica peak renamed Ballard Mountain," Ventura County Star, 10/07/2009, Local section. For more on Biddy Mason see The Power of Place, by D. Hayden.

See video about John Ballard and the naming of Ballard Mountain, "Local activists responsible for 'Negrohead' Mountian name change," a thegriot.com/NBC News website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Banks, William Venoid
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1985
In 1975, William V. Banks, born in Geneva, KY, was the first African American to own and operate a television station in the United States, WGPR-TV in Detroit, MI. He also became the owner, in 1964, of the first black radio station in Detroit, WGPR-FM. Banks was a graduate of Lincoln Institute, Wayne State University (1926), and the Detroit College of Law (1929) [now Michigan State University College of Law]. He also became an ordained minister after completing his studies at the Detroit Baptist Seminary in 1949. Banks founded the International Free and Accepted Modern Masons and Eastern Star, serving as its supreme president. He also founded the Universal Barber College and the International School of Cosmetology in 1957. A biography of Banks' life, A Legacy of Dreams, was written by S. T. Gregory. For more see "Founder of 1st black-owned TV station dies," United Press International, 08/26/1985, Domestic News section.

See photo image of William V. Banks on p.23 of Jet, December 30, 1985-January 6, 1986.
Subjects: Barbers, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Lawyers, Migration North, Radio, Religion & Church Work, Television, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Geneva, Henderson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Baptist Women's Educational Convention
Start Year : 1883
African American Baptist women in Kentucky gathered in 1883 to develop an organization dedicated to raising funds to support Simmons University in Louisville, KY. Simmons was the first higher education institution in Kentucky specifically for African Americans. The meeting was named the Baptist Women's Educational Convention, and Amanda V. Nelson, a member of the First Baptist Church in Lexington, KY, was elected president. The convention was the first state-wide organization of African American Baptist women in the United States. Most of the members were teachers who came from practically every African American Baptist Church in the state. Following the lead in Kentucky, an Alabama women's Baptist educational organization was formed next, and the trend continued in other states during the last two decades of the century. For more see Righteous Discontent, by E. B. Higginbotham.

See photo image of Baptist Women's Educational Convention Board on p.139 in the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Barlow, William D.
Barlow, from Summer Shade, KY, was a caretaker and Baptist minister. In 1970 he became the first African American elected to office in Metcalfe County, serving as a constable. For more see Kentucky Black Elected Officials Directory [1970], p. 3, col. B, published by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Summer Shade, Metcalfe County, Kentucky

Barr, Henry
Birth Year : 1834
Death Year : 1902
Barr, a barber, was the first African American to build a commercial building in Watertown, NY, prior to 1910 when there 76 African Americans in the community. Barr had arrived in Watertown in 1865; he was an escaped slave from Kentucky and had been living in Montreal before moving to New York. Barr had a chicken farm and owned a dry cleaners and clothes dying shop before building the three story building named Barr Block. He was a successful businessman and leader in the African American community. He was one of the first Board of Trustee members of what is today Thomas Memorial AME Zion Church. The Henry Barr Underground Railroad Community Development, Inc. was named in his honor. For more see L. L. Scharer, "African-Americans in Jefferson County, New York; 1810-1910," Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, vol. 19, no. 1 (Jan. 31, 1995), pp. 7ff.; and J. Golden, "Blacks have long had faith in Watertown," Watertown Daily Times, 02/26/1995, Lifestyles and Leisure section, p. G1.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Watertown, New York

Barrens, Esther Maxwell
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1954
Barrens was born in Pulaski, Tennessee and is buried in Nashville, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Fannie and Washington Maxwell, and the wife of Kentucky native Charles Barrens. Esther graduated in the first Nurse Training Class of Meharry Medical College in 1906. She came to Louisville in 1907 and took the job of Head Nurse Supervisor of the Negro Division of Waverly Hills Sanatorium, a tuberculosis hospital. Due to the shortage of nurses in the Negro Division, Barrens was often the only nurse on duty; therefore, she began training nurses to work in the hospital. She also pushed for Negro children in the hospital to also receive education and to be included in activities. Barrens worked with the Sunday school groups and the Sunshine Center Tuberculosis Clinic, established in 1927. She was a member of the Executive Board of the Meharry Alumni Association and served on the Kentucky State Board of the Parent-Teacher Association. Barrens was employed at Waverly for 28 years. She had married Charles Barrens in 1908, and by 1910 her parents and one other family member had moved to Louisville, KY, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, they all shared a home. Information submitted by Mr. Shirley J. Foley (Ms. Barrens' nephew). For more information on Esther Barrens' employment at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium, contact the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Pulaski, Tennessee / Nashville, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bell, J. W.
Rev. J. W. Bell lived in Louisville, KY, where he was one of the early pastors of the Center Street Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. In 1873, he was elected secretary of the CME General Conference. That same year, he was named Book Agent of the CME Publishing House and editor of the Christian Index, the CME monthly news publication. The CME publishing operation had been moved from Memphis to Louisville. After a month, Bell was limited to editing the newspaper only, and W. P. Churchill, of Louisville, was named the new book agent. Bell produced the first issue of the Christian Index in Kentucky; the newspaper was six years old, having been first published in 1867. A few months later, a disagreement occurred between Bell and Bishop Miles, and Bell was relieved of his duties at the newspaper and at the Center Street CME Church. He was replaced by Alexander Austin. In 1884, Rev. J. W. Bell was a pastor in Hopkinsville, KY [source: Proceedings, Sermon, Essays, and Addresses of the Centennial Methodist Conference edited by H. J. Carroll et. al., p.17]. He had also been the pastor of the Israel Church in Washington, D.C. [source: Autobiography and Work of Bishop M. F. Jamison, D.D. ("Uncle Joe") by M. F. Jamison, p.170]. For more see The History of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, by C. H. Phillips.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bentley, Daniel S.
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1916
Reverend Daniel S. Bentley was born in Madison County, KY. Bentley attended Berea College and later left Kentucky for Pennsylvania. In Pittsburgh, he founded The Afro-American Spokesman newspaper, owned by the Spokesman Stock Company, of which Bentley was president. During this time, Bentley was also pastor of the Wylie Avenue A.M.E. Church in Pittsburgh. Bentley also authored Brief Religious Reflections in 1900. Rev. D. S. Bentley died suddenly in the pulpit of his church, St. Paul A. M. E. in Mckeesport, PA, on November 12, 1916 [source: "Dr. Bentley Dead," Cleveland Gazette, 12/09/1916, p.2]. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Centennial Encyclopedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church..., by Richard Allen and others (Philadelphia: 1816), p. 38, at Documenting the American South website; and The Afro-American Press and Its Editors, by I. G. Penn (1891) [available full view at Google Book Search].

A brief bio and picture of Rev. Daniel S. Bentley are on pp.186-187 in The Sons of Allen by H. Talbert [available full text at Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh and Mckeesport, Pennsylvania

Berry, Elder
Elder Berry opened the first theological school for African Americans in the Olivet Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. The school lasted only five months, but it led the way for other theological schools for African Americans. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bingham, Walter D.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2006
Rev. Walter D. Bingham became, in 1966, the first African American to lead the Kentucky Association of Christian Churches. Five years later, he became the first African American named to the top post of the Christian Church (Church of Christ) as moderator of the denomination of 1.5 million members. Bingham's first vice moderator was Mrs. H. G. Wilkes, the first woman moderator. Bingham was minister of the Third Christian Church [now Third Central United Christian Church] in Louisville, KY. A native of Memphis, TN, he was a 1945 graduate of Talladega College and earned his divinity degree from Howard University in 1948. He taught at Jarvis Christian College and was a pastor in Oklahoma before arriving in Louisville, KY in 1961. He was the husband of librarian Rebecca Taylor Bingham, and the son of Lena and Willie Bingham. For more see "Louisville minister heads church group," Lexington Herald, 04/21/1966, p. 1; "Born in slavery era; church elects first Black man national moderator," Lexington Herald, 10/20/1971, p. 31; and P. Burba, "Rev. Walter Bingham dies; was pioneer with Disciples of Christ," Courier Journal, 04/16/2006, News section, p. 4B.

See photo image and additional information about Rev. Walter D. Bingham at Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bishop, Daisy H. and Charles Maceo
Daisy Carolyn Hitch Bishop (1897-1990) and Charles Maceo Bishop (1898-1990) resided in Paris, KY, for most of their lives. Daisy was born in Falmouth, KY, the daughter of Carrie B. and Edward J. Hitch. Charles, a musician, was born in Paris, the son of Georgie A. Small Bishop (1874-1953) and Charles W. Bishop (b. 1867). Charles Maceo was a World War I veteran. He and Daisy were married November 30, 1919, and initially lived with Daisy's family in Newtown, an African American community in Paris. Charles Maceo learned to play music while a student at Western School for Colored children in Paris. He played drums, saxophone, and piano. His mother, Georgie A. Small Bishop, encouraged him to play music; her father, George Small (1822-1879?), had also been a musician. He was killed when Georgie was a child and her mother, Martha Wallace Small (b. 1832), raised the family alone. At the age of 15, Charles Maceo began teaching music, saving $1,500 by the time he graduated from high school. His services were in demand throughout Central Kentucky, and he also performed in nearby states. Charles Maceo performed with local orchestras and with night club and gambling house bands in Bourbon County and surrounding counties. He played (volunteered) during services at the Martin and Hurley Funeral Home from the day the business opened up till the death of the owner. He also played for churches, at the insistence of his mother. Charles Maceo Bishop was organist for the St. Paul Methodist Church for more than 50 years, beginning in 1918. 

Read about the Access InterviewDaisy Carolyn Bishop oral history interview, and the Access Interview Charles Maceo Bishop oral history interview, both available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Gambling, Lottery
Geographic Region: Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Black Shakers (Pleasant Hill, KY)
In 1995 a celebration of the African American contributions to the Shakers, entitled "Dark Angels - The Story of African-American Shakers," was held at the Shakertown Meeting House at Pleasant Hill in Mercer County, KY. There had been 19 African Americans at the village, including Alley Hyson, the first to arrive, in 1807, and two slaves whose freedom was purchased by the Shakers. For more see L. Stafford, "Event Puts Spotlight on Black Shakers," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/08/1995, COMMUNITY section, p. 7; and contact Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, KY.
Subjects: Freedom, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Pleasant Hill, Mercer County, Kentucky

Blue, Thomas F., Sr.
Birth Year : 1866
Death Year : 1935
Thomas Fountain Blue was born in Farmville, Virginia. Blue was a minister, an educator, and a civic leader. He was a graduate of Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University) and Richmond Theological Seminary (which was merged with Wayland Seminary to become Virginia Union University). In 1905, Blue became the first formally-trained African American librarian in Kentucky and also managed the country's first library training program for African Americans in the Louisville Colored Western Branch Library. In 2003, at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada, Blue was recognized with a resolution of appreciation. Thomas Fountain Blue was the brother-in-law of Lyman T. Johnson. For more see Thomas Fountain Blue: pioneer librarian, 1866-1935, by L. T. Wright; Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; Thomas Fountain Blue, a Louisville Free Public Library website; and R. F. Jones, "Spotlight: Reverend Thomas Fountain Blue," Kentucky Libraries, vol. 67, issue 4 (Fall 2003), pp. 6-7. See Biographical Entry on Thomas F. Blue [available online at Kentucky Digital Library - Manuscripts]; and Resolution on death of Thomas Fountain Blue, Library Board of Trustees, November 20, 1935 [available online at Kentucky Digital Library - Manuscripts].


See photo image of Thomas Fountain Blue and the library staff at Western Branch Library 1908, about midway down the page titled "A Separate Flame."

Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Farmville, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bobtown, Farristown, and Middletown (Berea, KY)
African Americans were able to buy land in the Bobtown, Farristown, and Middletown communities after the Civil War. This change was in part due to the influence of Rev. John G. Fee. Farristown was founded in 1835, named for the Farris families who lived in the area. Middletown is so named because it is about midway between Farristown and Berea. Bobtown is the oldest of the three communities, originally founded around 1769 when it was called Joe Lick. The name was changed around 1872 in honor of African American resident Uncle Bob Fitch. Each of the communities had an African American church: First Baptist Church in Middletown was organized in 1894, Farristown Baptist Church in 1883, and New Liberty Baptist Church in Bobtown in 1866. For more information and photos see Early History of Black Berea, by Berea College, or contact the Berea College Library.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Bobtown (was Joe Lick), Madison County, Kentucky / Farristown, Madison County, Kentucky / Middletown, Madison County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Bottoms, Jesse V., Sr.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1995
In 1952, Jesse Voyd Bottoms, Sr. became the first African American graduate of Louisville Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was also a graduate of Simmons Bible College (now Simmons College of Kentucky), later serving in many capacities at the school, including as a teacher and the dean. Bottoms helped organize the local arrangements for the March on Washington. Jesse V. Bottoms, Sr. was born in Versailles, KY, the son of Charley and Harriett Bottoms [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. He was the husband of Florence Carter Bottoms. For more see "Civil Rights Activists Jesse Bottoms, 89, dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/19/1995, Obituaries section, p. B2.

Access Interview Read about the J. V. Bottoms oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bottoms, Lawrence Wendell
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1994
In 1963, Lawrence W. Bottoms was the first African American moderator of the Regional Kentucky Synod and local Louisville Presbytery. He was also the first to lead a state synod in the south. In 1974, he was elected the first African American to be named the Southern Presbyterian Moderator, the top post in the denomination. Lawrence W. Bottoms had been a Presbyterian minister since 1938 when he became pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY. He lived in Louisville from 1938 to 1949 [source: Carson's Louisville (Kentucky) City Directory and Carson's Louisville (Jefferson County, Ky.) City Directory]. Lawrence W. Bottoms was born in Alabama, the son of Wilbur M. and Augusta Bottoms [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. For more see G. Cornell, "Church post to Black Georgia pastor," Fort Scott Tribune (Kansas), 06/22/1974, p. 8; Through Conflict to Victory, by L. W. Bottoms; "Southern Presbyterians elect first Black leader," Jet, 07/04/1974, p. 44; D. Brackenridge, "Lawrence W. Bottoms: the church, Black Presbyterians, and personhood," Journal of Presbyterian History, vol. 56, no. 1, (Spring 1978); "1st Negro to head Southern Presbyterian Synod," Jet, 06/28/1962, p. 23; and "Church leader to talk here Sunday," Kingsport Times, 05/15/1953, p. 2.

 

See photo image of Lawrence W. Bottoms on p. 44 in Jet, 06/28/1962.

 
Subjects: Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Alabama / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bowen, William Henry
Birth Year : 1868
William H. Bowen was born in Montgomery County, KY. He was a minister and wrote editorials for The Evangelist, a religious paper published in Paris, KY. Bowen was President of the State Sunday School Convention. In 1900, Bowen, his wife Lizzie Fanstiana Simms (b.March of 1872 in KY), a graduate of Oberlin College, and their two year old son Carl W., were living in Millersburg, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. William H. Bowen was the son of Travy and Kizzie Bowen. He studied at the Bible School in New Castle, KY, and the Christian Bible School in Louisville, KY. Bowen was a school teacher and served as president of the Christian Brotherhood, and vice president of the State Missionary Convention. For more see William Henry Bowen, Chapter IX, in Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson, pp.26-27.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky / Paris and Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Bowling Green Academy (Bowling Green, KY)
Start Year : 1902
End Year : 1933
The Bowling Green Academy School opened in 1902 with 57 students in the Colored Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green, KY. Rev. R. L. Hyde was the school's president. The school was later moved into a building on State Street. "The object of this school is threefold (1) education in general of all negro children, especially in Kentucky, who desire the advantage of a first-class institution at reasonable rates; (2) education along special lines which shall fit our young men to fill more efficiently the pulpits of our churches; (3) to develop the negro youth into good Christian citizens by educating the head, heart and hand." The school attendance grew to more than 150 students before it closed in 1933. For more information see "Bowling Green Academy" in the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000. See also the entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Boyd, Charles W. "C. W."
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1951
Charles Wesley Boyd was born in Mt. Sterling, KY, the son of John Boyd and Ella Steele Boyd. He was the husband of Kate Jarrison Boyd. Charles Boyd was an education leader during the early years of the African American school system in Charleston, WV. He was an 1891 graduate of Wilberforce University in Ohio, continuing his education at several other universities and earning his master's degree at Wilberforce University. Boyd taught school in Clarksburg, WV, until 1891 when he moved to Charleston to become a principal and teacher. He was the first long-term leader of the school system; prior to his arrival school principals had served only a year or two. In 1893, he was named one of the vice presidents of the newly formed West Virginia Colored Institute, later serving one year as president. In 1900, he was the founder and principal of Garnet High School, which would become the largest African American high school in West Virginia. In 1904, Boyd was named Supervisor of the Colored Schools in Charleston. He was also a leader in his church, instrumental in the First Baptist Church becoming the first African American church ranked as a Standard Sunday School. He was also a member of the Pythians and the West Virginia Grand Lodge. Charles W. Boyd was born August 19, 1865, and died February 1, 1951, according to West Virginia Certificate of Death State File #1554. For more see Early Negro Education in West Virginia, by C. G. Woodson; Charles Wesley Boyd, a West Virginia Division of Culture and History website (photo error); Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and "Charles Wesley Boyd" in History of the American Negro, West Virginia Edition edited by A. B. Caldwell.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Migration East, Fraternal Organizations, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Charleston, West Virginia

Braxton, Frederick [Bracktown] [Main Street Baptist Church]
Death Year : 1876
Rev. Frederick Braxton, born in Kentucky, was a slave, a blacksmith, and became pastor of the First African Church in 1854. In 1864, the church was located on Short Street, according to William's Lexington City Directory 1864-65. Rev. Braxton succeeded Elder London Ferrill, who had organized the congregation in 1822; Elder Ferrill died in 1854. During Rev. Braxton's tenure, the church continued to grow and had over 2,000 members by the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. The following year the First African Church split, with 500 members following Rev. Braxton as he founded the Independent African Church. The new church was located at the corner of Main and Locust Streets, according to William's Lexington City Directory 1864-65, and for a brief period, Rev. Braxton was pastor of both his new church and the First African Church. New church members were baptized in the Poor House Pond that was located in the southern part of Lexington [the pond was also used for the baptisms of the Pleasant Green Baptist Church]. In 1867, Rev. Braxton organized a school with nearly 300 students at the Independent African Church; it was managed by Negro teachers. Later the Independent African Church was located at the corner of Main and Merino Streets, according to the Lexington City Directory 1873 and 1874. The name of the church would be changed to Second Colored Baptist Church (1876), to Main Street Independent Baptist Church, and then later renamed the Main Street Baptist Church. Rev. Braxton was also a land owner: he owned part of the Stonetown property on Leestown Pike in Fayette County, KY, where the community that became known as Bracktown (named for Rev. Braxton) was established. He began purchasing land in 1867 and continued up through 1874. Rev. Frederick Braxton died January 31, 1876. He was the husband of Keziah "Kessie" Ware Braxton, and they were the parents of Cary Braxton (d. 1913) and Charly J. Braxton (d. 1923) [source: Kentucky Death Certificates]; Molly Braxton (d. 1876) and Merritt (d. 1901) [source: Yvonne Giles]; Henderson A. W. Braxton [source: Freedmen's Bank Record]; Betsy Braxton; Sara J. Braxton; and Ella Braxton [source: 1870 U.S. Census]. After Rev. Braxton's death, his widow, Keziah, and daughter Betsie (or Betsy) Braxton, lived on Bolivar Street, the 2nd house east of Broadway [source: William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82]. Keziah (or Kesiah) Braxton died in 1898 [source: Yvonne Giles - Death Certificate #3041]. For more see A History of Kentucky Baptist, Vol. 2, by J. A. Spencer; A Brief History of the First Baptist Church (Black), by H. E. Nutter (1940), a Baptist History Homepage website; "Under the law...," Lexington Observer and Reporter, 10/02/1867, p. 3; "Five thousand people," The Kentucky Leader, 04/18/1892, p. 7; Kentucky Place Names, by R. M. Rennick; and "A Hamlet and a Railroad Town" within the African Americans in the Bluegrass website. For a photo image of Rev. Frederick Braxton, see the First Baptist Church Souvenir Bulletin in the Sallie Price Collection at the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library. See photo image of baptism at the Lexington Work House Pond [also called the Poor House Pond] in Kentucky Digital Library - Images.

 

Deed BooK - Braxton Property on Leestown Road, Lexington, Kentucky.  Information provided by Yvonne Giles.

  • Deed Book 43 p.561 01/16/1867 7 acres
  • Deed book 43 p.425 04/10/1867 4 acres
  • Deed Book 45 p.160 02/22/1868 3 acres
  • Deed Book 47 p.62   04/01/1869 7 acres
  • Deed Book 53 p.295 05/20/1874 19 acres
  • Deed Book 53 p.393                   2 acres

 

Braxton family members buried in African Cemetery No.2.  Information provided by Yvonne Giles.

  • Frederick Braxton d. 01/31/1876
  • Mollie Braxton d. 03/11/1876
  • Kesiah (Keziah) Braxton d. 09/14/1898
  • Cary W. Braxton d. 03/31/1913
  • Mary Ellen Prior Braxton [wife of Cary W.] d. 11/09/1924
  • Charles (Charly) Jefferson Braxton d. 06/05/1923
  • Charles C. Braxton [son of Charles J.] d. 03/02/1917
  • Katherine Braxton [daughter of Charles J.] d. 1880 *may be buried in African No.2
  • Nora Braxton [daughter of Charles J.] d. 1888 *may be buried in African No.2
  • Margaret Braxton [daughter of Charles J.] d. 1887 *may be buried in African No.2
  • Fred Braxton [son of Charles J.] d. 1887 *may be buried in African No.2
  • Maria Edmonds Braxton [wife of Charles J.] d. 07/26/1931
  • Merritt Braxton d. 01/01/1901

 


Poor House Pond

See photo image of Rev. Frederick Braxton in the right hand column on p.191 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at NYPL Digital Gallery.

 
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington and Bracktown, Fayette County, Kentucky

Brent, George
Birth Year : 1821
George Brent was born near Greensburg, KY; he and his parents were slaves owned by Louis C. Patterson. Brent's father gained his freedom and moved to Lexington, KY, where he secured a note for the purchase of his son. George Brent then moved to Lexington, was employed as a blacksmith and became a freeman when he paid off the note of $1,200 at the end of three years. A year prior to his freedom, George Brent married Mildred Smith, a free born woman from Campbellsville, KY. In 1837, the Brent family moved to Illinois, eventually settling in Springfield at 1417 East Adams Street. Springfield had become the capital of Illinois in 1837 thanks to the efforts of Abraham Lincoln and several others. The Brent family was among the first African Americans to settle in Sangamon County. George Brent became an ordained minister in 1864 and the following year was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Springfield. The church was formerly known as the Colored Baptist Church, that was started in 1838 [more information at the Zion Missionary Baptist Church website]. The first church building was constructed under the directorship of Rev. George Brent. He and three others made the bricks from which the church was built; Rev. Brent and the three men were owners of the brick yard. Rev. Brent was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church until 1887. George and Mildred Brent had four children in 1870, according to the U.S. Federal Census, February of that year, two of the children were killed when they were struck by lightning [see George Brent at Find A Grave]. For more see History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities by Inter-State Publishing Company (Chicago) [full-text available at Google Book Search]; and contact the Springfield, Illinois, African American History Foundation.

*The last name is spelled as Brents and Brentz in the census records.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths, 1st African American Families in Town, Free African American Slave Owners, Killed by Lightning
Geographic Region: Greensburg, Green County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky / Springfield, Illinois

Brock, Richard
Birth Year : 1824
Death Year : 1906
Richard Brock, born a slave in Kentucky, was given as a wedding present to the daughter of his master. The daughter moved to Houston, Texas, and brought Brock with her. Brock would become a leader in the Houston community: he owned a blacksmith business and became a land owner, he helped found two churches, and had part ownership of the Olivewood Cemetery. The cemetery was the first for African Americans within the Houston city limits. In 1870, Brock became the first African American Aldermen in the Houston city government. Brock is listed as a mulatto in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, and he and his wife Eliza (b.1837 in Alabama) were the parents of five children. They would have five more children. Richard Brock was co-founder of the first masonic lodge in Houston for African Americans and he helped found Emancipation Park. In 1900, Richard Brock was a widow living with three of his daughters and two grandchildren. The Richard Brock Elementary School in downtown Houston is named in his honor. For more see "Exhibit honors former slaves who emerged as pathfinders,"Houston Chronicle, 02/08/1987, Lifestyle section, p. 1.

See photo image and additional information about Richard Brock at Texas Trail Blazers, a Defender Network.com website.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration West, Parks, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Houston, Texas

Brooks, Jonathan H.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1945
Johnathan H. Brooks was born in Lexington, KY. He attended Jackson College [now Jackson State University] in Mississippi, Lincoln University, and Tougaloo College, also in Mississippi. In addition to being a poet, he was also a postal clerk, minister, and teacher. In a local contest, he won first prize for his first short story, "The Bible in the Cornfield." He was author of The Resurrection and Other Poems, published posthumously. His work has appeared in anthologies and other publications. For more see Black American Writers Past and Present: a biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by Rush, Myers, & Arta.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Poets, Postal Service, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Brooks Sisters
The Brooks Sisters were a singing group with members Naomi, Ophelia, Carrie, and Susie Brooks, all from Zion Hill, Kentucky. These sisters were the daughters of Hannah Brown of Fermantown in Versailles, Kentucky (also spelled Firmatown) and Minister John Brooks. The Brooks Sisters were a gospel group that was invited to sing at Kentucky churches, and they also made a record. Susie Brooks, the group's piano player, also played for the Zion Hill Church; she taught herself to play the piano. She was the mother of the Raglin Brothers, also a gospel singing group. Information submitted by Ponice Raglin Cruse and her father, the Reverend Floyd B. Raglin. Contact Ms. Cruse for additional information about the Brooks Sisters.
Subjects: Fathers, Kentucky African American Churches, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Zion Hill, Scott County, Kentucky / Firmatown (Fermantown), Woodford County, Kentucky

Brown, Beatrice Sandra
Birth Year : 1950
Death Year : 2013
Dr. Beatrice S. Brown was an educator, mental health director, musician and music director, evangelist and ordained minister, author, and leader. In 1969, she founded the Black Diamond Choir, now a one-hour credit course at the University of Louisville; she was founder and president of the Daughters of Zion International Women of Prayer World Ministries Inc. in Louisville, KY; and she was Mother Evangelist at Tabernacle of Praise Church of God in Christ in Louisville. Much of Dr. Brown's career took place in New York; she left Kentucky in 1978 for the Bronx, where she joined the Holy Temple Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. Within the church she was a missionary in Home Missions and in the Foreign Mission in Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Nigeria, all in Africa [source: obituary program "In Loving Memory of Dr. Beatrice Sandra Brown," September 23, 2013, at Tabernacle of Praise Church of God in Christ in Louisville]. Dr. Brown had an extensive vita; the following comes from Who's Who of American Women, 1987-2000 (subscription database): 1997- Founder, president, and CEO of BSB Wholistic Psychological Wellness Center of New York and Consulting Firm; 1994-1997 Director of the girls unit facility at the Jewish Board Family and Children Services; 1994-1997 Founder and director of the Mt. Vernon African American Music Arts Festival; 1990 Research faculty member at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, Africa; 1989- Assistant professor of special education and early childhood development at City University of New York; 1989-1991 Director coordinator of children day treatment program at Upper Manhattan Mental Health Center; 1986- Founder, director Museum Arts Institute Creative Expression for Children, Brown Educational Institute; 1984- Performing arts consultant at New York State Council for Arts; 1983-1988 School teacher at New York Public Schools; 1983-84 Director, music teacher Holmes Elementary School in Mt. Vernon, NY; 1982-84 Music director at AC-BAW Center for Arts; 1978- Music and choral director at Holy Temple Church; 1976-78 Counselor at the Louisville Sheltered Workshop; 1972- Director, music director Museum Arts of Creative Expression; 1969-1975 Choral director, music teacher at the University of Louisville. Dr. Beatrice S. Brown held a BMEd from the University of Louisville (1972); MA, PhD from Columbia Pacific University (1987); Postdoctoral course of instruction certificate from Albert Einstein College of MedicineMontefiore Medical Center (1998); and Post-graduate certificates in psychological-behavioral therapy from the Center of Mental Health, New York City (1995) [source: Who's Who of American Women, 1987-2000 (subscription database)]. She also had a M.Div., and was a professor at the College of New Rochelle and at Concordia University, both in New York [source: p.57 in Case Studies in Evangelism by B. S. Brown]. Dr. Brown had a number of articles and was the author of Images of America: Louisville's Historic Black Neighborhoods (2012); Wisdom Woman Prosperous, Wealthy, Honored (2010); Women's Financial Health: God's provision in financial crisis (2010) with Sandy B. Dulichan; The Seven Law Curriculum for Positive Thinking and Behavior in Children and Adolescents; and Case Studies in Evangelism: effective principles in reaching others (2008). Dr. Beatrice S. Brown was the daughter of Thomas and Irene Brown; and the sister of Dr. Marilyn G. Brown-Anderson. This entry and many of the sources were submitted by Juanita L. White.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York City and Mt. Vernon, New York / Ethiopia, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Nigeria, all in Africa

Brown, Russell S., Sr.
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1981
Russell S. Brown, Sr. was born in London, KY, the son of Bartlett and Alice Brown. The family moved to Kansas when Russell was a teen. A minister, between 1920 and 1925, he founded the First Community House for Soldiers in Memphis, Tennessee, the first in the south. He also served as chaplain at the Fulton County Jail and conducted services at the Atlanta Federal Prison. In 1929, he was elected to the City Council of Cleveland and appointed a trustee with the State Department by Gov. Cooper. Brown was the second African American to serve on the City Council of Cleveland. He left Cleveland in 1933 and moved to Denver, CO, and was the only African American to have his picture included in the Denver Daily Posts Hall of Fame. He was general secretary the AME Church and served as the financial officer for 28 years. Rev. Brown died in Chicago in 1981. He was the husband of Floy Smith and the couple had three children. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927 & 1933-37; see The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [online], sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society; see Rev. Russell S. Brown in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; and "Rev. Russell S. Brown, Sr., former A.M.E. secy., dies," Jet, 09/03/1981, p.25.
Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: London, Laurel County, Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee / Fulton County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia / Cleveland, Ohio / Denver, Colorado

Broyles, Moses
Birth Year : 1826
Death Year : 1882
Moses Broyles was a slave who was born in Maryland, according to the 1880 U.S. Census. His mother's name was Mary and his father's name was Moses. Moses Jr. was sold at the age of three or four to a slave owner named John Broyles in Kentucky, and he lived in McCracken County, and later worked in Paducah to purchase his freedom for $300. White children he played with had taught him to read, and Moses Broyles also had the gift to recite, sing, and give speeches. While still a slave, he began preaching in Paducah, and helped build the first Colored Baptist meeting house in Paducah. Moses Broyles would become a religion leader and an education leader among African Americans in Indianapolis, IN. Broyles purchased his freedom when he was an adult and left Kentucky, he moved to Lancaster, IN, in 1854. He was a prominent student at Eleutherian Institute in Lancaster, where many of the students were from Kentucky. In addition to his education, Broyles also learned furniture-making. Broyles would become a minister and led the Second Baptist Church in Indianapolis from 1857-1882. He also led in the establishing of several other churches in Indiana, and helped found the Indiana Baptist Association. He also taught school in Indianapolis, teaching at one of the first schools in the city for African Americans. He is author of the 1876 title The History of Second Baptist Church. The church prospered under Broyles leadership, and the congregation increased from 30 to 630. Broyles was a Republican and pushed for African Americans to align themselves with the Republican Party. Moses Broyles was the husband of Francis Broyles, and in 1880 the couple had seven children [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The family lived on Blake Street in Indianapolis. For more see J. C. Carroll, "The Beginnings of public education for Negroes in Indiana," The Journal of Negro Education, vol.8, no.4, Oct. 1939, pp.649-658; Second Baptist Church Collection, 1912-1985 at the Indiana Historical Society[user info .pdf]; T. Sturgill, "Celebrating Black History Month: Three stories of survival," The Madison Courier, 02/16/2011 [article online at The Madison Courier.com]; and see Moses Broyles in the various entries in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis by D. J. Bodenhamer and R. G. Barrows.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Maryland / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Lancaster and Indianapolis, Indiana

Bryant, Charles W. "C.W."
Birth Year : 1830
Charles W. Bryant was born in Kentucky and settled in Texas after the Civil War. He had been a slave and was an agent for the Freemen's Bureau in Texas. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, 1868-1869, representing Harrison County, Texas. He was also a minister. For more see Forever Free: The Biographies, a website by the Texas State Library & Archives Commission; and "Bryant, Charles W," by P. M. Lucko in The Handbook of Texas.
Subjects: Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

Burdette, Gabriel
Birth Year : 1829
Death Year : 1914
Gabriel Burdette was born a slave in Garrard County, KY. In the 1850s, he was a preacher at the Forks Dix River Church in Garrard County. In 1864 he enlisted in the 114th U.S. Colored Infantry at Camp Nelson, KY, and assisted in establishing the refugee camp at Camp Nelson. He was an associate of John G. Fee. Burdette returned to Camp Nelson after the Civil War to become a member of the group that established Ariel Academy. He was the first African American on the Berea College Board of Trustees. In 1877, Burdette left Kentucky for Kansas, a member of the Exoduster Movement to the West. For more see the Gabriel Burdette entry in the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Garrard County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Kansas

Burleigh, Angus A.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1939
Angus A. Burleigh was the first adult African American to attend and graduate from Berea College in Berea, KY. Burleigh had been born free, the son of an English sea captain and an African American woman, but after his father's death the family was sold into slavery, first in Virginia, then in Kentucky. Burleigh ran away and joined the Union Army when he was 16 years old. In 1866, he had finished his stint with the Army and enrolled at Berea with the encouragement and support of John G. Fee. After his graduation in 1875, Burleigh immediately left Kentucky and headed north, where he would spend the rest of his life preaching and teaching. For more see "Hasan Davis and the story of A.A. Burleigh," Kentucky Life, Program 807. Hasan Davis gives a phenomenal live performance of A. A. Burleigh's life in The Long Climb to Freedom. You have got to see it! Program 807 is available at the UK Young Library Audio Visual Services.

See photo image of Angus Burleigh at the Long Climb to Freedom website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Virginia / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Caldwell, John Martin, Jr.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1987
Born in Henry County, KY, Reverend Caldwell was the son of Anna Hobbs Caldwell and John Martin Caldwell, Sr. Beginning in 1932, he was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Evansville, IN, continuing in that position for 57 years. Caldwell was a 1949 graduate of Evansville College [now University of Evansville] and completed his theology degree at Simmons University (Louisville). He received a citation from President Roosevelt for his service on the draft board during World War II. Caldwell was also a member of the masons, and he was the author of the annual publication Zion Pulpit. In 1967, he became the the first African American elected official in Evansville, IN: he was elected to the City Council and served three terms. Caldwell was also president of the Evansville NAACP for 15 years, leading the fight to integrated businesses and the University of Evansville. He was a member of the group that sued the city of Evansville to stop segregated housing. Caldwell received the first Mayor's Human Rights Award in 1977. The housing projects, formerly Sweeter public housing, were renamed the Caldwell Homes and Terrace Gardens in memory of John Martin Caldwell. For more see the John Martin Caldwell entry in the Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers, by E. L. Williams; and "The Rev. John Caldwell," Evansville Courier, 09/28/1999, Metro section, p. A3.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Henry County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana

Campbell, Alexander, Sr. (former slave)
Birth Year : 1818
Death Year : 1870
Not to be confused with the Second Great Awakening leader, Alexander Campbell, this Alexander Campbell had been a slave in Woodford County, KY. He took the name of Alexander Campbell after being purchased by the White Christian Church in Midway, KY, in the 1830s. Campbell was owned by the Fleming Family and by Abraham Buford. He was purchased for $1000 and became the first preacher of the newly formed Colored Christian Church. Both Campbell and Samuel Buckner are considered the fathers of the Colored Christian Church Movement in Kentucky. They were the founders of more Colored Christian churches than any other two persons. Alexander Campbell was a minister in Lexington, KY, in 1870, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and he had purchased his wife's freedom for $1000. Alexander Campbell and Rosa VanMeter Campbell (b.1829 in Fayette Co., KY) were the parents of several children, and one of the youngest boys was named John Stafford Campbell, born in 1869 and died in 1942, according to Stafford's death certificate. Stafford was pastor of the Colored Christian Church in Midway and in Paris, KY. He was the twin brother of Burbridge Campbell who left Kentucky for Boston, MA in the 1880s, according to an article in the "Colored Notes" of the Lexington Leader, 08/28/1911, p.5. The article mentioned that Burbridge was returning home to visit his mother who lived at 410 Campbell Street in Lexington. Rosa and her sons are listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Rosa was a widow and worked as a "cloths renovator". Alexander Campbell Sr. died in 1870, and Rosa Campbell died in 1916, according to information provided by Brenda Jackson of Versailles, KY: "Death of A. Campbell," Apostolic Times, 12/18/1870, pp.297-298, and the Kentucky Certificate of Death for Rosa Campbell - File No. 7316. Rev. Alexander Campbell, Jr. died in 1896 in Indianapolis, IN, and is buried in African Cemetery #2, Lexington, KY [source: Yvonne Giles - Certificate of Death #1406]. For more see Negro Disciples in Kentucky, 1840-1925 (thesis), by C. Walker; "Old slave church remembered," Lexington Leader, 12/27/1976, p.A9; and Two Races in One Fellowship by R. L. Jordan.
Subjects: Fathers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Campbell, Madison
Birth Year : 1823
Death Year : 1896
Madison Campbell was born in Madison County, KY, about ten miles south of Richmond, KY. He was the slave of Edly Campbell. Madison Campbell was baptized in 1856 by Jacob Bush of the Richmond Colored Church. He purchased his freedom in 1863 and began preaching at a number of churches in the Richmond/Berea area, baptizing hundreds of African Americans. Campbell was instrumental in the development of churches such as the New Liberty Church, where he preached until 1873; Mt. Pleasant Church, built in 1873; and Otter Creek Baptist Church, built in 1876. Campbell was the first pastor of the First Baptist Church in downtown Richmond and also helped organize the Mt. Pleasant District Association in 1873. He is buried in the Old Soldiers Cemetery in Richmond. For more see Autobiography of Eld. Madison Campbell: pastor of the Untied Colored Baptist Church, Richmond, Kentucky, by M. Campbell.
Subjects: Authors, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Richmond and Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Carpenter, Charles William
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1971
Charles W. Carpenter, born in Stanford, KY, was the son of Amanda and James Carpenter. In 1901, the family moved to Indianapolis, IN, a year after the death of James Carpenter. William worked at various jobs during the day and attend public school at night. He was the valedictorian of his 1909 graduating class at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute [now Tuskegee University]. He studied chemistry with Dr. G. W. Carver and was associated with Dr. B. T. Washington and his wife; during the summer of 1908, Carpenter worked at the Washington's summer home on Long Island. He studied theology at Wilberforce and at Garrett Biblical Institute [now Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary], completing his studies in 1912. Carpenter was a minister first in Detroit, and later served at churches in Minnesota, Indiana, and Illinois, before settling in Ann Arbor, MI, as pastor of the Second Baptist Church for 37 years. He retired on his 80th birthday in 1966. Carpenter was recognized for his leadership in the community; the Common Council of Ann Arbor passed a resolution commending him for his outstanding community service. He had helped integrate the Ann Arbor Kiwanis and served on the board of directors. He was elected vice president, and later president, of the Ann Arbor Ministerial Association. The Charles W. Carpenter Papers, 1909-1970, are at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. For more see Second Baptist Church Centennial, 1865-1965 by the Second Street Baptist Church (Ann Arbor, MI); and Charles W. Carpenter at Bentley Historical Library website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Ann Arbor, Michigan

Carr, George W.
Birth Year : 1864
In 1913, Rev. George W. Carr, became the second pastor of the Hillsdale Baptist Church in Lansing, Michigan. Carr was born in Tennessee, and lived in Liberty, KY. His parents and his wife were from Kentucky, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. In 1900, George W. Carr was a minister at the Second Baptist Church in Indianapolis, IN. Years later, while in Lansing, Carr was a minister and also a property owner. He is remembered for increasing the Sunday School enrollment: the church received $250 for having the greatest increase of Sunday School scholars in the city. Carr also appointed the first Sunday School superintendent and church historian. Hillsdale, the first African American Baptist Church in Lansing, is today known as Union Missionary Baptist Church. Also in 1913, Rev. Carr led the religious exercises at the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives. For more see the last paragraph "Rev. G. W. Carr of Liberty, Ky..." in the column "Marion flashes," Recorder (Indianapolis, IN), 03/17/1900, p.1; see p. 253 of the 1913 Journal of the Michigan House of Representatives [available full-text at Google Book Search]; p. 311 of the 1913 Journal of the Michigan Legislature, Senate; and the Michigan Manual of Freemen's Progress, compiled by F. H. Warren [available full text online as a .pdf, on the Western Michigan University website].
Subjects: Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Lansing, Michigan

Cayce, James B.
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1971
James B. Cayce was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Paul and Mamie Cayce. He was an instructor at Simmons University in Louisville from 1940-1942. During that same time period, he supervised the division of activities within the Department of Public Welfare in Louisville. Cayce was executive director of the Washington Community Association in Hamilton, Ohio, from 1942-1943. He was also a minister and pastored at several churches. Cayce was also editor of the Ohio Baptist News from 1948-1950, authored Negroes and The Cooperative Movement (1940), and wrote a number of articles and editorials. Cayce moved from Ohio to Pittsburgh, PA, where he was the respected pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church from 1950-1971. He was a active member and recruiter of the NAACP and he corresponded with Martin Luther King, Jr. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; "Ebenezer Baptist Church celebrates its rich history," New Pittsburgh Courier, 07/17/2008, p.B2; and The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. by M. L. King, et al.

See photo image of Rev. James B. Cayce at Carnegie Museum of Art website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Hamilton, Ohio / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Center Street Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church
The Center Street CME Church, first of its denomination in Louisville, KY, was led by several pastors, including Bishop Miles in the late 1860s and J. W. Bell in the 1870s. The church was host to the 3rd CME General Conference in 1874. In 1904, the church was moved and became the Chestnut Street CME Church. The church was renamed again in 1954: Brown Memorial CME Church. The church, located at 809 W. Chestnut Street in Louisville, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more see the entry for marker #1677 in the Kentucky Historical Society Marker Database.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Chiles, James Alexander [Chiles v. Chesapeake & O R CO]
Birth Year : 1860
J. Alexander Chiles was one of eight children, including his twin brother, John R. Chiles, who gave him financial assistance while he was a student at Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) and the University of Michigan Law School. Chiles moved to Lexington, KY, in 1890 to open a law office at 304 W. Short Street. His business was a success; Chiles is sometimes referred to as the first African American lawyer in Lexington. By 1907, he was one of four African American lawyers in the city. Chiles argued in the Supreme Court case against the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad for desegregation of railroad coaches after he was removed by force to the Colored coach in spite of his first class ticket from Washington D.C. to Lexington. Chiles was also an active member of the Colored Seventh Day Adventist congregation in Lexington; he was a trustee, deacon, and treasurer of the first church built in 1906 at the corner of Fifth and Upper Streets. His wife, Fannie J. Chiles, was the first librarian for the church. Elder Alonzo Barry was pastor. James A. Chiles was born in Virginia, the son of Richard and Martha Chiles. In 1910, James and Fannie Chiles planned to move from Lexington to Richmond, VA. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; Chiles v. Chesapeake & O R CO, 218 U.S. 71 (1910) [full-text online by Justia]; and "Lawyer J. Alex Chiles" in the Colored Notes of the Lexington Leader, 01/02/1910, p.2.

*Name sometimes spelled Childes.*

See 1895 photo image of J. Alexander Chiles at Explore UK.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Clark, Charles H.
Birth Year : 1855
Rev. Charles H. Clark was born in 1855 in Christian County, KY, to unmarried slave parents. His father escaped from slavery, leaving Charles and his mother behind. His mother later married a man named Clark, and Charles took his stepfather's last name. Charles Clark taught school at the Mount Zion Baptist Church near Hopkinsville, KY. He was pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Chicago, IL. He served as director of both the Binga State Bank in Chicago and the Citizens Bank and Trust Co. in Nashville. The Binga Bank was the first African American bank in Chicago. Clark also organized and chaired the Board of Directors of the National Baptist Publishing Board in Nashville. He was president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the National Baptist Sunday School Congress, and was appointed by the Tennessee governor to the Educational Convention of Negro Leaders. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1941-44; "Charles Henry Clark" in vol. 2 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and "Charles Henry Clark, LL.D" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States, by S. W. Bacote.

See photo image and additional information about Rev. Charles Henry Clark in Simms' Blue Book and National Negro Business and Professional Directory by J. N. Simms, at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Nashville, Tennessee

CME Publishing House in Kentucky
Start Year : 1873
End Year : 1882
In 1873, the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church Publishing House moved from Memphis, TN, to 103 Fifth Street in Louisville, KY. The company managers were looking for a more economical location when they came to Louisville and hired Rev. J. W. Bell as the book agent. After nine years, the company moved to Jackson, TN, and H. P. Porter became the book agent. The CME Publishing House had been founded in 1870 as a publishing body and depository for the church literature. For more see Black Book Publishers in the United States: a historical dictionary of the presses, 1817-1990, by D. F. Joyce; and The History of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, by C. H. Phillips [available online at UNC Documenting the American South].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Memphis and Jackson, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Colbert, Jesse B.
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1936
Reverend Jesse B. Colbert was a nationally known leader and minister of the AMEZ Church as well as a lawyer and civil rights leader. He was the first president of the Varick Christian Endeavor Movement [information], and he was author of The Origin and Progress of the Christian Endeavor Movement in the World and in the A. M. E. Zion Church in America [information, p. 9]. Colbert was also a civil rights leader before and after he came to Kentucky. In 1894, he was vice president of the American Liberty Defense League, an anti-lynching organization in Washington, D.C. [source: "The American Liberty Defenc[s]e League," Washington Bee, 10/06/1894, p. 2]. Jesse B. Colbert was born in 1861 in Lancaster, SC, the son of Sarah House Colbert and Tillman Colbert. He was the husband of Margaret A. Davis Colbert; the couple married in North Carolina on July 3, 1888 [source: North Carolina Marriage Collection]. Jesse and Margaret Colbert lived in a number of locations in the United States [information]. In 1910, they were living in Chicago, where Jesse was an [AME] Zion minister, according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1911, the couple was living in Kentucky, and Jesse was the AMEZ presiding elder over the Louisville District, a position he held until 1917 [sources: "Rev. J. B. Colbert...," Bee, 05/19/1911, p. 4; and Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville]. He was editor of the Louisville Columbian newspaper [source: "It seems that the Louisville Columbian...," Freeman, 06/14/1913, p. 3]. He was a member of the Fraternal Day Movement that sought to bring together all of the groups that were fighting for the rights of the Colored people in Louisville [source: "Kentucky's metropolis. Talking segregation.," Freeman, 07/25/1914, p. 8]. He was a member of the Legal Committee of the Louisville NAACP Branch and co-author of the 1918 publication, "History of Louisville Segregation Case and the decision of the Supreme Court" [source: Papers of the NAACP, Part 5, Campaign against residential segregation, 1914-1955 ;, reel 4, fr. 0752-0813]. Jesse B. Colbert was also editor of the first and second editions of The Historical Hand Book and Illustrated Directory of the General Conference of the A. M. E. Zion Church [source: "New books by leading thinkers," Savannah Tribune, 01/29/1916, p. 1]. In 1918, Jesse B. Colbert was listed in the Louisville city directory as a lawyer with an office at 505 Green Street. From 1928-1936, he was listed as an employee of the National Employment Bureau [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory]. He was also an agent for the National Colored Teachers' Agency, a division of the National Teachers' Agency in Louisville. Jesse B. Colbert died in Louisville, KY, on December 14, 1936 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death, Registered No. 5776]. The day of his funeral, the flag at the Louisville courthouse was flown at half mast as a show of respect [source: "At half mast for colored resident," Capital Plaindealer, 01/03/1937, p. 7].

  See photo image of Rev. J. B. Colbert on p. 257 and additional information in One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, by J. W. Hood.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lancaster, South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Coleman, Frederick Douglass, Jr.
Birth Year : 1921
Coleman was one of the early African American surgeons in the U.S. Army. He was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Frederick Douglass Coleman, Sr. and Jamye Harris Coleman, and the brother of Jamye Coleman Williams. Coleman, Jr., a physician and a minister, graduated from Fisk University and earned his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in 1944 and his D. D. from Monrovia College (Liberia) in 1955. He served as captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1953-1955 and was Commanding Officer of the 765th Medical Detachment. He was Chief Physical Examiner with the U.S. Army Hospital in Fort Campbell, KY and Battalion Surgeon of the 47th Armored Medical Bn 1st Armored Division. Coleman was a member of the integrated Montgomery County Medical Society in Clarksville, TN, and in addition to serving as pastor of a number of churches, he was a representative on the A.M.E. Church Medical Missions Board National Council of Churches. He was licensed to preach in 1939. For more see "Frederick Douglass Coleman, Jr." in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers by E. L. Williams. For more about the Coleman family and the AME Church see The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Clarksville, Tennessee

Coleman, Louis, Jr.
Birth Year : 1943
Death Year : 2008
Reverend Louis Coleman, Jr., from Louisville, KY, was one of Kentucky's most recognized civil rights activist and an outspoken advocate. He was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2000. Coleman was a graduate of Central High School, Kentucky State University, and Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He was an athlete, having played baseball and football at K-State, and he later signed to play professional baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He helped lead the lawsuit that challenged the lack of African American coaches in Kentucky high schools. He called for the boycott of Pepsi products from the Winchester, KY, plant due the complaints concerning the plants' lack of hiring and retention of African American employees. Rev. Coleman advocated fairness and equality throughout the state of Kentucky. He was head of the Justice Resource Center in Louisville. For more see A. Clark, "Rev. Louis Coleman dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/06/2008; and K. Cengal, "Civil rights activist Louis Coleman is dead," Louisville Courier-Journal, 07/05/2008.

See photo image and additional information of Rev. Louis Coleman, Jr. at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Baseball, Civic Leaders, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Colerane, Horace Donia, Sr.
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1922
In 1913, Colerane became the first African American elected to the Winchester (KY) City Council. Colerane, a minister and a plasterer, represented the 4th ward, a predominately African American district. He was the husband of Elizabeth Combs Colerane (b.1856 in Kentucky); they were married in 1878. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived on Second Street in Winchester. For more see "Negro qualifies," Lexington Leader, 12/03/1913, p. 5.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

College of the Scriptures, Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1945
The following information comes from the College of the Scriptures website: The College of the Scriptures was incorporated on May 17, 1945, and began its classes with two students in September, 1945. R. Tibbs Maxey, Jr. was elected President and Dr. George Calvin Campbell, Vice president. A founder of the school was Isaiah Moore (1882-1972). The school was located at 709 West Magazine Street in Louisville, KY [today it is located at 4411 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY]. When the school opened in 1945, it was believed to be 'the only school in the nation incorporated for the sole purpose of training Negro ministers for the Christian Church' [source: 'Negro Bible College opens,' The Christian Science Monitor, 09/29/1945, p. 11]. The College of the Scriptures was one of the first two colleges established by the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ to make an impact in the African American communities [source: The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, by D. A. Foster]. The second such school was the Christian Institute in Winston-Salem, N.C., organized by Robert L. Peters. The school struggled in the beginning, then closed, and was later reopened and renamed Winston-Salem Bible College. For more information see I Remember Brother Moore. by R. T. and N. Maxey; A Design for the Christian Education Department of The College of the Scriptures, Louisville, Kentucky, by T. W. Mobley (thesis); and Kurio, The College of the Scriptures yearbook.

 

See photo image of Robert Tibbs Maxey, Jr (1910-2002) and Dr. George C. Campbell (1872-1949) on an advertisement card for The College of the Scriptures at the Kentucky Digital Library (part of the Sallie Price Family Papers at the University of Kentucky).
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Colored Christian Church (Midway, KY)
Start Year : 1834
What is thought to be the first Negro Christian Church in the United States was founded as a congregation in 1834. It was later named the Midway Colored Christian Church, then renamed the 2nd Christian Church of Midway. According to former historian, Mrs. Katherine Johnson, the initial congregation was made up of colored members of the white churches at New Union, Grassy Spring, and Georgetown, KY. Meetings were held at the Kentucky Female Orphan School, where one of the members would volunteer to lead the weekly services. Alexander Campbell, a slave who was purchased by the white Christian Church for $1000 in order to become the preacher and manager of the congregation's affairs. A log cabin church was later built for the members on the banks of Lee's Branch. Under Campbell's leadership, the church soon had 300 new members and the congregation outgrew the log cabin. In 1872, the congregation purchased the Presbyterian Church building on Stephens Street, and that church was replaced by a new building in 1906. For more see Negro Disciples in Kentucky, 1840-1925 (thesis), by C. Walker; History of the Midway Colored Christian Church, by K. Johnson (1955); and "Old slave church remembered," Lexington Leader, 12/27/1976, p.A9. See also the entry for the Stone-Campbell Movement in Kentucky.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Midway, New Union, and Grassy Spring, Woodford County, Kentucky / Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink (Paducah, KY)
In 1909, the Paducah Colored skating rink was up for sale. The 55 ft. lot, which had cost $4,000, was being sold for $2,500. In 1910, the rink was still in existence when the Colored revival was held there in September. The rink was located on Tenth Street. The revival was held by Lena Mason from Philadelphia, PA, with assistance from Reverend G. W. Robinson, pastor of the African Methodist Evangelical Church in Paducah. For more see "Real estate bargains," The Paducah Evening Sun, 04/03/1909, p. 5; and "Colored revival starts," The Paducah Evening Sun, 09/21/1910, p. 5.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Conventions of the Colored Christian Churches in Kentucky
Start Year : 1872
There were three divisions to the annual Convention of the Colored Christian Churches of Kentucky: the State Missionary Convention, with male delegates; the Sunday School Convention, with both male and female delegates; and the Kentucky Christian Women's Board of Missions (C.W.B.M) Convention, with female delegates. The first to be organized was the State Missionary Convention, in 1872 in Lexington, KY. The goal was to organize state work in missions and develop a total brotherhood program. The Convention purchased The Christian Soldier newspaper for $100; the paper was to continue as the organ of the Brotherhood. R. E. Pearson was editor and manager, and D. I. Reid was printer. The newspaper was published monthly and cost subscribers 50 cents per year. The paper was to support itself and did not last very long. The organization's next paper began publication in 1921: the Christian Trumpet. The Convention also gave annually to the Louisville Bible School. The school, opened in 1873 to educate Negro ministers, was originally located on 7th Street in Louisville, KY. The Sunday School Convention was organized in 1880 to bring together Sunday School workers to promote the program and learn methods of teaching and managing Sunday School. Few men attended the conventions. The Christian Women's Board of Missions (C.W.B.M.) Convention was also organized in 1880 to help the church have a complete program through home and foreign missions. The group was closely connected to the Louisville Bible School, making annual donations, raising funds and pushing for a girls' school that was never built. They also gave funding to The Christian Soldier newspaper in hopes that the C.W.B.M. column would continue. Later they campaigned for subscriptions to World Call and encouraged members to read the Gospel Flea. When male delegates attended the C.W.B.M. Convention, the men were not recognized; it was a women's only organization. For more see Negro Disciples in Kentucky, 1840-1925 (thesis), by C. Walker.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Cook-Parrish, Mary Virginia
Birth Year : 1868
Death Year : 1945
An education and religious leader, Mary V. Cook-Parrish spoke before the American Baptist Home Mission Society on 'Female Education' in 1888. She was a professor at the Kentucky Baptist College, then known as State University [later Simmons University]. She became a journalist in 1886 with The American Baptist while at the same time editing a column with The South Carolina Tribune, writing under the pen name Grace Ermine. She spoke out on women's suffrage and full equality in employment, education, social reform, and church work. Cook-Parrish was born in Bowling Green, KY, the daughter of Ellen Buckner. She was the wife of Charles H. Parrish, Sr. Cook-Parrish's death certificate has her age as 77 years old. Additional information can be found in the Charles Parrish, Jr. Papers at the University of Louisville Libraries. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Africana: the encyclopedia of the African and African American experience, edited by K. A. Appiah and H. L. Gates, Jr.; and "Prof. Mary V. Cook, A.B." in Noted Negro Women: their triumphs and activities, by M. A. Majors.

See image of Prof. Mary V. Cook from The Afro-American Press and its Editors by I. Garland Penn, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cosby, Kevin Wayne
Birth Year : 1958
Born in Louisville, KY, Kevin W. Cosby is the son of the late Clora E. and Laken Cosby, Jr. Since 1979, Rev. Kevin W. Cosby has served as senior pastor of the St. Stephen Church in Louisville, the largest African American church in Kentucky and one of the largest churches in the United States. Cosby is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and United Theological Seminary. He is the 13th president of Simmons College in Louisville, serving in that position without a salary. Cosby is author of several books, including the co-authored Get Off Your Butt! messages, musings, and ministries to empower the African American Church. Rev. Cosby has received a number of awards, including his recognition in 1992 by the U.S. Senate for his dedication to community and race relations, and in 2007 he was one of the two recipients of the Louisvillian of the Year Award. For more see the Congressional Record, "Rev. Kevin Wayne Cosby," 05/13/1992, 102nd Cong. 2nd. Sess., 138 Cong Rec S 6615; "AdFed names Cosby, Kelly its Louisvillians of the year," at bizjournals.com, 07/17/2007; and Connections with Renee Shaw, program #303 - Rev. Dr. Kevin W. Cosby [available online], 10/06/2007, at KET (Kentucky Educational Television).

See photo and additional information about Rev. Dr. Kevin Wayne Cosby, at speakers section of the 34th Annual Alexander/Pegues Minister's Conference at shawuniversity.edu.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cotton, John A.
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1943
Born in Manchester, KY, Reverend John Adams Cotton was the second African American President of Henderson Institute in Henderson, N.C. (1903-1943). The school, which existed from 1891-1970, was known as Henderson Normal and Industrial Institute until 1903, when Cotton changed the name to Henderson Institute. Cotton was educated at Berea College and Knoxville College and was a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He was the husband of Maude Brooks. In 1903, the Cottons came to Henderson, N.C. from Cleveland, Ohio; Rev. Cotton had been transferred by the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church of America to replace Rev. Jacob Cook, who had died. Henderson Institute was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1995. Rev. John A. Cotton was the son of Nelson Cotton and Silphia Carroll Cotton. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Minutes of the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church of America, by United Presbyterian Church of America, General Assembly (1958); Vance County, North Carolina, by A. D. Vann; and "John Adams Cotton" in History of the American Negro, North Carolina Edition edited by A. B. Caldwell.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Migration East
Geographic Region: Manchester, Clay County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio / Henderson, North Carolina

Crumlin, James A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2004
Reverend James A. Crumlin, Sr. was born in South Carolina. He came to Louisville, KY in 1944. A graduate of Howard University, he earned his law degree from the Robert H. Terrell Law School in Washington, D.C. Crumlin is remembered for a number of successes, including the appeal to the Kentucky Legislature to amend the state law for African American doctors and nurses to be admitted to state hospitals for training. The bill was passed in 1948 while Crumlin was president of the Louisville NAACP. Crumlin was also one of the lawyers for the plaintiff in the lawsuit to integrate the University of Kentucky. He was the lawyer for a number of school integration cases in Kentucky. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and B. Paulastaff, "Rev. James A. Crumlin, Sr. dies," Courier-Journal, 08/28/2004, News section, p. O7B.

Access Interview Read about the James A. Crumlin, Sr. oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Nurses, Court Cases
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cummings, James L.
Birth Year : 1926
James L. Cummings was born in Allensville, KY, the son of Andrew and Fannie Robbie Cummings. He is a graduate of Lane College, 1948, and Butler University School of Religion, 1959. Cummings was pastor of Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, IN. He was one of the three founders of the Indianapolis Citizen's Group in 1964. The organization would become known as Citizens Forum with the goal to create block clubs to help improve city neighborhoods with community support. The model was expanded to other cities in Illinois and throughout the United States, and received many awards for its effectiveness. Cummings also served as president of the Indianapolis Ministerial Association, and was chosen as the Alpha's Man of the Year in 1960. He was a member of the masons, and was awarded a Hall of Fame citation from the Crispus Attucks High School for his community service. For more see "James L. Cummings" in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers by E. L. Williams; and "Citizens Forum" in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis by D. Bodenhamer et al.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Daniel, Wilbur N.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1999
Wilburn N. Daniel was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Fannie and Nathan Daniel. Reverend Wilbur N. Daniel was the first African American student to be accepted at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, from which he graduated with honors in 1957. The school's African American Cultural Center is named in Daniel's honor. Daniel was a civil rights activist and a pastor of the St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksville, TN. Prior to enrolling in the graduate school at Austin Peay, he had earned an undergraduate degree from American Baptist Theological Seminary [American Baptist College] in Nashville and another from Tennessee State University. Daniel would leave Tennessee for Chicago, where he was pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church and served two years as president of the Chicago NAACP. He sponsored a housing development in Chicago and and in Fort Wayne, IN. He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congress in 1964. For more see Austin Peay State University African American Cultural Center; A. Ritchart, "Supporting heroes," The Leaf-Chronicle, 02/16/2006, Local section, p. 1B; Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers, by E. L. Williams; and the Rev. Wilburn Daniel entry in Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book, edited by E. R. Rather.

See photo and additional information at "Biography of Dr. Wilburn N. Daniel," Austin Peay State University website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Clarksville, Tennessee / Chicago, Illinois

Diamond Jubilee (Louisville, KY)
Diamond Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; the story of seventy-five years of the association and four years of convention activities was published, per order of the General Association, by the Diamond Jubilee Commission. Louisville, Ky., American Baptists, 1943. This edition and a 1954 edition are available at Western Kentucky University Library.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Jubilees
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Dickerson, William H.
Dickerson was elected State Evangelist of Kentucky in 1895 during the State Convention of the Christian Church in Hustonville, KY. He was a pastor at Millersburg, Mayslick, and Nicholasville (1895), all in Kentucky. Under Dickerson's directorship, Nicholasville had the most modern Christian church in the state; the building cost over $6,000. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hustonville, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Mayslick, Mason County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Dixville and Other Communities in North Middletown, KY
One of the earliest mentions of the African American community of Dixville is a 1901 newspaper article in The Bourbon News. The community is also mentioned in Jacqueline Sue's book, Black Seeds in the Blue Grass. Dixville is located in North Middletown, KY, on the main road that heads toward Mt. Sterling. Albert B. Wess, Sr. was reared in Dixville: he was born on Deweese Street in Lexington and the family moved to Dixville when he was a small child. His father was a prominent member of the Dixville community, owning several homes and the Tom Wess Grocery Store. The store was in operation long before Albert Wess and his twin sister, Alberta, were born in 1923, and the store closed a year before Tom Wess died in 1936. The 2nd Christian Church was across the street from the store and nearby was a UBF&SMT [United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten] Lodge Hall. Tom Wess belonged to the lodge. The present day church in Dixville is Wiley Methodist Church. In 2007, the first Annual Dixville Picnic was held. Three other African American communities were located in North Middletown. One was Kerrville (1), on Highway 460 about one mile outside North Middletown. The Francis M. Wood High School, grades 1-8, was located in Kerrville (1), and Florence H. Wess (d.1932), mother to Albert Wess, was one of the schoolteachers and the music teacher; she also played piano at the church. Kerrville (2) was next to the other Kerrville; and Smoketown was one mile on the other side of North Middletown, heading toward Little Rock. A few of the families that lived in these communities had the last names of Carter, Cason, Mack, Kenney, Green, McClure, Butler, Fields, Dorsey, and Gibbs. This information comes from Albert B. Wess, Sr. See the article in The Bourbon News, 11/19/1901, p. 5. If you have more information about Dixville or the other communities, please contact Michell Butler.
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Kentucky African American Churches, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Dixville, Kerrville, Smoketown, North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Dowe, Jessica
Birth Year : 1956
From 2003-2005, Dr. Dowe practiced medicine in Munfordville, KY, the first African American to do so; she practiced with Dr. James Middleton at the Family Medicine Clinic of Hart County. Dr. Dowe is also one of the original board members of the Munfordville YMCA. She is also a speaker with the American Medical Association (AMA) Minority Affairs Consortium, "Doctors Back to School," a program that encourages elementary children to consider medicine as a career. Dr. Dowe has a number of publications and many years experience as a pharmaceutical and toxicology researcher, and she serves as an investigator in clinical pharmacology research for a number of companies. She has also served as Medical Services Director at the Jefferson County Department of Corrections. Dr. Dowe presently practices medicine in Elizabethtown, KY, and is a clinical instructor in Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville. She is also a charter member for the first Faith-based Recovery Program for Addiction in Elizabethtown; the program is associated with the First Baptist Church, which is led by Reverend B. T. Bishop. Dr. Dowe was born in Alabama and is the daughter of Jessie and Janie Dowe. She graduated in 1978 from Dillard University with a degree in chemistry, earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology at Howard University, and attended the University of Louisville, where she earned her MD in 1996. This information is taken from, with permission, the curriculum vita of Dr. Jessica Dowe. Contact Dr. Dowe at Xavier Healthcare in Elizabethtown, KY, for more information.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Researchers, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Munfordville, Hart County, Kentucky / Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / Alabama

Duncan, Cruz [Cruz McClusky]
Birth Year : 1844
Death Year : 1916
In 1910, Cruz Duncan was appointed an aid on the staff of Commander in Chief Van Sant of the G. A. R. (Grand Army of the Republic). Duncan was a former slave by the name of Cruz McClusky. He escaped slavery in Kentucky and joined the Union Army in Pennsylvania, serving with the 8th U.S. Colored Infantry and surviving the Civil War. After the war, he changed his last name to Duncan and returned to Kentucky. He married Mary Beal (also from Kentucky) with whom he had three children; Mary's daughter, Florence Keller, also lived with them. They lived in Louisville, KY, until 1871, then moved to Indianapolis, IN, where the family lived at 23 Columbia Street. Duncan was employed as a laborer. He became a minister and also held all of the leadership positions with the G. A. R. Martin R. Delany Post [Colored] in Indianapolis. He was one of the first African Americans to be elected to the National Encampment. For more see "Wooden Indian inspires; starts Negro in ministry," The Indianapolis Star, 01/16/1910, p. 12; and "No color line allowed", New York Times, 08/07/1891, p. 1. A picture of Cruz Duncan appears on p. 12 of The Indianapolis Star, 01/16/1910.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Dupee, George W.
Birth Year : 1827
Death Year : 1897
George Washington Dupee was born in Gallatin County, KY, the son of Cuthbert and Rachael Dupee. When he and his two brothers were being sold as part of an estate in 1856, Dupee's freedom was purchased by his congregation at the Lexington Pleasant Green Baptist Church. He organized the first association of African American churches in 1864, the same year he became pastor at Washington Street Colored Baptist Church in Paducah. He began publishing the Baptist Herald in 1873; the newspaper's name was later changed to the American Baptist. Rev. Dupee also held the office of Grand Senior Warden and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Kentucky. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; "Rev. George Washington Dupee, D.D." on p.186 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; and Afro-American Encyclopaedia: Or, the Thoughts, Doings... by James T. Haley, pp. 611-612 [available online from the University of North Carolina University Library, Documenting the American South].

See photo image of George W. Dupee in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Gallatin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Elmore, Ronn
Birth Year : 1957
Born in Louisville, KY, Ronn Elmore left Kentucky at the age of 16 and became an actor and dancer in Europe before becoming a minister and marriage counselor. He is a graduate of Antioch University (B.A.), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.A.) in California, and Ryokan College (Ph.D.), also in California. In 1989, Elmore developed the Relationship Center and the Relationship Enrichment Programs in Los Angeles. In the 1990s he also started a radio show and was a guest on television and other media, where he spoke on love, marriage, and family. Elmore has published several books, including How to Love a Black Man in 1996 and How to Love a Black Woman in 1998. Elmore is also the founder of Kingdom Shelter, which provides housing for homeless men. For more see African-American Religious Leaders, by N. Aaseng; and the Dr. Ronn Elmore website.

 
Subjects: Authors, Migration West, Radio, Religion & Church Work, Television, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Ewing, Thomas H.
Birth Year : 1856
Death Year : 1930
Reverend Ewing was born in Kentucky just prior to the Civil War. He left Paducah, KY, and walked to Kansas City, MO, then moved on to Nebraska, where he earned his medical degree, graduating with honors. Ewing had a private medical practice and later returned to Kansas City in 1887 to become pastor of the Vine Street Baptist Church. The church had a small, poor, divided congregation, and the church property was indebted. Ewing helped get the church back in good standing and built a larger building. He directed his congregation toward savings plans; he organized an economics club and financial clubs to help members get their own homes and to invest in real estate. Vine Street Baptist Church became one of the largest African American Baptist churches in Kansas City, and more than 100 members owned their own homes. Ewing had also followed his own advice: he owned farms and other properties in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. He was the husband of Fannie Ewing, born 1857 in Kentucky, according to the 1855 Kansas State Census Collection, when the couple was living in Leavenworth with their 3 year old son. T. H. Ewing was referred to as the wealthiest Colored Baptist minister in the entire West. For more see Take Up the Black Man's Burden, by C. E. Coulter; and "T. H. Ewing" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States by S. W. Bacote.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri

Ferguson, Andrew
Birth Year : 1828
Andrew Ferguson was a slave born in Paris, KY, owned by Dr. Andrew Todd. Ferguson was given his freedom with the condition that he live in Liberia, Africa. At the age of 24, his name is listed among the freeman, all bound for Liberia, in the 1853 publication of The African Repository, v.29, p. 70 [available full-text at Google Book Search]. Ferguson remained in Liberia for two years, then returned to the U.S. as a free man and settled in Louisville, KY, where he was employed as a janitor in the Hamilton Building. He was a member of the Board of Missions for Freedom Colored Church that had been holding services in a rented hall. When it came time for the church to find a permanent home, Ferguson confidentially encouraged Pastor J. R. Riley to consider a church on Madison Street that was for sale by a German denomination. Once the pastor had made up his mind, Ferguson, with the pastor in attendance, paid $4,880 in cash for the building. The deed was made out to the trustees of the church. After the purchase, Ferguson continued as an unassuming member of the congregation, holding no positions in the church. For more see "A Noble Deed of a Colored Man," The Presbyterian Monthly Record, vol. 32 (1881), pp. 321-322 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ferrill, London [First African Baptist Church]
Birth Year : 1789
Death Year : 1854
A slave from Hanover County, VA, London Ferrill became minister in 1820 of the Lexington First African Baptist Church, which became the largest church in Kentucky with 1,828 members. London Ferrill was born in 1789, the slave of Mrs. Ann Ferrill Winston, who gave him the name of her birth place, London, England [source: "Rev. London Ferrill; Kentucky's greatest Negro preacher" in the title Lore of the Meadowland by J. W. Townsend, pp.28-34]. All of the slaves had the last name Ferrill. Ann F. Winston died when London Ferrill was nine years old and he was sold to Colonel Samuel Overton for $600, separating him from his mother.  London Ferrill's wife purchased his freedom (it is assumed that she was already free) and the two left Virginia for Kentucky and settled four miles outside of Lexington. The family of three is listed in the 1820 and the 1830 U.S. Federal Census. London Ferrill began preaching in the homes of his congregation. He was eventually ordained by the Elkhorn Baptist Association. He requested and was granted permission to remain in Kentucky by the General Assembly [free Negroes were to leave the state, unless they were born in Kentucky]. At the age of 20, London Ferrill was baptized by Rev. Absalom Waller. When Lexington and Fayette County were hit by cholera, London Ferrill lost his wife on June 11, 1833. After the death of his wife, Ferrill moved into Lexington and would become the founder of the First Baptist Church for Colored People. The church was on the corner of East Short and Deweese Streets. London Ferrill died in Lexington on October 12, 1854, and is buried in the Old Episcopal Third Street Cemetery. He had no children when he died, but left a will giving his property to his adopted children. For more see Biography of London Ferrill, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Colored Persons, Lexington, Ky at the Documenting the American South website; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hanover County, Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Fields, Sharon B.
Birth Year : 1951
Sharon B. Fields was born in Paris, KY, she is an educator, politician, and a minister. She was also the first African American woman to become a city commissioner in Paris, KY. William B. Reed, the first African American commissioner in the city, was one of the candidates during Fields' first run for a seat on the commission in 1989. Fields was a new contender and had her supporters, but for some, her candidacy represented a split in the African American vote and it was feared that she would greatly decrease the chances of having at least one African American city commissioner. Others felt that one African American male candidate was most appropriate. Fields lost her first election by 3 votes. But, she was appointed to the commission when one of the commissioners stepped down. In 1990, she was a teacher at Paris High School and a city commissioner. She was a commissioner, off and on, for 10 years. Today, Rev. Fields is a member of the Paris Independent School Board of Education. She has also served as pastor of the Eminence Christian Church in Eminence, KY. Reverend Fields earned her undergraduate degree in education at Eastern Kentucky University, a masters in education at Georgetown College (KY), a masters in public affairs at Kentucky State University, and a divinity masters at Lexington Theological Seminary. She was the first African American woman vice moderator and moderator for the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. Reverend Fields is also an author, she has written numerous articles for religious magazines such as Just Women; articles for the Bourbon Times and The Bourbon Citizen; and an article for Essence Magazine on social security benefits for out-of-wedlock children. She is the co-author of In Other Words--; stories of African American involvement in the early years of the Stone-Campbell movement in Kentucky. This entry was submitted by Kellie Scott of the Paris Bourbon County Public Library. For more information on Sharon B. Fields as a city commissioner, see the commission records at the Bourbon County Clerk's Office; also contact Sharon B. Fields.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Fifth Street Baptist Church (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1815
The church was founded in 1815, known at that time as the First Baptist African Mission. In 1842 the congregation separated from the First Baptist Church of Louisville, forming the Colored Baptist Church of Louisville. It is one of the oldest African American churches in the city, and one of the oldest among African American Baptist churches. The church archive is available at the University of Louisville Archives and Record Center. Historical Sketch of The Fifth Street Baptist Church of Louisville, Kentucky, by G. A. Hampton, is included in the archive collection.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

First African Baptist Church (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1790
The First African Baptist Church is considered the first west of the Allegheny Mountains, and is said to predate the first Baptist Church for whites. The church was founded by Peter Durrett, who was a slave also known as Old Captain. Durrett was born in Caroline County, Virginia in the 1700s and arrived in what is now the state of Kentucky around 1785. He and his wife lived in Lexington and the First African Baptist Church was located at the corner of what would become known as Lexington and Euclid Streets. Durrett preached to the slaves who were allowed to attend his church, and there was a beginning congregation of 50 members. Today the First African Baptist Church is located at 465 Price Road in Lexington, KY. For more about the history of the church and it's preachers, the community, and other African American churches that developed from the First African Baptist Church, see One Grain of the Salt by Dr. L. H. McIntyre.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Foster, James A.
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1891
Reverend Foster, a Kentucky native who had a limited education, was involved in establishing higher education for African Americans in Alabama. He gained his prominence via the church, serving as the first recording secretary of the Colored Baptist of Alabama State Convention and later as convention president. He had left Kentucky for Alabama when he was a young man, and it is not known if he was ever enslaved. Foster was ordained in Montgomery in 1867 and served as pastor at Mt. Meigs Church and Columbus Street Church. He was a trustee of the Alabama State Normal School and Swayne School. Alabama State Normal was originally Lincoln School in Marion, AL, and later became Lincoln Normal. In 1887, the school was moved to Montgomery and renamed Alabama State Normal School [now Alabama State University]. Swayne School opened in 1867 and was renamed Talladega College in 1869 [now Talladega University]. Reverend Foster was also one of the original incorporators of Selma University in 1881; the school was founded in 1878 as Alabama Baptist Normal and Theological School for the training of ministers and teachers. For more see "Reverend James A. Foster" in The Cyclopedia of the Colored Baptists of Alabama, by C. O. Boothe, pp. 141-142 [available full-text at UNC Documenting the American South].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Montgomery, Alabama

Gaddie, Daniel Abraham, Sr.
Birth Year : 1836
Death Year : 1911
Reverend D. A. Gaddie was born in Hart County, KY, the son of a slave owner whose last name was Jamison. He changed his last name to Gaddie after he was freed. Gaddie was a blacksmith and became an ordained minister in 1865. A very active member of the Association of the Kentucky Baptist, he was pastor of a number of churches in Louisville, including the Green Street Baptist Church during the 1870s. It is estimated that Rev. Gaddie baptized more than 1,000 people. Rev. Gaddie received an honorary Doctor of Divinity in 1887 from State University [later Simmons University] in Louisville, KY. Some sources say that he was a graduated of the school. Gaddie was also a member of the school's Board of Trustees for seven years, and of the Executive Board for 16 years. Rev. D. A. Gaddie's name can be found on a number of African American marriage certificates, including that of James Cambron and Lucenda Fry Cambron, married in 1895. For more see Afro-American Encyclopaedia: Or, the Thoughts, Doings..., by James T. Haley, p. 476 [available online at the UNC Library, Documenting the American South website]; the Daniel Abraham Gaddie entry in v.4 of the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and the Rev. Daniel Abraham Gaddie entry in Men of Mark by W. J. Simmons and H. M. Turner [available full view at Google Book Search].

See depiction of Reverend D. A. Gaddie on p.648 in Men of Mark by W. J. Simmons and H. M. Turner.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Hart County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Gaines, Emma
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1949
Emma Gaines was an African American leader who was a native of Kentucky and lived and died in Kansas. She led educational and social efforts as an officer of a number of organizations. For 30 years she was president of the Baptist Women's Convention of Kansas and was among the first members of the Kansas Federation of Colored Women's Clubs when it was formed in June of 1931. She was president of the General Missionary Society, president of the Mothers Conference, and held several other positions at Shiloh Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. She was also a delegate for 30 years to the National Baptist Women's Convention, founded by Nannie Burroughs in 1900. Emma Gaines was a member of the Woman's Home and Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention and was elected vice president in 1897. She was director of the Negro Festival Choir in Topeka and led the group through numerous performances in Topeka and surrounding cities. She was one of the first officers of the National Training School for Women founded in Washington, D. C. in 1909; the school was directed by Nannie Burroughs. Gaines was a Grand Chief Preceptress of the Pearly Rose Tabernacle No. 77, Daughters of the Tabernacle, and served as president of the Daughters of Liberty. In 1899, she was elected Queen Mother of the International Order of Twelve. Emma Gaines was the wife of Thomas Gaines; both were born in Kentucky and had been slaves. Their son, Benjamin P. Gaines, was also born in Kentucky. The family left Kentucky around 1887 and settled in Topeka, Kansas. Beginning in 1927, they were the owners of Gaines and Son Funeral Home, and in 1937, the family lived above the business at 1182 Buchanan Street. The business was initially located at 305 Kansas Street when the Gaines purchased it from the Topeka Undertaking Company, which was owned by the Goodwin family from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Emma Gaines died in 1949. In 1954, the cornerstone of the Gaines Memorial Chapel was put into place, marking the beginning of construction of the church that was named in honor of Emma Gaines. The church was located on Baptist Hill across the street from Kansas Technical Institute [which later merged with Kansas State University]. For more see "The Story of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gaines," Capital Plaindealer, 01/10/1937, p. 1; "The Baptist State Convention," Parsons Weekly Blade, 09/04/1897, p. 4; "Mrs. Emma Gaines...," Plaindealer, 09/29/1899, p. 3; "New organized undertaking firm has purchased former Topeka Undertaking Company," Plaindealer, 01/07/1927, p. 1; and "Lays cornerstone of Gaines Memorial Chapel," Plaindealer, 07/23/1954, p. 4.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Topeka, Kansas

Gay, Marvin P., Sr.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1998
Born in Jessamine County, KY, Gay was the father of Marvin P. Gaye, Jr., singer, songwriter, and producer. Gay, Sr. was charged with the shooting death of his son on April 1, 1984. Bishop S. P. Rawlings of Lexington led the funeral tribute. Gay, Sr. had left Kentucky in 1935 and became a pastor at the House of God Church in Washington, D.C. He later moved to Los Angeles, CA, where he died. For more see "Marvin Gaye's Father Placed on Probation in Son's Death," 11/03/84, Main News section, p. A3, and "Lexington Pastor Leads Marvin Gaye's Funeral Tribute," 14/06/84, Obituaries, p. B11, both in the Lexington Herald-Leader. [Marvin P. Gaye, Jr. added an "e" to his last name.]
Subjects: Fathers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Jessamine County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Los Angeles, California

Givens, Mrs. Fanny Rosalind Hicks and James Edward Givens
Mrs. Fanny R. Hicks Givens was an artist, songwriter, educator, and police matron. She was born in 1872 in Chicago, IL; her parents were Kentucky natives who had migrated North. In the early 1890s, Givens was living in Louisville, KY, she was head of the art department at State University [later known as Simmons University, KY]. The art department had 23 students and their works were exhibited at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She painted a portrait of John R. Walter, Minister of Madagascar and presented it to President Harrison. The portrait was hung in the White House. In 1895, Fanny R. Hicks married James Edward Givens. James Givens was born in 1861 in Greenwood, VA, the son of Jefferson and Mary Ann Dickerson Givens. James Givens was a graduate of Harvard College. He arrived in Louisville in 1892 to become a Latin and Greek instructor at State University. He was later a Latin and English professor at Louisville Colored High School [later known as Louisville Central High School]. He was founder of New South, a weekly newspaper published in Louisville beginning in 1894. From 1898-1900, James E. Givens was the second president of the State Normal School for Colored Persons (later known as Kentucky State University) [see the Office of the President Records, a Kentucky Digital Library webpage]. He was a storekeeper when he died of typhoid fever in 1910 at his home, 507 Jacob Street, in Louisville, KY, according to the Kentucky Death Records. James Givens was buried in the Eastern Cemetery in Louisville. Prior to his death, he was attended by Dr. Ellis D. Whedbee, husband to Bertha Whedbee, the first African American woman to be employed by the Louisville Police Department. In 1920, the Givens family was living on Finzer Street in Louisville, KY: Mrs. Givens, her daughter Fanny, niece Evaline Williams, and nephew James E. Givens. Mrs. Fanny R. Givens was a portrait artist, and in 1915 she attempted to raise $100,000 to build an Art Institute for the development of Negro artists. She was also a songwriter, on March 23, 1908, she had received a copyright for the words and the song titled "Hallelujah! Christ is Risen," [C 177237]. She was also chair of the Ways and Means Committee in Louisville. She sailed to Liberia, Africa, leaving from the Baltimore port aboard the ship Byron, December 10, 1921, according to her passport application. In 1923, Mrs. Givens and her daughter Fanny were missionaries for the National Baptist Convention, and were to sail to Sweden, the British Isles, France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, and Germany, according to their U.S. Passport. They were to leave the Port of New York on June 30, 1923, sail to their destinations aboard the Olympic, and return to the U.S. within one year. In 1930, Mrs. Givens would become one of the first African American women to be hired by the Louisville Police Department. Fanny R. Hicks Givens died of breast cancer in Louisville in 1947, according to her death certificate, she was buried in Eastern Cemetery. For more see Mrs. Fanny R. Givens on p.202 in The Crisis, v.18, no.4, August 1919, [available at Google Book Search]; p.366 in Catalog of Copyright Entries, new series volume 3, nos 1-5, January 1908, by Library of Congress Copyright Office [available at Google Book Search]; Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930 by L. H. Williams; "Mrs. Fannie R. Givens" on pp.252-253 of the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; and the Louisville Division of Police by M. O. Childress, Sr. See the James Edward Givens entry in Harvard College, Class of 1892-1896, Secretary's Report, No.11 by Harvard College [available at Google Book Search]; see "James Edward Givens" entry in Harvard College Class of 1892, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Report, 1892-1917 by Harvard College; and "Prominent Colored Educator" in The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 03/23/1910, p.1.

 


   See photo image of Fanny R. Givens at Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Great Lakes Region website.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Greenwood, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Gloucester, John
Birth Year : 1776
Death Year : 1822
John Gloucester was born a slave in Kentucky. He was a gifted singer and the first African American minister of the first African American Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Before his church was built, Gloucester would sing outside, and when a crowd had gathered, he would begin preaching. In Kentucky, Gloucester had been owned by Reverend Gideon Blackburn, a leader in the Kentucky Presbyterian denomination. When Gloucester was ordained a minister, he was given his freedom. He preached throughout the United States and abroad, raising enough money to buy the freedom of his wife and children. The family settled in Philadelphia around 1807. For more see The Negro Church. Report of a Social Study..., edited by W. E. B. DuBois [full text at UNC Library, Documenting the American South]; and A Popular History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, by J. H. Patton.

See image of John Gloucester at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Godfrey, Linda R.
Birth Year : 1947
Linda R. Godfrey, born in Lexington, KY, has been a leader on several fronts since graduating in 1965 from old Henry Clay High School [on Main Street], where she was a member of the second integrated class to graduate from the school. Godfrey, a nurse, has worked at several locations in Lexington and is presently a case manager and diabetes nurse specialist at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital off Cooper Drive, providing outreach and care coordination for returning combat veterans. She is a retired Army Nurse, having served (1985-2000) with the 475th MASH hospital unit out of Frankfort, KY. Godfrey also taught health education classes at multiple military hospitals throughout the U.S. and in Japan, Ecuador, and Barbados. She also served as an Army nurse in Saudi Arabia and Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. She received an Army commendation medal and has received a number of awards for her work with veterans, including the Federal Woman of the Year in 2000. In Lexington, Godfrey was a board member of Hospice when the program was being developed in 1977, coordinating the volunteers. For 13 years she taught pediatric nursing and basic medical surgical nursing at Kentucky State University and today is a part-time lecturer for the clinical labs and nursing programs. Godfrey also teaches health education and diabetes classes throughout the year at local churches. She has served two terms as president of the Northside Neighborhood Association, one of the oldest and largest neighborhood associations in Lexington. Godfrey, one of the original members, is past chairperson of the Historic Preservation Commission of the Fayette-Urban County Government and is completing her second term as vice-chair of the Fayette-Urban County Planning Commission. Linda Godfrey is a graduate of Appalachian School of Practical Nursing [which was on Warren Court in Lexington, KY], where she earned her LPN degree in 1968. In 1972, she earned her RN degree from Lexington Community College [now Bluegrass Community and Technical College] and in 1980 graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. She is a charter member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Delta Psi Chapter. Godfrey, who grew up in Kinkeadtown, attends the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Pricetown, founded by her great grandfather, Matthew Garner. Pricetown is one of the Negro hamlets founded at the end of slavery. This entry was submitted by William Anthony Goatley with detailed information from Linda Godfrey.

 

Access InterviewLisen to the online interview with Lind R. Godfrey (Part 1 and Part 2), interviewed by Mike Jones, 07/27/2002, at the Kentucky Historical Society website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Communities, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Kinkeadtown, Pricetown, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Iraq / Japan / Ecuador / Barbados

Golden Jubilee (Georgetown, KY)
Start Year : 1926
Golden Jubilee of the Howards Creek Missionary and Educational District Association: a brief story of fifty years work, 1876-1926, by T. H. Smith, 1882- [Georgetown: s.n.], 1926. Title available at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Jubilees
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky

Golden Jubilees (Louisville, KY)
Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky: the story of 50 years' work from 1865-1915 including many photos and sketches, compiled from unpublished manuscripts and other sources, by C. H. Parrish. Louisville, KY: Mayes Print Co., 1915. Available at the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library.


Golden Jubilee of the Baptist Women's State Missionary Convention of Kentucky: the story of fifty years of women's missionary activities including histories of the young people and district conventions, societies and individuals. Louisville, Kentucky: Baptist Women's State Missionary Convention of Kentucky, 1953. Available at University of Kentucky Special Collections Library.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Jubilees
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Gospel Troupers (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1952
The group, referred to as the Gospel Troupers or Troopers, was organized in 1952 with four women and three men. It was thought to be the first all-blind gospel chorus (Mrs. Jane Scott, the pianist-director, was sighted). The group members, who belonged to various churches, performed at festivals, schools, and church events to raise money for various charities in Lexington, KY. Members included Mrs. Jean Searcy Carter, who organized the group; her husband, Garfield Carter; and Hester and George Hanley. For more see "Blind Ky. Choristers Sing Gospel for Charity," in December 18, 1952 issue of Jet, p. 30 [available online with picture of group]; J. Hewlett, "George Hanley, blind musician, singer, dies at 85," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/30/1988, Obituaries section, p. B4; and "Garfield Carter, Fayette vendor, singer dies at 87," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/13/1997, Obituaries section, p. C2. Additional information provided by Margaret Miller of Lexington, KY, daughter of Mrs. Jane Scott.


Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Blind, Visually Impaired
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Green, Elisha W. [Green v. Gould]
Birth Year : 1815
Death Year : 1893
Elisha W. Green was born in Bourbon County, KY. He was a slave of John P. Dobbyns as well as a pastor in Maysville, KY, and Paris, KY. He was allowed regular travel between the two cities, traveling by train and stage, sometimes passing without incident but at other times denied admittance or attacked. After gaining his freedom, Green later had a whitewashing business and learned a number of skills in order to earn income for his family. He led in the building of an all African American community, Claysville, in Paris, KY. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; Life of the Rev. Elisha W. Green..., by E. W. Green [available online at UNC Documenting the American South]; and C. L. Davis, "Green v. Gould (1884) and the Construction of Postbellum Race Relations in a Central Kentucky Community," The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, vol. 105, issue 3 (Summer 2007), pp. 383-416.

See image of Elisha W. Green on frontispiece page of Life of the Rev. Elisha W. Green... by E. W. Green, at Documenting the American South.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Freedom, Religion & Church Work, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Green, Nancy
Birth Year : 1834
Death Year : 1923
Born a slave in Montgomery County, KY, Nancy Green was the world's first living trademark: she was the original "Aunt Jemima." It has been said that Green did not develop the pancake mix, while an article in the Negro Star newspaper states that a milling company in St. Louis obtained the pancake recipe from Green, but there are no details as to the agreement [source: "Mrs. Nancy Green of "Aunt Jemima" fame, is dead," Negro Star, 09/14/1923, p.1]. Nancy Green did not own the pancake company. Green was first introduced as Aunt Jemima at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She received a lifetime contract and traveled all over the country promoting Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix until her death in 1923. The pancake company was sold to the Quaker Oats Company in 1925. The image of Aunt Jemima on the pancake box continued. During the 1950s, there was outspoken criticism. Since that time the image has received a number of upgrades. Nancy Green left Kentucky for Chicago when she was hired as a nurse for the Walker family whose children grew up to become Chicago Circuit Judge Charles M. Walker and Dr. Samuel Walker. Green was the first African American missionary worker and an organizer of the Olivet Baptist Church, one of the largest African American churches in Chicago. She died in a car accident in 1923. For more see Nancy Green, the original "Aunt Jemima", an African American Registry website; Notable Black American Women. Book III, ed. by J. C. Smith; and "Aunt Jemima, victim of auto," Urbana Daily Courier, 10/27/1923, p. 7 [full-text of article in Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection].


 
  See image of Nancy Green as Aunt Jemima at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Nurses
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Green Street Baptist Church [George Wells]
Start Year : 1844
George Wells (1788-1850), was born in Kentucky, and is listed in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census as a free man who is a Baptist minister in Louisville, KY. In 1844, he founded what is today named the Green Street Baptist Church, one of the oldest African American churches in Kentucky. The church was located on First Street in Louisville, KY, and moved to Green Street in 1848. It was first called Second African Church, then Second Colored Church, before being given the present name in 1860. Wells was pastor of the church from 1844-1850. The second minister was Rev. Sneathen, who died in the 1870s, and he was followed by Rev. Gaddie. Today the church is located at 519 E. Gray Street. For more see the Green Street Baptist Church Records in the University of Louisville Libraries Special Collections and Archives; Kentucky Historical Marker #1949, at the Kentucky Historical Society Markers Database; A History of Blacks in Kentucky by M. B. Lucas; and History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten by W. H. Gibson.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Greene, Horace Henry
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1986
In 1961, Reverend Horace Henry Greene became the first African American to be elected president of the Louisville Ministerial Association. Green was the pastor of the R. E. Jones Temple Methodist Church in Louisville, KY. In 1966, Rev. Greene became the second African American named to the Lexington Board of Education; he filled the seat of the recently deceased Carl Lynem, who was the first African American named to the Lexington Board of Education. Rev. Greene was also the first African American to run for a Lexington City Commissioner's seat. Green was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Eva Bloomer Green and George Isaac Green. He had served as District Superintendent of the Lexington Conference, 1948-52, and was director of the Wesley Club at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] beginning in 1960. Green was a graduate of Gammon Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. For more see "Louisville Ministers Name First Negro President," Jet, vol. 20, issue 4 (05/18/1961), p. 45; "Horace Henry Greene" in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers, by E. L. Williams; "Local minister named to city board," Lexington Herald, 04/21/1966, p.1 [photo included with article]; J. Hewlett, "Minister, civic leader H. H. Greene dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/23/1986, p.B1; and "Horace Henry Greene" by D. Puckett on pp.574-575 in The New History of Shelby County Kentucky.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Gunner, Byron
Birth Year : 1858
Byron Gunner, a minister, was husband to Cicely S. Gunner and the father of Francis Gunner Van Dunk, who was born in Lexington, KY. Rev. Gunner was born in Alabama and lived in New York. He issued a call in the Cleveland Advocate (08/12/1916) to all African Americans for the formation of a National Race Congress. He had also addressed the American Missionary Association in 1891 on men of color in the Southern pulpit. Gunner was a pastor in Lexington, KY around 1895. For more see The American Missionary, vol. 45, issue 12, pp. 460-461 [available online by Cornell University Library].

See photo image of Rev. Byron Gunner from Pastor Henry N. Jeter's twenty-five years experience with the Shiloh Baptist Church and her history by Henry N. Jeter, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Fathers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Alabama / New York / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Gunner, Cicely S.
Birth Year : 1868
Born Cicely Savery in Alabama, she was the daughter of William Savery, a former slave who co-sponsored the incorporation of Talladega College in Alabama. The Savery Library at Talladega College was named in honor of William Savery. Cicely S. Gunner was the wife of Rev. Byron Gunner and the mother of Francis Van Dunk, who was born in Lexington, KY. Cicely Gunner was a school teacher; she addressed the American Missionary Association in 1893, speaking of her experience as a teacher in the South. The family lived in Lexington, KY, around 1895, and later lived in New York. For more see The American Missionary, vol. 48, issue 1, pp. 54-55 [available online by Cornell University Library]. In other sources Cicely Gunner may be referred to as Mrs. Byron Gunner.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Mothers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Alabama / New York / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Hall, Daniel
Born in Louisville, KY, Daniel Hall is the first African American vice president at the University of Louisville, he is the Vice President of External Affairs. Hall is also an attorney and served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Romano L. Mazzoli. Hall is the founder and served as the chair of the Louisville Public Radio Partnership Board of Directors. He has been a leader and active member of several organizations. He was the state's Golden Glove Champion for three years [boxing]. Daniel Hall is a graduate of Central High School in Louisville, Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. For more see Speaker Biographies in the program bulletin, "Brown v. Board of Education Turns Fifty: But We Are Still Separate and Not Equal," held at Eastern Kentucky University, February 26, 2004; and "Daniel Hall" on p.194 in Who's Who in Black Louisville: the inaugural edition.
 
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing, Education and Educators, Lawyers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hall, Leula Wallace
Birth Year : 1939
Leula Wallace Hall is an educator, administrator, minister, former high school basketball coach, and former jazz singer. She was born in the coal camp town of Valles Creek [now Hartwell] in McDowell County, WV. She is the oldest child of the late Bonnie Goddard Wallace and Theodore Wallace Sr. The family moved from West Virginia to Cincinnati, OH, then on to Lexington, KY, where Leula Hall attended old Dunbar High School. She learned to sing in church, and was a professional jazz singer. Her stage name was Toni Wallace. She sang with the local group known as The House Rockers. She also sang with the Eugene Barr Trio, and she was an Ikette, singing with Ike and Tina Turner. She was one of the backup singers on the 1963 single release of Tina's Dilemma. Leula Hall came back to Lexington, KY, when her singing career ended. She went back to Dunbar High School and graduated in 1965, nine years after her classmates. She enrolled at Transylvania University and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology in 1973, and began teaching social studies at Lafayette High School. She was also the basketball coach for the girls' team. She coached the team a year before Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972 went into effect in Lexington schools. Leula Hall had also coached a girls' community basketball team, the team members were her daughter and her daughter's friends. The team did not have a name. Opponents were teams such as the Transylvania women's team, the Sayre School team, and a girls team from Ashland, KY. Leula Hall had played basketball in Alabama when she stayed with her grandmother. In Lexington, she was a player/coach once; she dressed out with her community team during a game against Sayre School when foul trouble left her with only four players on the floor. In addition to coaching and teaching at Lafayette High School, Leula Hall continued her education and earned her master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University. In 1975, she moved with her husband to Detroit, MI, and earned her Ph.D. in educational sociology at Wayne State University. She earned a second doctorate in pastoral counseling. While in Detroit, Leula Hall was director of an after school leadership program for high school students in the Region One Student Resource Center, it was a federally funded program. All of her students graduated from high school. Hall was next a school community agent with the city school system, she was a liaison between the school and the community, and would become an assistant director, then a director of Area E (formerly Region 6) in 1984. The area included 42 schools with students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Hall's duties included fund raising and helping to convince the community to pass property taxes (millage elections) to pay for the schools. In 1991, Leula Hall became director of Adult Education in the Detroit City School System. She was the lead researcher, and later director, of the African Heritage Cultural Center's exhibit and display. The event drew up to 80,000 visitors. Leula Hall also established the Christ Church Christian Disciples Ministry at 18336 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, MI. In 2001, she retired, closed her church, and returned to Lexington. She has taught part-time at Kentucky State University. Leula Hall is the mother of three children, Ronald, Daryl, and Candyce. Her daughter Candyce Edwards was also a professional singer with the group "Al Hudson and One Way." The group had five top ten hits, and the biggest hit was the song Cutie Pie, which reached #4 on the R&B Charts in 1982. Information for this entry comes from the Leula Wallace interviews that are housed in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries. The interviews are restricted. Leula Wallace Hall is the sister of Theodore C. Wallace, Jr. and Thomas C. Wallace. See also An analysis of the local school principals and local school-community relations committee members' perceptions of the influence of community-relations members in decision-making policies at the local school level in Region Five, Detroit Public Schools by Leula Wallace Clark; and "Praise revival for women starts tonight," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/07/1997, p.15.

 

Access InterviewRead about the Leula Wallace Hall oral history interviews at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.

See image and listen to recording of Tina's Dilemma.

See image and listen to recording of Cutie Pie.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: [Valles Creek] Hartwell, McDowell County, West Virginia / Cincinnati, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Hardin, Boniface
Birth Year : 1933
Death Year : 2012
Born in Louisville, KY, Boniface Hardin grew up in Bardstown, KY, and Indianapolis, IN. He became a Benedictine monk in 1953. He established Martin College in 1977 [now Martin University], to educate low income minority adults. The school, which has existed for more than 30 years, started with just two students; today Martin University has about 1,600 students. The school is the only predominately Black university in Indiana. Hardin has also been an outspoken advocate for civil rights. In 2002, Hardin, who speaks 16 languages, was named International Citizen of the Year by the International Center of Indianapolis. For more see the 1983 Boniface Hardin interview in the People of Indianapolis collection at Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory; and B. Harris, "Award honors global vision - International Center to recognize founder and longtime leader of Martin University," The Indianapolis Star, 11/14/2002, City State; Biography section, p. B03.

See photo image of Rev. Boniface Hardin at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Harris, Everett G.
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1936
Harris was sent to Louisville, KY, by the American Missionary Association to develop an African American church. He also established the Plymouth Settlement House, which included an employment bureau for African American women. He was also a member of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. He was the husband of librarian Rachel Davis Harris. Everett Harris was born in Virginia. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Harris, William H., Jr.
Birth Year : 1903
William H. Harris, Jr. was born in Russellville, KY, the son of William and Hattie Harris. The family lived on West Bank Street in 1910, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and William Sr. was a minister at the Baptist Church. William Harris Jr. taught at Western Seminary in Kansas City and at Douglass High School in Webster Groves, MO, from 1928 to 1930. He served as director of the Community House in Moline, IL, 1930-1933, and was pastor at several churches in Missouri. He also served as director of foreign mission work in Missouri. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Kansas City and Webster Groves, Missouri / Moline, Illinois

Harvey, Wardelle G., Sr.
Birth Year : 1926
Wardell G. Harvey, Sr. was born in Booneville, IN, and is a graduate of Tri-State Baptist College. He came to Kentucky in 1962 to pastor at the Harrison Street Baptist Church in Paducah. In 1968, Rev. Harvey became the first African American to be appointed to the Paducah City Commission. He was also the first African American on the Paducah Housing Board and was mayor pro tem. Rev. Harvey was a Civil Rights activist, developing the Non-Partisan League in Paducah to push for the desegregation of public accommodations. For more see "Nine Blacks on City Councils, One Prosecuting Attorney," Human Rights News, January-February 1969; and Not without struggle, by J. B. Horton.

 

Access Interview Read the transcript to the Rev. Wardelle Harvey oral history interview by Betty Brinson, 08/16/2000, at the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Kentucky African American Churches, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Booneville, Indiana / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Hayden, John Carleton
Birth Year : 1933
Born in Bowling Green, KY, John C. Hayden has been a clergyman, activist, educator, and historian. He is the son of Otis Roosevelt and Gladys Gatewood Hayden. He is a 1955 graduate of Wayne State University (BA); a 1962 graduate of the University of Detroit [at Mercy] (MA); a 1972 graduate of Howard University (PhD); and a 1991 graduate of the College of Emmanuel (MDiv). In the 1970s, he was an activist for African Americans and social issues. Hayden has taught at several schools, including as a history professor at Howard University and a lecturer at Montgomery College. He has written extensively on African American church history and is the author of Struggle, Strife, and Salvation, the Role of Blacks in the Episcopal Church and a co-author of Black American Heritage through United States Postage Stamps. For more see Who's Who in the World (2001); and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006.

See photo image and additional information about John Carleton Hayden at The Archives of the Episcopal Church website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Heath, Andrew
Birth Year : 1832
Death Year : 1887
Andrew Heath was a slave born in Henderson County, KY. He had become an ordained minister in 1867 and was an assistant pastor. Heath became a free man, and after the death of Rev. Henry Adams, he was named pastor at Fifth Street Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. Heath was also a member of the first Baptist Convention held in Kentucky and served in several leadership capacities with the General Association. He is said to have baptized 1,500 persons. Heath was well respected among the Baptists; thousands of people paid their respects when he died in 1887. For more see the Andrew Heath entries in the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and in Men of Mark, by W. J. Simmons and H. M. Turner.

See photo image of Rev. Andrew Heath at the New York Public Library Digital Library.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Henderson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Henderson, Angelo B.
Birth Year : 1962
Death Year : 2014
Angelo B. Henderson was born in Louisville, KY.  He is a 1985 graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism. He received the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished feature writing for "Crime Story," which featured the lives of those affected by an attempted robbery and the death of the robber; Henderson was the deputy Detroit bureau chief at the Wall Street Journal. He has received a number of other awards, including the National Association of Black Journalists Award for outstanding coverage of the African American condition. He was inducted into the University of Kentucky Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2005. The previous year, Henderson became the associate pastor at Hope United Methodist Church in Southfield, Michigan. He also became associate editor of Real Times LLC, the nation's largest African-American newspaper chain. Angelo B. Henderson died February of 2014. For more see Angelo Ink, Henderson's media consulting firm; Angelo Henderson in the History Makers website; and Who's Who Among African Americans, vols. 8-18.

See the video "Detroit 2020 Person of the week Angelo Henderson" on YouTube.

 
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit and Southfield, Michigan

Herod, Henry Louis and Elizabeth Frances
The Herods, Henry (1875-1935) and Elizabeth (1881-1953), were Kentucky natives: Elizabeth was born in Millersburg, and Henry may have been born there, also. The couple was married in 1899 and shared their home with Henry's 15 year old nephew, all living on W. 13th Street in Indianapolis, IN, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Henry was pastor of Second Christian Church, later known as Light of the World Christian Church; he was pastor for 37 years, 1898-1935. He is credited with increasing the membership and developing educational and cultural importance among the church members and advancing community projects. He was Superintendent of the Indianapolis Flanner House from 1925-1935. He was a political leader in Indianapolis and served as secretary of the Interracial Committee of the Council of Social Agencies. Henry was a member of the First Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Nu [see p. 46 of A History of the Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter 1911-1949  (.pdf format)]. Henry was a graduate of the University of Indianapolis, Butler College, Department of Liberal Arts and Culture [now Butler University]. Elizabeth was also active in the community, serving as secretary of the Indiana Federation of Colored Women's Clubs and as president of the Indianapolis Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. She was also active with the Indianapolis YWCA and was a delegate to the national convention in 1924. For more see the Elizabeth Herod entry in "Kentucky Biographical Sketches" in Lifting as They Climb, by E. L. Davis; and "Indianapolis Y.W. representative to Buenos Aires here," The Indianapolis Star, 06/07/1924, p. 7. See Henry Herod in the Indiana Medical Journal, 1902, vol. 21, issue 1, p. 527 [available at Google Book Search]; and Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century, by E. L. Thornbrough and L. Ruegamer.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association), Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Hickman, Willianna Lewis and Daniel
Scott County, KY natives and former slaves, Daniel (1841-1917) and Willianna Hickman left Kentucky with their six children, part of the 140 Exodusters heading to Nicodemus, Kansas. In her narrative about the trip, Willianna Hickman tells of a measles outbreak and how the families followed the trails made by deer and buffalo because there were no roads. When they arrived at Nicodemus, she was shocked to see that families were living in dugouts. The Hickman family continued on to their homestead, 14 miles beyond Nicodemus, to Hill City. Minister Daniel Hickman organized the First Baptist Church, the Second Baptist Church, and the WaKeeney Baptist Association. He was elected the first county coroner. The Hickman family moved to Topeka in 1903. For more see the Willianna Hickman entry in We Are Your Sisters: Black Women in the Nineteenth Century, ed. by D. Sterling, pp. 375-376; and the Daniel Hickman entry in vol. 4 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Nicodemus, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky / Hill City and Nicodemus, Kansas

Historic Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1790
The Baptist Church was thought to have established the oldest African American congregation west of the Allegheny Mountains. The history dates back to 1790 when Rev. Peter Duerett founded the African Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. The name was changed to "Pleasant Green" in 1829. Today the church is located at 540 W. Maxwell Street in Lexington, Kentucky. For more contact the church at 859-254-7387.

See photo image of the Historic Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church at The Bluegrass and Beyond website.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Hoard, J. H. [Hoardsville, Oklahoma]
Birth Year : 1862
Reverend Hoard was born in Hopkinsville, KY, and in 1899 moved to Okmulgee, OK, to become pastor of the First Baptist Church. Okmulgee is 30 miles from Tulsa. Hoard was the husband of Clara Locke Hoard, with whom he had 11 children. Rev. Hoard was also pastor of the Union Baptist Church in Grayson, Oklahoma. He farmed his land next to the Henryetta gas and oil fields. He was chair of the Educational Board of the Oklahoma Baptist Convention, a member and moderator of the Southwest Creek and Seminole District Association, and the Hoardsville postmaster. Hoard had come to Oklahoma during the period author M. C. Hill describes as the "Great Black March Westward" that began in 1890 and peaked in 1910. Most came from eight southern states, including Kentucky. This was also the period when small all-Negro communities were developed, and there was an attempt to make Oklahoma an all Negro state. Hoardsville is usually not mentioned as one of the better known all-Negro communities. Hundreds of Negroes were arriving in Oklahoma each day, looking for utopia but finding that there were ongoing clashes between Negroes, Native Americans, and Whites. For more see "Reverend J. H. Hoard" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States, by S. W. Bacote; and M. C. Hill, "The All Negro Communities of Oklahoma," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 31, issue 3 (July 1946), pp. 254-268.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Postal Service, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Hodge, W. J.
Birth Year : 1920
Death Year : 2000
W. J. Hodge was born in Texas and came to Louisville, KY, in 1957 to become pastor of the Fifth Street Baptist Church. In 1958 he was elected president of the Louisville Chapter of the NAACP and in 1962 was elected president of the Kentucky Conference of the NAACP. Hodge helped organize the 1964 March on Frankfort in support of the Kentucky Civil Rights Law. In 1977, Hodge became the first African American president of the Louisville Board of Alderman; he resigned from the board in 1982 to become president of Simmons Bible College. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 20; Y. D. Coleman, "First Black Alderman president recently honored with a resolution," The Louisville Defender, 03/12/1992, p. 4; and T. Shannon, "W. J. Hodge," Courier-Journal, 12/28/2000, NEWS section, p. 01A.

See photo image and additional information about W. J. Hodge at "Geat Black Kentuckians," a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Texas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hood, Robert E.
Birth Year : 1936
Death Year : 1994
Hood was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Blanche and George R. Hood. He was a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, where he was the first African American president of the student body. He was also a graduate of General Theological Seminary, the University of Chicago and the Oxford University. In 1984, he was an administrative assistant to Bishop Desmond Tutu: Hood was a historian in the areas of religion and race. He had been a professor at the General Theological Seminary, and prior to his death, was director of the Center for African American Studies at Adelphi University. Hood was also author of Must God Remain Greek?: Afro cultures and God-talk, Begrimed and Black: Christian traditions on Blacks and blackness, and several other books. For more see "Dr. Robert E. Hood, theologian, 58, dies," New York Times, 08/12/1994, p. A21; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-1997.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Long Island, New York

Hopkinsville College of the Bible (Hopkinsville, KY)
Start Year : 1883
The school was founded in 1883 during a meeting of the First District Baptist Association at the Green Valley Baptist Church in response to the need for a training center in the area for more African American teachers and preachers. The school was initially called Male and Female College, then reopened as Southwestern Kentucky Institute before becoming Hopkinsville College of the Bible. The school remains open today. For more information see the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 and contact the Hopkinsville College of the Bible.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Hubbard, Philip A.
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1902
Rev. Phillip A. Hubbard was a slave born in Kentucky, the son of Philip and Rosanna Hubbard. He was chairman of the first Republican convention held in Boone County, MO. Hubbard had served with the Union Army during the Civil War. He was licensed to preach in 1872 and was admitted to the AME Church Missouri Conference in 1873. He had several nicknames, such as "Silver Dollar Hubbard" and "The Dollar Money King," due to his success in collecting the per capital tax of the church while serving as the presiding elder of the Colorado Springs District of the A. M. E. Church. His remarkable ability with finances led to his being named the financial secretary of the AME Church. He also served as pastor at several churches and in 1901 was a delegate to the Ecumenical Conference in Europe. Rev. Hubbard set sail for England in August of 1901 and his wife joined him in September. While they were in England, Rev. Hubbard became ill and the couple returned to the U.S. Rev. Hubbard died in Washington, D.C. in January of 1902. His body was taken by train to Macon, MO where he was buried. For more see Rev. Philip H. Hubbard on p.583 in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; "May be Bishop Hubbard in 1900," Colored American, 11/12/1898, p.8; "Rev. Hubbard a delegate. He goes to England to represent the great A. M. E. Church," Colored American, 04/07/1900, p.14; and "The Late Dr. Philip Hubbard," Freeman, 02/01/1902, p.4.

See photo image of Rev. Phillip A. Hubbard on p.119 in Centennial Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Migration West, Religion & Church Work

Hudson, James E.
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1964
James E. Hudson was an elevator operator at the Kentucky Capitol. In 1922, he was thought to be the first African American to address the Kentucky General Assembly. An evolution bill was being debated, and Hudson's Bible had been borrowed to argue a point. The Bible was worn, and Representative George C. Waggoner from Scott County led the collection effort to buy Hudson a new Bible and a Bible dictionary. His remarks to the Kentucky General Assembly were in response to receiving his new Bible and dictionary. Hudson also owned a restaurant that he managed during the week. In 1930, Hudson, his wife Callie and her son Joseph, lived on East Third Street in Frankfort, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Most of this information comes from "Bible Presentation," a website by the Legislative Research Commission; and United We Stand: Encouraging Diversity in Kentucky's Leaders (.pdf), by Kentucky.gov. See also "Volunteer Chaplain," The Bismarck Tribune, 02/02/1928, front page.

See photo image from the Kentucky Historical Society of James E. Hudson at the Bible Presentation website by the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.
Subjects: Businesses, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Hutchinson, Jerome, Sr.
Birth Year : 1926
Death Year : 2007
Born in Louisville, KY, Reverend Hutchinson was the first African American to chair the Louisville-Jefferson County Planning Commission in 1979. He became a member of the commission in 1976. He was a graduate of Central High School and attended Louisville Municipal College. He was owner of Jerome Hutchinson and Associates, a marketing and real estate business. He also owned and was chairman of the television station WYCS-TV, the first African American-owned television station in Kentucky. Hutchinson had also been an associate minister at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Louisville. He was the father of Seretha Tinsley and Jerome Hutchinson, Jr. For more see P. Burba, "Businessman Jerome Hutchinson, Sr. dies," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 07/27/2007, News section, p. 6B.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Television, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ishmaelites of Kentucky
There are two discussions about the existence of the the Tribe of Ishmael.

According to earlier sources, between 1785 and 1790, an Islamic denomination called Ishmaelites was first noticed in Nobel County (now Bourbon County), KY. The group was led by Ben and Jennie Ishmael. Individual members were of a multiracial background of African, Native American, and poor whites. The first generation included escapees from slavery and the Indian Wars, all having made their way to Kentucky from Tennessee, North & South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. In the early 1800s, the Ishmael's son John led the group across the Ohio River to the area that today is part of Indianapolis; soon afterward the group became a nomadic community. They were viewed as odd and referred to as gypsies. The group was suspected of having a high infant death rate, and in the 1880s it was common for the children to be taken away from their parents. Adult members were arrested on an array of charges, then imprisoned, committed, or bound to servitude. By the late 1800s, three-fourths of the patients at the Indianapolis City Hospital (a mental institution) were from the Tribe of Ishmael. In 1907 the compulsory sterilization law was passed in Indiana, and the procedure was used to further reduce the number of new births by Ishmaelite members. For more see Black Crescent: the experience and legacy of African Muslims in the Americas, by M. A. Gomez, pp.196-200; and O. C. M'Culloch, "The Tribe of Ishmael: a study on social degradation," Proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and Correction at the Fifteenth Annual Session Held in Buffalo, NY, July 5-11, 1888, pp. 154-159. See also The Tribe of Ishmael: a group of degenerates... at the Eugenics Archive website.

According to more recent sources, the Tribe of Ismael is a myth, and Ben and Jennie Ishmael were Christians. One of the current sources is the 2009 title Inventing America's "Worst" Family by Nathaniel Deutsch. The book traces how the Ishmael Family, a poor Christian family that included a Civil War veteran, was used as a representation of the urban poor in the late 1800s, then during the 1970s, became a very much admired family credited with founding an African American Muslim movement and community. For additional information see E. A. Carlson, "Commentary: R. L. Dugdale and the Jukes Family: a historical injustice corrected," BioScience, vol.30, issue 8 (August 1980), pp. 535-539; R. Horton, "Tribe of Ishmael" in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, by D. J. Bodenhamer, et al.; and E. F. Kramer, "Recasting the Tribe of Ishmael," Indiana Magazine of History, v.104 (March 2008), pp.36-64 [available online in IUPUI Scholar Works Repository].
Subjects: Communities, Early Settlers, Freedom, Hoaxes, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Nobel County (Bourbon County), Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Tennessee / North Carolina / South Carolina / Virginia / Maryland

Jackman, Parker Hiram
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1915
P. Hiram Jackman was a slave born May 24, 1845, near Creelsboro, KY, the son of George Jackman, according to his death certificate. Hiram Jackman was taught to read and write before he became a freeman. After fighting in the Civil War, he taught in the Colored schools in Adair and Russell Counties, one of the first African American teachers in the area. He continued to teach for 45 years. Jackman was also a minister and performed the first marriage ceremony in Adair County for an African American couple. In 1908, he and others attempted to establish a colored library in Columbia, KY. The Rosenwald School, built on Taylor Street in Columbia, KY, in 1925, was named after Hiram Jackman. It was one of five schools for African Americans in Adair County. The school burned down in 1953. P. Hiram Jackman was the husband of Francis Jackman. For more see "The Story of Hiram Jackman, for whom Jackman High Named," Columbia Adair County-Chamber Insights [online] at Columbiamagazine.com; "Rosenwald School: Jackman High, Taylor St, Columbia, KY," photograph [online]; "Dedication of Jackman High commemorative well attended, 08/12/2006, Columbia Magazine [online]; and "Commemorating Jackman graded and high school," photo, 08/12/2006, Columbia Magazine [online]. For more on the number of slaves and free African Americans in Adair County, see the NKAA entry for Adair County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes 1850-1870. See also the NKAA entry for African American Schools in Adair County, KY.

Plaque dedicated to Rosenwald School, Jackman High at ColumbiaMagazine.com.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Creelsboro, Russell County, Kentucky / Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky

John Little Mission (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1897
The John Little Mission was one of the first community centers in the United States for African Americans. It was founded in 1897 when students at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary [now Louisville Seminary] started offering services to African Americans in the Smoketown neighborhood in Louisville, KY: Sunday School, worship services, domestic arts classes for women, and trades classes for men. John Little, who was white and from Alabama, was one of the founders of the seminary. In 1904 he began supervising the mission and added another site and more services, including vocational training. For more see the history page at the Louisville Seminary website; and R. E. Luker, "Missions, institutional churches, and settlement houses: the Black experience, 1885-1910," Journal of Negro History, vol.69, issue 3/4 (Summer-Autumn, 1984), pp. 101-113. The notes at the end of the Luker article contain a list of additional sources.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Settlement House Movement in Kentucky, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, Sunday School, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Johnson, James Bartlett
Birth Year : 1830
Death Year : 1900
James Bartlett Johnson was born in Taylor County, KY. He was enslaved, but his wife, Mary A. Buchanan, had been free since she was three years old. The family was separated in 1856 when Johnson was sold to a Louisiana plantation. While there, Johnson began preaching and organized a church where he preached to the slaves. Johnson escaped and joined the Union Army in 1861, serving for three years. When he was discharged, he made his way to Kentucky, where he found his wife and child after having been separated from them for nine years. The family moved to Louisville, KY, where Johnson was ordained a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church and became a member of the Kentucky Conference. He was called into service in Springfield, KY, and in Lebanon, KY. While Johnson was in Lebanon, the church was burned to the ground, and the members left due to the split between the AMEZ and Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. The Springfield and Lebanon churches and congregations were later restored under one circuit. Bishop Johnson served in several other churches and was a respected leader of the AMEZ Church. James Bartlett Johnson died in Louisville on September 9, 1900 [source: Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1953]. For more see image and additional information about James Bartlett Johnson in One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Church..., by J. W. Hood, p.332-335 [available full-text at UNC Documenting the American South].


Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Taylor County, Kentucky

Johnson, Mildred Bell
Birth Year : 1905
Death Year : 1972
Mildred Bell Johnson, an educator and civil rights activist, was the first African American to be elected assistant moderator of the United Church of Christ, in 1963. She pushed for the church to participate in the Civil Rights Movement. Johnson was born in Middlesboro, KY, the daughter of Rev. George W. and Elgatha Bell. She was the wife of Robert C. Johnson and was living in Birmingham, AL, when she was named to the two-year term of assistant moderator. Johnson was a 1926 education graduate from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], and after graduating, she moved to Birmingham for a teaching job. She married her husband in 1936. Mildred Johnson served as a representative in the National Council of Churches, 1954-56. She founded the first girl scout troop for African American girls in Alabama and was a girl scout district adviser in Birmingham. The Mildred Bell Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award, of the Cahaba Girl Scout Council is named in her honor. She was the mother of Alma Johnson Powell, the wife of Colin Powell. For more see "Slave's daughter elected U.C. Assistant Moderator," The Calgary Herald, 07/06/1963, p. 30; "Mrs. Robert C. Johnson...," The Christian, v. 101, issue 52, p. 958; "Mildred Bell Johnson: Deep are the Roots," in Rhetoric, Religion, and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965, by D. W. Houck and D. E. Dixon; E. Hooper, "Foundation in scouting; a reporter's lyrical bent," St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/2003, p. 3B; and the "Mildred Bell Johnson" entry in They Too Call Alabama Home: African American Profiles, 1800-1999, by R. Bailey.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky / Birmingham, Alabama

Johnson, Perry
Birth Year : 1855
Death Year : 1928
In 2009, Rev. Charles H. Johnson was searching for information about his great-grandfather in Mt. Sterling, KY and Spencerville, OH, when he was hired as minister of the church his great-grandfather helped build in 1904. His great-grandfather's name was Perry Johnson, he was a fugitive slave from Montgomery County, KY. The name of the church he helped build is Spencerville Friends Church (Quaker). Perry Johnson came to Spencerville by way of Cincinnati, OH. He had been the slave of Thomas Johnson, a Kentucky Legislator from Mt. Sterling, KY, who served with the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Johnson Avenue, in Mt. Sterling, KY, is named in his honor. It was just prior to the start of the Civil War when Perry Johnson left Montgomery County and headed north with a group of fugitives in the Underground Railroad. Perry's first stop was in Cincinnati, OH, where he stayed until about 1870, according to Rev. Charles H. Johnson. When he was about the age of 15, Perry Johnson left Cincinnati and went to Marion, OH, where he was taken in by Thomas and Nancy Beckerdite. He remained with the Beckerdite family for 19 years and learned to read and write. The Beckerdite couple came from North Carolina. According to Rev. Charles H. Johnson, the Beckerdites were white, German, and Quakers. In the U.S. Census, Thomas Beckerdite is listed as Black in 1870 and as Mulatto in 1880. His wife Nancy is listed as white in 1870 and as Mulatto in 1880. Their eight year old daughter Florence is listed as Mulatto in 1880. Florence would become the wife of Perry Johnson in 1888; Perry was 33 years old and Florence was 15. In 1900, Perry, Florence, and their five children lived in Spencerville, OH, and Perry worked as a rig builder in the oil field [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The family was Quaker and participated in the services that were held in members' homes. In 1904, the Spencerville Holiness Mission Church was constructed and Perry Johnson was one of the builders. Between 1906 and 1909, the church was renamed the Spencerville Friends Church (Quaker), according to Rev. Charles H. Johnson who referenced the history of Spencerville Friends Church from a loose-leaf book that was compiled by Wanda Lies in 1997. The book has about 70 pages, and Perry and Florence Johnson are listed as charter members of the church. At some point after the Civil War, Perry Johnson was able to reunite with his siblings who would also move to Ohio: William Pepsico, Carol Stewart, Wally Stewart, and Herald Stewart. Perry and Florence would remain in Spencerville, OH, for the remainder of their lives. When Florence's father died, her mother lived with Florence, Perry, and their seven children [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Perry had an eggs and poultry business. Perry Johnson died in 1928 and Florence Johnson died in 1959. This entry was submitted by Miles Hoskins of the Montgomery County Historical Society and Rev. Charles H. Johnson, minister of the Spencerville Friends Church (Quaker).

See the stone that marks the grave of Perry Johnson at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky / Spencerville, Ohio

Johnson, Wendell L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1897
Born in Lexington, KY, the son of Katie Nelson Johnson and Churchill Johnson. The family lived with Katie's mother, Amanda Nelson, on East Main Street, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Wendell would become a social worker with the Shawnee County Welfare Center in Topeka, Kansas, beginning in 1934. He was director of youth work with the National Baptists and became the first president of both the Kansas State Layman Movement and the Kaw Valley District Baptist Layman Movement in 1950. He was also vice president of the Topeka Council of Churches, beginning in 1949. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Topeka, Kansas

Johnson, William H.
Birth Year : 1895
William H. Johnson was an African American Baptist preacher and miner who lived in Middlesboro, KY. In 1946, he began mailing letters to persons of German descent in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, claiming that he was Hitler, had escaped from the Russian army and was now living in Kentucky. The impostor said that he needed money. Johnson was arrested in 1956 by postal inspector W. W. Lewis. Johnson had received between $10,000 and $15,000 over the 10-year period. Johnson was sentenced to three years in prison. For more see More Offbeat Kentuckians, by K. McQueen; "Negro admits swindling Adolf Hitler followers," Florence Morning News, 08/15/1956, p.1; "Hitler trial continued; 15 from area given terms," Middlesboro Daily News, 11/15/1956, p.1; and "Hitler poser to face prison term," Atchison Daily Globe, 04/12/1957, p.2.
Subjects: Hoaxes, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky / Virginia / Tennessee

Jones, Charles Edward
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1947
Charles E. Jones was the owner of Jones Funeral Home in Covington, KY, where he was born. He was the son of E. I. and Amanda Jones. He assisted in the push to get Lincoln-Grant High School built; the school auditorium was named in his honor. Jones was also an active church member, a former president of the Covington NAACP Branch. He was a graduate of the Cincinnati College of Embalming. Jones was a 32nd Degree Mason, and served as Deputy Grand Commander of the State of Kentucky Masons, and was the Past Royal Grand Patron of Eastern Star of Kentucky. He was an Oddfellow, belonged to the Knights of Pythias, the Elks, Mosaics and True Reformer, and the United Brothers of Friendship. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Many tried, few defeated William Grant in '50s, '60s, The Cincinnati Post, 02/23/1998; J. Reis, "Jones led church, social causes," The Kentucky Post, 02/02/2004; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Jones, Edward "Ned"
Death Year : 1865
Rev. Edward "Ned" Jones is considered the first African American Methodist preacher in Kentucky. He began preaching around 1830 in the white Methodist Church at the corner of Clay and Nashville Streets in Hopkinsville, KY. Ned was the slave of William Fee Jones, a Presbyterian minister. The Methodist Church purchased Ned's freedom so that he could preach to the slaves. When he attempted to form an African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in 1856, he was accused of trying to incite an insurrection among the slaves, and was jailed for three months. When released, Ned moved to Bowling Green, KY. The Hopkinsville Colored AME Church was established by the Southern Methodist soon after the Civil War ended. Ned would return to Hopkinsville, where he preached to both whites and Africa Americans, and he would become known as the most prominent preacher at Freeman's Chapel. Rev. Edward "Ned" Jones was the husband of Anna B. Jones, and the grandfather of Kentucky native Bishop E. W. Lampton (1857-1910) of the AME Church of Greenville, MS. For more see p.240 in Counties of Christian and Trigg, Kentucky by W. H. Perrin [title available online at Kentucky Digital Library-Printed Books]; and H. D. Slatter, "Bishop Lampton's grandmother dead," Baltimore Afro-American, 02/20/1909, p.1.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Jones, Henry Wise, Sr.
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1954
Rev. Henry Wise Jones, born in Knoxville, TN, was co-founder of Simmons Bible College in Louisville . He also served as pastor of the Green Street Baptist Church in Louisville and the Pleasant Green Baptist Church in Lexington. Rev. Jones was an advocate for African Americans' voting and education rights. He was a marble polisher who became an ordained minister on September 4,1892. Rev. Jones had attended Knoxville College and State University [Simmons College] in Louisville. He was the father of Rev. William A. Jones, Sr. and the grandfather of Rev. William A. Jones, Jr. and Louis Clayton Jones. In 2007, Rev. Henry Wise Jones was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame. For more see Rev. Henry Wise Jones in the 2007 Hall of Fame at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights' website; and "Rev. Henry Wise Jones" on pp.238-239 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Fathers, Voting Rights, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Knoxville, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jones, Lydia
Jones was one of the original members of The First Baptist Church of Columbus (OH) in 1824. It was the first Baptist church formed in the city of Columbus. The church started with 11 members, three of whom were African American: Jones from Kentucky and Patty Booker and George Butcher, both from Virginia. Lydia Jones was probably not a slave. The First Baptist Church of Columbus Papers are in the Ohio Historical Society Library/Archives. For more see chapter 43, "Baptist," by O. C. Hooper, in History of the City of Columbus, Capital of Ohio, vol. 2, by A. E. Lee [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

Jones, Susie W.
Birth Year : 1891
Death Year : 1984
Born in Danville, KY, Susie Williams Jones served as the first president and vice-president of the United Council of Church Women in North Carolina between 1944 and 1946. She was chair of the Intercultural and Interracial Relations Committee, Women's Division of Christian Service in the Methodist Church in 1944. Susie Jones' parents met when they were students at Berea College. Her husband, David Dallas Jones, was president of Bennett College for Women. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and chapter 21, E. H. Wilson & S. Mullalley, "Esse quam videri: Susie Williams Jones," in Worlds of Difference: inequality in the aging experience, by E. P. Stoller & R. C. Gibson.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Greensboro, North Carolina

Jones, William (Bill) A., Jr.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 2006
Born in Louisville, KY, Jones was ordained a minister in Kentucky and served as pastor of Bethany Baptist Church for 43 years. The church, located in Brooklyn, New York, has about 5,000 members. Jones' message was also delivered on the Bethany Hour, which was broadcast on television and radio to 400 cities. He also led the campaign to integrate New York trade unions and organized a boycott of grocery stores, such as A & P, because they did not hire African Americans. He helped to establish and lead the National Black Pastors Conference in 1979. He was the first chairman of the New York chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He had preached in Toronto and Scotland and completed special studies in Nigeria and Ghana. Jones grew up in Lexington and was a graduate of the (Old) Dunbar High School and the University of Kentucky, where he earned a degree in sociology. He was also a graduate of Crozer Theological Seminary and earned his doctorate from a school that is now part of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. He was the son of William A. Jones, Sr. and the grandson of Henry Wise Jones, Sr. who co-founded Simmons Bible College in Louisville, KY. William A. Jones, Jr.'s memorial service was held at the Historic Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. For more see D. Martin, "Rev. William A. Jones, Civil Rights Activist, Dies at 71," The New York Times, 02/08/2006, Sec. C, p.16; and J. Hewlett, "Renowned preacher, civil-rights leader," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/07/2006, City&Region section, p. B1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Radio, Religion & Church Work, Television
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Brooklyn, New York

Jones, William A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1968
Jones was a minister who helped lead the Civil Rights Movement in Lexington, KY, via the Lexington Chapter of Congress of Racial Equity (CORE), which was developed in Jones' Pleasant Green Baptist Church - the oldest African American church west of the Allegheny Mountains. Jones' strategy - voting en bloc - helped to confirm the victory of Harry N. Sykes as Lexington's first African American City Councilman in 1963 and Mayor pro tem in 1967. Jones was thought to be  the first African American to be buried in the Lexington Cemetery [the first was actually Charles Skillman]. For more see 2001 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame - Inductees from Lexington; andThe one hundred seventy-fifth anniversary celebration of Pleasant Green Baptist Church, Lexington, Kentucky, Sunday, October 24 thru Sunday, November 28, 1965 ... William Augustus Jones, Sr., pastor.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Keas, Samuel G.
Birth Year : 1812
Samuel Keas was a land owner, farmer and cattle owner. Keas Street in Smithville [Montgomery County, KY] is named for him. In 1878 he became the first pastor and namesake for the Keas Tabernacle C.M.E. Church in Mt. Sterling. Along with Bishop Miles, from Louisville, and with the aid of Mrs. Eliza Magowan and Mr. Willis Magowan, the church was organized in a former school building. Future updates to this small church would be built around the existing structure, but the footprint remains the same, even today. Samuel Keas was a well-known and respected preacher prior to the Civil War, serving as a beacon to the black community in Montgomery County. On August 17, 1856 he conducted a baptism at Lublegrud Creek in Montgomery County. He performed the marriage of Patsy Magowan to Edward Howard on September 18, 1858. Samuel and his wife, Nannie [Rebecca], had three children: daughters Amanda and Betty and son Allen. This entry was submitted by Holly Hawkins of the Montgomery County Historical Society. Courtesy: Jane D. Hawkins, Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial. For more information, see online the National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form for Keas Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church [.pdf]; "Keas Tabernacle CME Church" on p. 245 in African American Historic Places, by B. L. Savage; and mention of Allen Keas and Keas Tabernacle in the column, "Religious," in the Mt. Sterling Advocate, 10/31/1899, p. 8, and 06/03/1902, p. 7. For information on Samuel Keas as pastor of the C.M.E. Center Street Church in Louisville, KY, see p. 156 in The History of the CME Church (Revised), by O. H. Lakey. For information on the prior history of the Keas Tabernacle C.M.E. Church, see the Mt. Sterling Station (Church) entry in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Smithville, Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kellar, Frank, Sr.
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1928
Frank Kellar, Sr. is referred to as a "pioneer citizen" in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney. He was one of the organizers of the Walnut Hills Bethel Baptist Church in Cincinnati, OH. He served as the treasurer from the time the church was established in 1896 until his death in 1928. Frank Kellar was also one of the organizers of the Benjamin Lundy Lodge #1661 G. U. O. O. F. The organization was one of six colored Oddfellows lodges in Cincinnati in 1883, and it is listed on p. 38 of the Williams' Cincinnati Directory 1883. Lodge members met the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month on Willow Street between Chapel and Vine Streets in Walnut Hills. Frank Kellar, Sr., born in Kentucky, was 63 years old in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. A widower, he was the janitor at the church. His last name is spelled "Keller" in the 1910 Census that also includes the name of his wife, Mary E. "Keller", who was born in Kentucky around 1860.
Subjects: Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Kennedy, Paul Horace
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1921
Reverend Paul H. Kennedy was born in Elizabethtown, KY, son of John M. and Caroline Kennedy. He was a minister and a musician who authored and published the Baptist Directory and Year Book in Henderson, KY, and he was editor of the Kentucky Missionary Visitor. Rev. Kennedy was also an instructor of the organ, piano, violin, and band instruments. He served as a U.S. Marshall during the administration of President McKinley. For more see Paul H. Kennedy in Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and Rev. Paul H. Kennedy in the Afro-American Encyclopaedia: Or, the Thoughts, Doings..., by James T. Haley, pp. 613-614 [available online at the UNC University Library, Documenting the American South].


Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Kentucky Colored Conference (Methodist Episcopal Church, South)
Start Year : 1868
End Year : 1870
The Kentucky Colored Conference was the second colored conference to be formed within the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The members of the conference were Colored Methodists, many of whom attended churches that were led by former slave preachers. The first Kentucky Colored Conference was held November 20, 1868 in Hopkinsville, KY, with Bishop Holland N. McTyeire as the presiding bishop. The second conference was held in Winchester, KY, on October 13, 1869. The third and last conference was held in Louisville, KY, in 1870 at the Center Street Church, where Samuel G. Keas was pastor. It was in 1870 that the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church was formed and separated from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. For more see The History of the CME Church (Revised), by O.H. Lakey; and A History of Methodism, by H. N. McTyeire.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kentucky Conference (African Methodist Episcopal Church)
Start Year : 1873
The Kentucky Conference of the AME Church was established on September 27, 1873 in Louisville, KY, under Bishop Daniel A. Payne. The officers of the conference were Rev. Robert G. Marshall, John W. Asbury from the Ohio District, and Charles Porter. Six sub-committees were formed, and a fire-proof safe was purchased by the trustees of Asbury Chapel (Louisville, KY) for the deposit of the Kentucky Conference archives. In 1880, the West Kentucky Conference split from the main conference, which resulted in the Kentucky Conference with 60 preachers, and West Kentucky Conference with 36 preachers. For more see History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (The Black Church in Action) by H. D. Gregg.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kentucky Conference Branch (African Methodist Episcopal Church)
Start Year : 1914
In 1914 the Kentucky Conference Branch was a separate body of the AME Annual Conference and held its first convention in Bethel AME Church in Nicholasville, KY. The prior year, the separation had taken place in St. Matthews Church in Midway, KY during the annual conference. The Kentucky Conference Branch was a women's missionary organization that existed prior to 1897. One of the sub-units was a women's group that was named the WMMS in 1897, the group's task was to collect money that was brought to the Annual Conference by the women's pastors and distributed to AME member-preachers of lesser means. Mrs. Leanna Snowden and Mrs. E. Belle Jackson were two of the women who served as presidents of the Kentucky Conference Branch before the separation in 1914, and Mrs. Snowden was president the year of the separation. There were several sub-units of the Kentucky Conference Branch and a more detailed history of the entire organization can be found in Part II of The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright, pp.427-430. Pictures of members on pp.540-541. [WMMS - Women's Mite Missionary Society]
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Kentucky Harmony Singers, [Housewife Training School] (Fulton, KY)
Start Year : 1923
End Year : 1936
The Kentucky Harmony Singers, from Fulton, KY, a women's quintet led by Mrs. Louise Malone Braxton (an educator, lecturer, and female bass singer), sang in churches and traveled throughout the country for several weeks at a time, performing Negro spirituals, and southern plantation and jubilee songs. The group's travels took them to Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nebraska, Missouri, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, New York, Wisconsin, Canada, and Mexico. The performances were initially a fund-raising effort for the building of the Housewife [or wives] Training School for Colored girls and women, located in Fulton. The school taught the students how to be good wives, including the art of homemaking. Four of the singing group members were students; funds from their later performances were used to pay for a dormitory and industrial department. There was no admission charge for the performances, but a "free-will offering" was collected at the end of each program. The group became a favorite at African American churches, and they continued performing for several years at not only churches but also at social functions held by such groups as the Kiwanis, the YMCA, the Ladies Aid Society, and the Exchange Club. Articles about the group first appeared in Illinois newspapers in 1923, and for the next 13 years there were announcements and articles in an array of town newspapers. In the 1930s, they were singing as a quartet to audiences with close to 1,000 in attendance. Louise M. Braxton, who was credited with founding five schools, was a graduate of Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University]. She was described as being of French, Indian, Scotch Irish, and Negro descent. For more see "Mrs. Louise Braxton and Company please," Waterloo Evening Courier, 12/01/1923, p. 6; "Harmony Singers in concert here," The News-Palladium, 07/26/1929, p. 6; "Concerts are featured in two churches," The News-Palladium, 09/22/1930, p. 4; photo and caption, "Kentucky Harmony Singers here Sunday," The Piqua Daily Call, 02/21/1931, p. 10; and "Harmony quartet render concert," The Richwood Gazette, 11/19/1931, p. 1. See also the NKAA entry for African American Schools and students in Fulton County, KY.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky

Kentucky Slave Narratives
The memories of former Kentucky slaves were recorded as part of the 1936-1938 Federal Writers' Project, Slave Narratives: a folk history of slavery in the United States from interviews with former slaves - Kentucky Narratives. The title is available full-text online at Project Gutenberg and includes a brief glimpse of the lives of former slaves such as Eliza Ison, who lived in the African American community of Duncantown in Garrard County; George Scruggs of Calloway County, a slave of racehorse owner Vol Scruggs; and Reverend John R. Cox of Boyd County, minister of the Catlettsburg A.M.E. Church and also the city's first African American truant officer.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky

The Kentucky Union for the Moral and Religious Improvement of the Colored Race
Start Year : 1834
This organization was formed in 1834 with White members from several denominations in Kentucky; the members were referred to as the best religious leaders in the state. They were also referred to as the "Gradual Abolitionists" by author G. H. Barnes. The group's purpose was to provide religious and moral instruction to slaves and to support the gradual emancipation of slaves for colonization. Reverend H. H. Kavanaugh of Lexington was president, the ten vice presidents were from various parts of Kentucky, and the executive committee of seven members was located in Danville, KY, with Reverend John C. Young, Centre College, serving as the chair. The group produced a circular that was distributed to ministers of the gospel in Kentucky. In 1835, the group brought before the Kentucky Legislature the bill that called for the gradual emancipation of the slaves--the bill did not pass, losing but by a narrow margin. For more see The Religious Instruction of the Negroes. In the United States, by Charles C. Jones [available online at UNC Documenting the American South website]; The Evangelical War Against Slavery and Caste, by V. B. Howard; The Feminist Papers by A. S. Rossi; The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus, by American Anti-Slavery Society [available online via Project Gutenberg]; and The Antislavery Impulse, 1830-1844, by G. H. Barnes.
Subjects: Freedom, Religion & Church Work, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Keys, Martha Jayne
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1975
Martha Keys, an evangelist, was the first woman to be ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1948. She had campaigned and introduced a bill to the AME General Conference for the ordaination of women in 1935 (and/or 1936) and again in 1940. In 1951, she was pastor of the Evangelical Rescue Mission at 2113 W. Walnut in Louisville, KY, according to Caron's Louisville (Jefferson County, KY.) City Directory. Keys was born in Mayfield, KY, the daughter of Thomas J. and Lizzie A. Keys. She earned her D.D. at Payne Theological Seminary in 1930. She was president of the West Kentucky Conference Branch for five years. In 1947, she had been pastor of five churches. She lived in Louisville, KY when she authored the one act, gospel drama titled The Comforter, which was copyrighted [D 22176] on April 12, 1933 under the name Evangalist Dr. Martha J. Keys Marshall. For more see Catalog of copyright entries, Part 1, Group 3, v.6, issue1, p.135 [available online at Google Book Search]; see Martha Jayne Keys in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Authors, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Louisivlle, Jefferson County, Kentucky

King, Alfred D. W.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 1969
The youngest brother of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Alfred King was pastor of the Louisville Zion Baptist Church (1965-1968); it became the largest African American Baptist church in Kentucky. He founded the Kentucky Christian Leadership Council and assisted in the organization of the Committee for Open Housing's nightly marches in Louisville. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lampton, Edward Wilkinson
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1910
E. W. Lampton was a leader in the AME Church and the community, he was bishop of the AME Church in Greenville, MS. He was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Albert R. Lampton, and the grandson of Anna and Rev. Edward "Ned" Jones. He grew up in Bowling Green, KY, where he first attended school. Lampton earned his D.D. at Shorter College and his LL. D. at Alcorn State College [now Alcorn State University]. He was elected bishop on May 20, 1908 in Norfolk, VA and assigned to the 8th Epicopal District. Lampton was author of two books: Analysis of Baptism and Digest of Rulings and Decision of the Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from 1847-1907. He was also Grand Master of the Prince Hall Masons of Mississippi. Bishop Lampton was a widower when he died in Michigan on July 16, 1910. He is buried in Mississippi. His daughter Mrs. D. Lampton Bacchus was the executor of his estate, she was one of the African American women reformers of the late 19th Century/early 20th Century. From their father's estate, the four Lampton daughters inherited the family home, a farm, several rental properties, and they constructed a two-story building that housed two stores, an auditorium, and meeting rooms. Bishop Lampton was the husband of Lula M. Lampton (b.1868 in MS), and in 1900, the family of six lived on Theobald Street in Greenville, MS, according to the U.S. Federal Census. In June of 1909, there were several newspaper stories that Lampton and his family were run out of Greenville when one of his daughters insisted on being addressed as Ms. Lampton by white saleswomen in stores and by the telephone operator, and Bishop Lampton attempted to re-enforce her demands. When asked by the African American media about the incident, Bishop Lampton initially denied the story, and would later speak out on keeping the races separate and African Americans always being on good behavior so as not to fuel a mob attack. For more see the Bishop Edward Wilkinson Lampton entry and picture in Centennial Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church... by R. R. Wright [available online at Documenting the American South]; "Would be called Miss," Waterloo Semi Weekly Courier, 06/15/1909, p.6.; "Bishop Lampton's denial," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/10/1909, p.7; "Bishop Lampton's troubles adjusted," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/10/1909, p.1; "Another phase of Lampton affair," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/17/1909, p.1; "Daughters of late Bishop Lampton are doing well," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/22/1911, p.1.

See photo image of Rev. Edward W. Lampton in The Sons of Allen by H. Talbert, p.120.
Subjects: Authors, Fathers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Greenville, Mississippi

Lampton Street Baptist Church (Louisville, KY) [Spencer Taylor]
Start Year : 1866
Spencer Taylor, a carpenter, organized the church and led the services of the Lampton Street Baptist Church, founded in 1866 in Louisville, KY. Services were first held in Taylor's carpentry shop, located at the intersection of Preston, Jackson, Breckinridge and Caldwell Streets. The church services were later moved to a house that was built on Caldwell Street between Preston and Jackson Streets. A later Lampton Street Baptist Church building was completed by architect Samuel Plato. When the National Baptist Convention was held in Louisville in September 1928, the assembly of women at the Lampton Street Baptist Church was seriously urged by Nannie Burroughs to vote for the Republican presidential candidate, Herbert Hoover. The women had gathered at the church to conduct the business of the National Baptist Women's Convention, an organization founded by Nannie Burroughs in Louisville, KY, in 1900. The present day Lampton Baptist Church is located on 4th Street in Louisville, KY. For more see the "Lampton Street Baptist Church" entry in Weeden's History of the Colored People of Louisville, by H. C. Weeden; and in Negro Baptist History, by L. G. Jordan. For more about the 1928 Women's Convention, see L. G. Materson, "African American women, prohibition, and the 1928 presidential election," Journal of Women's History, vol . 21, issue 1 (Spring 2009), pp. 63-86.

See photo image of the Lampton Baptist Church in Louisville and the Zion Baptist Church in Georgetown, both on p.99 in the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, Carpenters
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lange, Laura J. Vance
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1948
Reverend Lange was the first African American woman ordained an elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church. She was born in St. Matthews, KY, and attended grade school in Jefferson County followed by three years at a private school. She was a graduate of Garrett Biblical Institute [now Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary] and was ordained a deacon in 1926 by Bishop Theodore Henderson in Cincinnati, OH, and ordained an elder by Bishop M. W. Clair in 1936. She was a pastor at various churches in Kentucky, including churches in the towns of Eddyville, Smithland, and Harned. Her death certificate gives the following information: she was the widow of Clarance Lange, daughter of Mary Humble and Alford Vance, Lange was a diabetic, and she died at the Red Cross Hospital in Louisville. For more information and Lang's picture see History of Lexington Conference, by Dr. D. E. Skelton.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Saint Matthews and Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lexington Conference (Methodist Episcopal Church)
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1964
The Lexington Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was established in Harrodsburg, KY, in 1869. It was the third missionary conference for African Americans [the first was the Delaware Conference and the second was the Washington Conference, both established in 1864]. African Americans had been members of the Kentucky District of the Methodist Episcopal Church as early as 1787 when there were 64 Colored members, according to author F. Ockerman, Jr. When the Lexington Conference was established, it was originally a part of the Kentucky Annual Conference; beginning in the spring of 1866, a few Negro preachers were admitted into the traveling connection as a trial. New members were added as the preachers met as a group over the next three years. At the annual session in Newport, KY, in 1868, the preachers forwarded a resolution asking for their own conference, named the Lexington Conference; the resolution was approved. The conference founders were Henry Hopkins Lytle (1802-1890), from Maryland; Israel Simms (1819-1912), from New Castle, KY; Zail or Zale Ross (1824-1892), from Georgetown, KY; William Lawrence (d. 1900 in Anchorage, KY); Marcus McCoomer (1834-1899); Peter Booth (d. 1873), from Kentucky; Hanson Talbott (d. 1870), from Harrodsburg, KY; Nelson Saunders (d. 1879 in Louisville, KY); Paris Fisher; Andrew Bryant (d. 1870 in Paris, KY); Adam Nunn (b.1820), from Oberlin, OH; George Downing (1807-1880), from Virginia; Willis L. Muir (d. 1911 in Louisville, KY); and Elisha C. Moore (d. 1871), from Alabama. The first Lexington Conference was held in the Jackson Street Church in Louisville in 1870, with the membership initially including churches in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The women's divisions of the conference were formed after the turn of the century: Women's Home Missionary Society (1900), Ladies Aid Society (1914), Minister's Wives (1919), and Women's Society of Christian Service. The Lexington Conference was held most often in a Kentucky location, and as the membership increased, it also shifted northward with the Great Migration, after which the conference was held more in Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. In 1946 the membership was over 17,000, with close to half from the Chicago area. The Lexington Conference was held each year until June 1964 when the conference was merged into the Cleveland district of the North East Ohio Conference. For more see Forty Years in the Lap of Methodism: history of Lexington Conference, by W. H. Riley; History of Lexington Conference, by Dr. D. E. Skelton; Black People in the Methodist Church: Whither Thou Goest?, by W. B. McClain; The Tapestry of Faith: the history of Methodism in the Cleveland District of the East Ohio Conference, by G. S. Moore and J. C. Trimble; and First United Methodist Church, Lexington, Kentucky: bicentennial history by F. Ockerman, Jr.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Indiana / Illinois / Ohio

Liberty Association - African American Baptists in Kentucky
Birth Year : 1868
The annual address of the 50th Anniversary of the Liberty Association is included in Jubilee History and Biographical Sketches of Liberty Association by G. R. Ford. The organization was established in 1868 by Rev. Peter Murrell, who was moderator of the first meeting held in Horse Cave, Ky, and Allen Allensworth was the secretary. Rev. Murrell would continue as an administrator of the association until the early 1900s. The meetings were held in the Hart, Barren, and Muhlenberg County areas of the state. In 1875, the Zion affiliation left the association. The year 1918 was also the 55th Anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was recognized during the Liberty Association meeting. It was estimated that there were 80,000 Colored Baptist in Kentucky.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Liggin, Jennie B.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1977
Liggin, born in Louisville, KY, organized and founded the first AME girl scout troop in Kentucky. The troop was sponsored by the St. John AME Church in Louisville. Jennie Liggin had been a school teacher, she graduated from Louisville Normal School in 1923 and attended Louisville Municipal College 1925-27. She was the wife of Rev. Clyde Absalom Liggin (1902-1980), pastor of Trinity Church in 1947, and principal of the Virginia Avenue School, both in Louisville. Rev. Liggin organized the first boy scout troop at St. John AME Church, which was the second AME troop in Kentucky. The Liggins were active members of the Louisville Branch of the NAACP, they were two of the four persons recognized for their efforts in the successful membership campaign in 1938. Jennie and Clyde Liggin last lived in North Carolina. For more see Mrs. Jennie Liggin and C. A. Liggin in The Crisis, Jan 1938, p.21 [online at Google Book Search]; and Mrs. Jennie B. Liggin in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Mack, Mary Bell
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1945
Bishop Mary Bell Mack was the founder of the Spiritualist Church of the Soul. She was a bishop as early as 1926 [source: "St. Mark's Church of the Soul," Youngstown Vindicator, 02/20/1926, p. 21]. She had a number of churches under her jurisdiction, including the Cincinnati Spiritualist Church in Ohio; St. Paul's Spiritualist Church in Newport, KY; and St. Matthew's Spiritualist Church in Lexington, KY. In the book, George Russell: the story of an American composer, by D. Heining, Bishop Mary Mack is described as being very wealthy with mansions and a chauffeur. Rev. Mary Mack is listed in William's Cincinnati (Hamilton County, Ohio) City Directory in the 1930s and 1940s. The following comes from the article, "News of Local Colored Folks," Youngstown Vindicator, 08/11/1943, p. 11: "Large crowds are attending the services in the Thornhill School, Wardle Ave. each evening when Bishop Mary Mack of Cincinnati leader of the Spiritual Churches of the Soul preaches. Divine healing services follow each service." In addition to being a bishop, Mary Mack owned a confectionery and a grocery store. Mary Bell Mack was born in Nicholasville, KY, the daughter of Lovis and Wallace Bell. The family of five is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Mary Bell married Ross Mack in 1892, they had two children. Ross Mack was also from Kentucky. The couple is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census: Mary Mack was a cook and Ross Mack was a barkeeper. Mary Mack moved to Cincinnati in 1903, where she lived on Richmond Street with her mother, daughter, sister, and a lodger [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Bishop Mary Mack died in Cincinnati on December 7, 1945 [source: Ohio Deaths], and the birth date of 1883, inscribed on her tombstone, is incorrect.  While her birth year is inconsistent in the census records, Mary Bell Mack is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census as a 6 year old; therefore, her birth year was prior to 1883. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.

 

 
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Magee, Lazarus and Susan [Rev. James H. Magee]
The Magees were born in Kentucky; Lazarus (d. 1870) was free, and Susan (d. 1868) was a slave belonging to Billy Smith of Louisville, KY. Lazarus purchased Susan and her two children, and the family moved to Madison County, Illinois. There would be many more children, and they were sent to Racine, WI, to be educated. One of the children was Reverend James H. Magee (1839-1912), who was president of the Colored Local Historical Society in Springfield, IL; he formed the Black Man's Burden Association in Chicago. J. H. Magee had attended Pastors College [now Spurgeon's College] in London, England, from 1867-1868. He was an ordained minister, a school teacher, and an outspoken advocate for African American voting rights and education. He has been referred to as a leader of the African American people in Springfield, IL. For more see B. Cavanagh, "history talk 04-28-05" a Illinois Times web page that has been removed; and The Night of Affliction and the Morning of Recovery, by Rev. J. H. Magee.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Mothers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Springfield, Illinois

McCray, Mary F.
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1894
Mary F. McCray, born a slave in Kentucky, was the wife of S. J. McCray. She was freed at the age of 21 after the woman who owned her family, Miss Polly Adams, died in 1859. Fannie, her husband, and family moved to De Smet in the Dakota Territory, where they established the first church and sunday school in their home. Mary, who could not read or write, would become one of the first African American women licensed to preach in the territory; she was pastor of the Free Methodist Church. Mary and her husband also founded the first school for African Americans in De Smet. When their crops failed, the McCray family returned to Ohio, where Mary and S. J. founded the First Holiness Church of Lima. For more see "Mary F. McCray" in vol. 5 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and The Life of Mary F. McCray, by her husband and son [available online at UNC University Library, Documenting the American South].

See image of Mary F. McCray on p.4 of The Life fo Mary McCray.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky / De Smet, South Dakota Territory / Lima, Ohio

McDowell, Cyrus R.
Birth Year : 1854
Cyrus R. McDowell, a minister and businessman, was born in Bowling Green, KY. He founded (in 1887) and was editor of (beginning in 1889) the Bowling Green Watchman. He was a co-founder of the Bowling Green Academy and also organized the Green River Valley Baptist Association. His birth year is given as 1854 in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, at the time he, his wife Mary (b.1864 in MS), and their children were living on East White Oak Street in Independence, MO. Mary McDowell had temporarily opened the Baptist College in Independence, MO. The college had originally opened in January of 1890 in Independence, MO, and was to be moved to a permanent location in Macon City, MO, prior to the opening of the third term. But the property had not been secured in time and Mary McDowell reopened the school in Independence until it was moved on January 4, 1891 [source: "The Baptist College at Macon City, Mo.," The Baptist Home Mission Monthly, v.15, 1893, pp.273-274]. Rev. C. R. McDowell was pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Independence, MO [source: "Independence, MO., items," Iowa State Bystander, 05/18/1900, p.4]. In 1901, Rev. McDowell was head of the Pilgrim Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO, [source: Gould's St. Louis Directory for 1901, p.1225]. Two years later, he was manager of the Hon Co-operative Trading Company in Hannibal, MO [source: R. E. Hackman & Co.'s Hannibal City Directory, 1903, p.239]. Around 1925, Rev. McDowell was editor of the Baptist Record, published by the Baptist Record Publishing Company, and he was editor of The Searchlight Publications [source: "Rev. C. R. McDowell...," Plaindealer (Topeka, Kansas), 05/15/1925, p.2]. He was president of the [Baptist] Record Publishing Company in 1927 [source: 1927 Polk's Kansas City Missouri City Directory, p.1251], while also serving as pastor of Helping Hand Baptist Church [source: Polk's Hannibal Missouri City Directory, 1927, p.196]. The following year, Rev. McDowell was president of Home Protective Investment Company [source: Polk's Kansas City Missouri City Directory, p.1269]. For several years, Rev. McDowell had been a member of the fraternal organization Home Protective Association and he was Chief Regent in 1906 [source: "The Home Protective Association," St. Louis Palladium, 10/13/1906, p.4]. In the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Rev. Cyrus McDowell was still an active minister, he was a widower, and he lived with his daughter-in-law, Lida McDowell on Center Street in Hannibal City, MO. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Independence, Saint Louis, Kansas City & Hannibal, Missouri

McFarland, Richard L., Sr. "R.L."
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 2002
Richard L. McFarland, Sr. was born in Owensboro, KY. He was valedictorian of his 1935 graduating class at Western High School in Owensboro. McFarland was the first African American to be elected to the Owensboro City Commission, in 1985, and he served six terms. He was pastor of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church for 46 years, and he and his wife owned McFarland Funeral Home. In 1975, Rev. McFarland was among the group of ministers who traveled to Monrovia, Liberia, Africa where they baptized more than 800 persons [source: 2012 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, p.15]. In 1992, the Owensboro Human Relations Commission created the Rev. R. L. McFarland Leadership Award in his honor. In 1998, a tree and a plaque were placed in the Owensboro English Park to honor Rev. McFarland. For more see R. L. McFarland within the article "Middlesboro city councilwoman top vote-getter," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 28; J. Campbell, "Williams' bid opened door for black leaders, he earned a spot on fall ballot," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 10/28/05, p. 19; and K. Lawrence, "McFarland, former mayor pro tem dies at 85 minister opened door for Black politicians," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 09/14/2002, p. 1.

Access Interview Read about the Richard L. McFarland oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Businesses, Kentucky African American Churches, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

McKinney, James O.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 2008
McKinney was appointed to the Auburn, KY, City Council in June 1971 and was the first African American elected official in the city. For 43 years he was pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Russellville, KY, retiring in 2007. McKinney was born in Sugar Grove, KY, the son of Eliza Beason McKinney and Benjamin R. McKinney. He served as president of the NAACP and Human Rights in Logan County. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 10; McKinney in "Church News," Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 03/16/2007, Feature section; and "The Rev. James O. McKinney," Daily News, 04/25/2008 & 04/27/2008, Obituaries section.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Sugar Grove, Warren County, Kentucky / Auburn, Simpson County, Kentucky / Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky

Meachum, John Berry "J. B."
Birth Year : 1789
Death Year : 1854
John Berry Meachum was a slave born in Kentucky who later lived in Virginia. He was hired out and eventually purchased his freedom and that of his father, who was a Baptist preacher. Meachum and his father moved to St. Louis, MO, leaving Meachum's wife and children enslaved in Virginia. For the next eight years, Meachum worked as a cooper and carpenter, saving enough money to purchase his family in 1824. (In some sources, Meachum and his wife, Mary, a slave from Kentucky, are said to have gone to Missouri together.) Two years later, Meachum was ordained a minister and became pastor of the First African Baptist Church, a position he held until his death in 1854. He had helped found the church, which eventually grew to have more than 500 members. Meachum also owned slaves; he had more than 20 slaves, most of them children who worked to purchase their freedom. Meachum was considered a leader among the freemen and slaves; during his time, he was the most outspoken advocate in Missouri for the education of African Americans. Meachum's church was one of five in St. Louis that offered education under the guise of Sunday School. Each Sunday, more than 100 freemen and slaves (with permission) attended classes in the dark basement of Mechum's church. White sympathizers helped teach the classes and provided supplies for the school. One of the students was James Milton Turner (see the Hannah Turner entry). In 1847, although the abolitionist movement was gaining strength in Missouri, it became illegal for African Americans to receive educational instruction or to attend school. It was also illegal for African Americans to lead church services unless a white officer were present. Meachum's school was soon closed. The school was reopened on a steamboat in the Mississippi River; the boat was built by Meachum. For more see The Baptists in America (1836), by F. A. Cox and J. Hoby [available full-text at Google Book Search]; D. D. Bellamy, "The Education of Blacks in Missouri prior to 1861," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 59, issue 2 (Apr., 1974), pp. 143-157; and D. L. Durst, "The Reverend John Berry Meachum (1789-1854) of St. Louis," The North Star: a Journal of African American Religious History, vol. 7, issue 2 (Spring 2004), pp. 1-24 [pdf].

See the image and additional information about John Berry Meachum at the First Baptist Church of St. Louis website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Carpenters, Sunday School, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Virginia / Saint Louis, Missouri

Merry, Nelson G.
Birth Year : 1824
Death Year : 1884
Merry was a Kentucky slave who moved to Nashville, TN, with his master and at the age of 16 was willed to the First Baptist Church, which freed him in 1845. Merry was a preacher at the First Colored Baptist Church and in 1853 was the first ordained African American minister in Nashville. The First Colored Baptist Church became the largest church in Tennessee with more than 2,000 members. Merry founded several African American churches and the Tennessee Colored Baptist Association. For a year, he was editor of The Colored Sunday School Standard. He was the husband of Mary Ann Merry, b.1830 in TN. In 1860 the family of seven lived in the 4th Ward of Nashville, TN. For more see "History of Nelson G. Merry," The Tennessee Tribune, Spirituality & Issues section, vol. 17, issue 49 (Dec 14, 2006), p. D5; and the "First Baptist Church, Capitol HIll, Nashville" by B. L. Lovett in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture [online version].
Subjects: Freedom, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Migration to Ethiopia [Fannie B. Eversole, 1865-1951]
Start Year : 1930
End Year : 1935
Beginning in 1930, a number of African Americans and West Indians migrated to Ethiopia in search of the "Promised Land" in the Back to Africa Movement affiliated with Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association. The exact number of persons who left the U.S. was in question, with estimates as high as 100, and as low as 25. The group was led by Arnold Ford, rabbi of Beth B'nai Abraham [Harlem, NY, Black Jews]. The migrating families were promised land, livestock, and a farming life, but the promises were unfulfilled. In 1932, the U.S. State Department issued a release to discourage others from migrating to Ethiopia due to the number of destitute American immigrants, and because there were no government funds for transportation back to the States. By 1934, thirty-five immigrants had returned to the U.S. In 1935, the Italy-Ethiopia War put an absolute end to any further immigration, and all but two of the prior immigrants returned to the U.S. September 1935, U.S. Legation Officials warned that any Americans who remained in Ethiopia did so against the advice of the State Department. Three of the last African Americans to leave were the wife of Baron Jackson and her daughter, Predonia, from Alabama, and Mrs. Fannie B. Eversole. They had all gone to Ethiopia in 1931 as part of the Back to Africa Movement. The American Negro Benevolent Society paid their fare back to the U.S. Seventy year old Fannie Eversole (b.1865 in Paris, KY) arrived in New York Harbor, October 8, 1935, aboard the ship Berengaria, according to the New York Passenger List. Fannie Eversole had been the wife of Man G. Eversole (b.1865 in VA), and according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, they had been homesteaders in Glade, Washington. Fannie Eversole was living in Los Angeles, CA before leaving for Ethiopia in 1931. She had been a cook and a housekeeper. Upon her return to the U.S., she made her home at 1621 W. 35th Street in Los Angeles and is listed as retired in the 1940s California Voter Registration Records. According to the California Death Index, Fannie Eversole died in Los Angeles on June 22, 1951. For more see "Legation Officials advise Americans to leave Ethiopia," Florence Morning News, 09/11/1935, pp.1 & 6; ** "Addison E. Southard, U. S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, to U.S. Secretary of State in The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers; Africa for the Africans, 1923-1945, Volume X by R. A. Hill; Judaising Movements, by T. Parfitt, et al.; and Black Zion by Y. P. Chireau and N. Deutsch.

**[Addison E. Southard, 1884-1970,  was born in Kentucky.]
Subjects: Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentuck / Glade, Washington / Los Angeles, California / Ethiopia, Africa

Miles, William H.
Birth Year : 1828
Death Year : 1892
William Henry Miles was born in Springfield, KY, the slave of Mrs. Mary Miles, who died in 1854 and willed William his freedom--but he was not freed until 1864. He was licensed to preach in 1857 and married Frances E. Arnold in 1859. Miles had been a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church, a black church, but he later returned to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and developed the Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, a denomination separate from the white church. In 1870, Miles was elected to the episcopacy, the highest position of any African American in the church, and during his lifetime was the senior Bishop of the CME Church. He is credited with organizing conferences and strengthening the CME Church. He helped organize the Louisville Colored Cemetery Association and served as the organization's first president. Miles Memorial College [now Miles College], in Birmingham, Alabama, was named in his honor; the plans for the school began in 1898, and it began operating in 1900. Miles Tabernacle in Washington, D.C. was renamed Miles Memorial Church [now Miles Memorial CME Church] in 1894; Bishop Miles had purchased the land for the church. There was also a manuscript, Autobiography of Bishop Miles, which was to have been published by the CME Publishing House. Bishop William H. Miles was buried in the Louisville Colored Cemetery. For more see The History of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, by C. H. Phillips [available online at the UNC Documenting the American South website]; Miles College: the first hundred years, by Miles College Centennial History Committee; and The Rise of Colored Methodism, by O. H. Lakey.

See photo image of William Henry Miles at the Dickinson College website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Birmingham, Alabama / Washington, D.C.

Militant Church Movement (Louisville, KY)
The Militant Church Movement or MCM was a post-WWII Civil Rights organization established by Rev. J. C. Olden, father of Sylvia Olden Lee. MCM began in Louisville as a small but vocal church-based organization, and became a coalition of African American churches in Kentucky. In 1951, the group led in the boycott of a baseball game that was to have taken place in Louisville between white major league players led by Gill Hodges, and an African American team lead by Roy Campanella. The protest was in response to the plans to segregate the audience. The game was cancelled. In 1953, MCM, led by Rev. Olden and Rev. M. M. D. Perdue, was successful in leading the Interracial Hospital Movement campaign that brought the beginning of the end to racial restrictions in all Kentucky hospitals. That same year, MCM launched a mass petition drive to urge the lawmakers of Kentucky to integrated the state's schools. The group also launched protests against GE for it hiring practices. What is know about the MCM exists because of those who remember the group's efforts; MCM did not have a formal membership list and they did not keep records. For more see "All-Star ball game dropped: Jim Crow protest effective," Honolulu Record, 11/01/1951, p.6; Subversive Southerner by C. Fosl and A. Y. Davis; and Civil Rights in the Gateway to the South by T. E. K'Meyer.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Baseball, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Million, Camellia
Million was the first African American to be employed as a city worker by the City of Frankfort. She was hired as clerk in the Police Department in 1961 at a salary of $200 per month. Million is included in the Temple Choir at Corinthian Baptist Church photo in the Kentucky Historical Society Digital Collections. For more see The State Journal (Frankfort, KY) 04/17/61.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Mitchell, Robert
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1926
Robert Mitchell was born in Fulton County, KY. He was a minister and president of Simmons Memorial College (was located in Bowling Green, KY). He took 200 African American men before the Kentucky House and Senate Committee to protest against the Separate Coach Bill, which was reported in the Courier Journal of Louisville, KY. Mitchell was author of Biblical Essays on Important Subjects. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; "Dr. Robert Mitchell," Lexington Herald, 10/08/1926, p.16; and see "Robert Mitchell" in S. Brown article, "Lexington Civil Rights leader dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/10/1989, City/State section, p. B1.

See photo image of Rev. Robert Mitchell on p.275 of Sermons, Addresses and Reminiscences and Important Correspondence by E. C. Morris, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Fulton County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Mitchell, Stanley P. [National Civil Liberty Party]
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1908
Rev. Stanley P. Mitchell, said to have been born in Kentucky, was a national civil rights activist at the turn of the century during the last decade of the 1800s and the first decade of the 1900s. He was editor and manager of the Southern Sentinel newspaper in Memphis, TN. He wrote editorials for other Negro newspapers throughout the U.S., encouraging Negroes to read and subscribe to Negro newspapers. In 1892, Mitchell was living in Fort Pickering, TN, and owned a considerable amount of property. He was leading the effort to form anti-emigration societies in the South to discourage Negroes from moving West to deceptive dreams of Utopia. By 1900, Mitchell was an evangelist living in Midway, KY, where he was also president of the National Educational Council of Midway. He caused a stir when he proposed that former slaves in Kentucky hold a reunion with their former masters, along with a "darkey corn-shucking," as an auxiliary to the Confederate veteran's reunion in Louisville. By 1901, Stanley Mitchell was living in Lexington, KY, he was a proclaimed Democrat and was campaigning for Cloak Room Keeper of the Upper House of the Kentucky Legislature. He did not get the position. In 1902, Mitchell was one of the incorporators of the National Industrial Council, an organization that fought against the mobbing and lynching of Negroes; they fought against discrimination based on race on passenger carriers such as the railroad and steamboats; and they fought voter disenfranchisement. The home office of the council was in Lexington, KY, and there were 27 chapters in Mississippi. Mitchell was also the founder and leader of the National Civil Liberty Party, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the campaign headquarters in Chicago, IL. The party was formed in 1903 after Mitchell took a delegation of Negro men to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Roosevelt to request pensions for the former slaves who had served during the Civil War in non-soldiering capacity such as laborers, bridge-builders, and forgers. The request was denied and Mitchell called for a national organization of Negro men in order to use their vote against members of the Republican Party such as President Roosevelt who felt the "Negro had received enough from the government when he was set free." The Civil and Personal Liberty Leagues, lead by Stanley P. Mitchell, formed the National Civil Liberty Party. The first National Convention of the National Liberty Party [the word "Civil" was dropped] was to be held in Cincinnati, OH in 1903, but had to be postponed, and was held in Douglas Hotel in St. Louis, MO on the 5th and 6th of July, 1904. Thirty-six states were represented. George E. Taylor accepted the party's U. S. Presidential nomination; Taylor, from Iowa, was president of the National Negro Democratic League. He was unsuccessful in his bid for President of the United States. In spite of the loss, Stanley P. Mitchell continued to be active on many fronts, he was president of the National Ex-Slave Congress, formed in 1903 with delegates from 34 states. By 1905, the organization name was changed to the Ex-Slave Encampment and National Freedman's Congress. The congress fought for reparations in the form of pensions for former Negro slaves who were 40 years old or older. Mrs. S. P. Mitchell, an evangelist, supported her husband in the ex-slave campaign by giving speeches and organizing chapters. She was editor of the Pioneer newspaper and the National Journal newspaper. In September of 1903, Stanley Mitchell had been arrested in Georgia on the charge of swindling money from ex-slaves; supposedly, he had asked for the money in order to secure the passage of the Hanna Bill. There was no evidence to support the charges and Mitchell was set free. The New York Times initially proclaimed Mitchell was a thief. At the same time, there were several Negro newspapers that claimed Mitchell had been framed by the Republican Party due to the popularity of the National Liberty Party among Negroes in the South. The Hanna Bill, by Ohio Senator Mark Hanna, would have given a pension to former slaves, but the bill died in Congress. Stanley P. Mitchell's popularity waned for a couple of years after he was accused of swindling; some of the Negro newspapers turned against him. Mitchell continued his campaign for equal justice for Negroes. He opened a nursing home for former slaves in Memphis, TN. Mitchell was Chanceller of the Knights and Ladies of Industry of the U.S., the main office was in Washington, D.C. Ads in Negro papers were used to solicit membership and the ads included a line stating that the organization would buy homes for its members. By 1905, trouble came Mitchell's way again when he performed the marriage of a German man to a Jewish woman, and the Memphis community was outraged. In 1906, Stanley Mitchell resigned as editor of the Southern Sentinel and sold the newspaper to Mrs. Rachel T. Mitchell. Stanley P. Mitchell died in 1908, and his wife took over his duties as pastor, she continued the search for heirs of former slaves who had savings in the Freedmen's Bank, and she continued the campaign for equal justice for Negroes. For more see "Stanley P. Mitchell," The Washington Bee, 09/03/1904, p.1; "National Ex-Slave Congress," The Washington Bee, 07/04/1903, p.8; "S. P. Mitchell set free," The New York Times, 09/08/1903, p.8; "National Industrial Council," Colored American, p.16; "Stanley P. Mitchell of exslave pension fame...," Freeman, 02/20/1904, p.4; "Ex-Slave Encampment and National Freedman's Congress," Freeman, 05/20/1905, p.2; "Pension for ex-slaves!" Plaindealer, 06/30/1905, p.1; "Married by a Negro," Freeman, 08/05/1905, p.5; see Stanley P. Mitchell in "Paragrahic News," Washington Bee, 03/24/1906, p.1; "To check emigration: anti-Oklahoma societies to be organized," Langston City Herald, 01/16/1892, p.1; "An Appeal," Freeman, 09/08/1900, p.1; "Mrs. S. P. Mitchell," Colored American, 12/22/1900, p.15; "ms of Interest," Freeman, 08/24/1901, p.8; S. P. Mitchell, "The Negro newspapers the only powerful leaders left," Washington Bee, 04/19/1902, p.1; "S. P. Mitchell...," Evening Post, 03/23/1900, p. 5; "Wants to be Cloak Keeper," The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 12/31/1901, p. 7; G. E. Taylor, "The National Liberty Party's Appeal," The Independent, v.57, pp.844-846 [available online at Google Book Search]; and "Rev. Mrs. Mitchell," Washington Bee, 05/09/1908, p.1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee / Chicago, Illinois / Washington, D.C.

Moorish Science Temple of America in Kentucky [Mary Clift Bey]
Start Year : 1938
The Moorish Science Temple of America began as a religious movement in 1913 known as the Canaanite Temple, founded in New Jersey by Timothy Drew (1886-1929). The name was changed to the Moorish Holy Temple of Science in the early 1920s. Read more at the organization's website. Drew became known as Prophet Noble Drew Ali, he moved the main branch of the organization to Chicago, IL in 1925 and the Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc. was officially registered as a corporation in 1926. There were also branches in Philadelphia, Washington D. C., and Detroit. A focus of the religion was that American Blacks were of Moor ancestry and should return to Islam. There were teachings of racial pride, the rejection of negative labels, and a mission to uplift the race using education and non-confrontational methods. Moorish-American Voice is the organization's publication. Members of the organization added "Ali," "El," and "Bey" to their surnames as an indication of their Moor identity. The Nation of Islam grew out of the Moorish Science Temple of America. There was a Moorish Science Temple of America in Lexington, KY, according to the overview of the Moorish Science Temple of America Collection, 1926-1967, a New York Public Library website. There was an FBI report of a branch in Paducah, KY [source: Part 2 FBI File: 62-25889: Section 3. Feb-Mar 1943. FBI File on the Moorish Science Temple of America. Federal Bureau of Investigation Library. Archives Unbound.]. Moorish Science Temple of America #45 was located at 628 S. Ninth Street in Louisville, KY. All branches in all locations were watched by the local police, and were considered a radical group that was monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which sometimes referred to the organization as a "cult" in FBI correspondence. The Moorish Science Temple of America #45 was organized in August of 1938 by Mary Clift Bey who came to Kentucky from Chicago, IL [source: File No.100-2273 dated 12/8/42 - citation: Part 1 FBI File: 62-25889: Section 2. Dec 1942-Feb 1943. FBI File on the Moorish Science Temple of America. Federal Bureau of Investigation Library. Archives Unbound.]. Mary Clift Bey was one of the first female missionaries from the Chicago temple; she was named the grand governess of the Louisville temple in 1941. Bey is listed as a teacher by the name of "Cilft Bey" on p.189 of Caron's Louisville (Kentucky) City Directory, 1939; she lived at 628 S. Ninth Street. In 1940, her name is listed as "Clift Bey" who lived at 630 S. Ninth Street, listed on p.191 of Caron's Louisville (Kentucky) City Directory, 1940. She is also listed in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census as "Cliff M. Bey" with no occupation or income, and living with Jesse Bey (born in KY) and Birdie Lee Bey (born in KY), all at 630 1/2 S. Ninth Street. According to the census record, Mary Clift Bey was born in Tennessee around 1876, she was a widow, and had completed the 4th grade of school. A physical description of Mary Clift Bey is included in the FBI files; the description was based on an eye witness and a photograph the FBI obtained from the library of the Courier Journal newspaper. Bey was said to be about 45-50 years old; 5'3" tall; 175 pounds; brown complexion; straight black hair worn in a bob; maroon eyes, wears glasses; wide mouth; and a teacher by occupation [source: Part 1 FBI File: 62-25889: Section 2. Dec 1942-Feb 1943. FBI File on the Moorish Science Temple of America. Federal Bureau of Investigation Library. Archives Unbound.]. Within the 1942 FBI report, Mary Clift Bey was said to live at 437 S. 9th Street with seven other people with the last name Bey (p.7). The Moorish Science Temple of America in Louisville, KY, was said to have about 50 members. In 1939 there were about 41 members when Mary Clift Bey led the members to register to vote and all were registered with the Democratic Party (p.9). According to the FBI files, there was an article about their voter registrations in the Courier Journal (p.10), and there was much discussion and dispute about the members' legal names (p.11). The headquarters of the Louisville Temple was at 628 S. Ninth Street (p.10). Mary Clift Bey, said to have been born in Macon County, Tennessee (p.12), was also investigated for her work in Chicago, and possible activity in Detroit and Pittsburgh (p.19). In January of 1943, the U.S. Assistant Attorney General distributed a memorandum stating that "there was not sufficient evidence at that time to establish prosecution [of the Moorish Temple of America] under the Sedation Statuses" [source: Part 1 FBI File: 62-25889: Section 2. Dec 1942-Feb 1943. FBI File on the Moorish Science Temple of America. Federal Bureau of Investigation Library. Archives Unbound.]. Though, the surveillance was continued. In March of 1943, Special Agent in Charge, Hebert K. Moss, of the Louisville branch of the FBI, forwarded a series of reports to the Director of the FBI concerning C. Kirkman Bey and et. al. and the Moorish Science Temple of America in Louisville, KY [source: Part 2 FBI File: 62-25889: Section 5. Feb-Apr 1943. FBI File on the Moorish Science Temple of America. Federal Bureau of Investigation Library. Archives Unbound.]. The reports were dated December 1, 1942 through March 6, 1943. There are presently no Moorish Science Temple of America organizations in Kentucky. For more see Who was Noble Drew Ali? by Isa Abd Allah Muhammad al-Mahdi; see "Moorish Science Temple" in the Encyclopedia of African and African-American Religions edited by S. D. Glazier; and Islam in the African-American Experience by R. B. Turner.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Religion & Church Work, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Geographic Region: Macon County, Tennessee / Chicago, Illinois / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisivlle, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / New Jersey

Moulton, Elvina
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1917
Elvina Moulton, also known as Aunt Viney, was a former slave born in Kentucky. She was the first African American woman in Boise, Idaho, arriving around 1867. She was employed at a laundry and was also a nurse and housekeeper. She was a founding member of the First Presbyterian Church in Boise; Moulton was the only African American member. For more see Elvina Moulton in "Idaho Territory Days" an idaho-humanrights.org website; and A. Hart, "Idaho history - Pioneers of the Gem state," Idaho Statesman, Life section, p. 3.

See photo image of Elvina Moulton at Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Project website.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Boise, Idaho

Mt. Sterling Station (Church) [Colored Members]
Start Year : 1839
End Year : 1878
Prior to the establishing of Keas Tabernacle Church in 1878, in Smithville [Montgomery County], KY, Rev. William H. Miles was the pastor of the colored church named Mt. Sterling Station. The earlier Mt. Sterling Station Church, led by white members, existed in 1839, and according to the 1840 Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the years 1829-1839, Volume II, p. 85, the Mt. Sterling Station Church was within the Kentucky Conference. It had a total church membership of 251 persons: 167 whites and 84 colored (slaves). In 1867, following the end of the Civil War and slavery, the former slave members of the Methodist Episcopal Church separated from the parent church and organized the Kentucky Colored Conference. It was the second annual conference established by former slave members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. At the 1869 Kentucky Colored Conference, held in Winchester, KY, Rev. William H. Miles was named the Presiding Elder of the Mt. Sterling District and pastor of the newly formed Mt. Sterling Station Church for the colored people. A year later, in 1870, William H. Miles was one of the reserve delegates of the Kentucky Colored Conference, where he was named Sunday School Agent and Missionary Supervisor for Kentucky. He was elected a bishop of the newly established Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (CME) in 1870. Eight years later, the Mt. Sterling Station Church for colored people was renamed Keas Tabernacle Church in honor of Samuel G. Keas, who was Bishop William H. Miles' friend and cohort. Keas also became the new pastor at the church. It was Keas, a former slave from Montgomery County, who had been named pastor of the CME Center Street Church in Louisville in 1869, and he was able to regain possession of the church building from the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ), which put an end to an ongoing controversy between the two churches. For more see The History of the CME Church (Revised), by O. H. Lakey.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Mt. Sterling and Smithville, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Murrell, Peter
Birth Year : 1823
Peter Murrell was born in Virginia and lived in Glasgow, KY. He was a wagoner and a church leader. He had attended the white Baptist Church in Glasgow, led by Rev. Nathaniel G. Terry, whose family had also come to Kentucky from Virginia. In 1843 the question of creating a separate church for the Negro members was put to a committee with no action, but the question would come up again and again for more than 20 years. Finally, in 1867 Peter Murrell was ordained a minister by Rev. Terry and put in charge of an African American church with 69 members. He also led in the formation of the Liberty Organization. Peter Murrell died between 1880 and 1900. For more see "Rev. Peter Murrell" in The Jubilee History and Biographical Sketches of the Liberty Association by G. R. Ford. For more on Reverend Nathaniel G. Terry see pp. 1616-1617 in A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians, by E. P. Johnson [available full-text at Google Book Search].

See photo image of Peter Murrell (lower half of the page) at Barren County Church Biographies, a Kentucky African American Griots website.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Virginia / Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky

Nelson, William Stuart
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1977
William S. Nelson was born in Paris, KY, grew up in Paducah, KY, and his final home was in Washington, D.C. He was a 1920 graduate of Howard University and a 1924 divinity graduate of Yale University. He would become the first African American president of Shaw University (1931-1936) in North Carolina, saving the school from closing due to financial hardship during the Great Depression. Nelson was also the first African American president of Dillard University in New Orleans, beginning in 1936. He wrote La Race Noire dans la Democratie Americaine, and Bases of World Understanding (Calcutta University Press, 1949). He worked with Mahatma Gandhi while in India on a special mission for the American Friends Service Committee from 1946-1958. He was a friend of Martin Luther King, Jr. and joined him on the march from Selma to Montgomery, AL, in 1965. The William Stuart Nelson Scholarship Fund was established at Howard University, where he was former dean of the School of Religion and vice president for special projects. Nelson was the son Emma Kersands Nelson and William Henry Nelson. He was married to Blanche Wright Nelson. He was an Army veteran of World War I. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 11, Sept. 1976-Aug. 1979; "The Tradition of White Presidents at Black Colleges," The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 16 (Summer 1997), pp. 93-99; J. R. Hailey, "William Nelson, dean at Howard, dies," The Washington Post, 03/30/1977, Metro section, p. C6; and William Stuart Nelson (1895-1977) at the Martin Luther King, Jr and The Global Freedom Struggle website.

 

  See photo image of William S. Nelson, top left hand column, on p.39 in Golden jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky edited by C. H. Parrish.

 

 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / India / Washington D.C.

Nichols, Paul
Birth Year : 1939
Death Year : 1990
Paul Nichols was born in Bowling Green, KY, the son of Mary and George Nichols, Sr. He was a graduate of Virginia Union University, Presbyterian School of Christian Education [now Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education], and American University. From 1976-1984, Nichols was dean of the School of Theology at Virginia Union. He was vice president of the National Ministers Council/American Baptist for three years and in 1989 was named to the executive director of the Board of National Ministries for the American Baptist Churches USA, making him the highest ranking African American of the 1.6 million member organization. Nichols was also pastor of the Good Shepherd Baptist Church. He was well respected in the Richmond, VA, community. Noted among his many achievements was the renaming of the Shockoe Bridge for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For more see T. Muller, "Hundreds here celebrate the life of beloved pastor," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 06/02/1990, Area/State section, p. 2; "Paul Nichols, 50, dies, was Baptist executive," New York Times, 05/30/1990, p. B20; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-1995.

See photo image and full biography of Paul Nichols by Gloria Taylor at the Talbot School of Theology website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Migration East
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Richmond, Virginia

Nichols, Pleasant A.
Birth Year : 1863
Born near Leesburg, KY, Nichols was the son of William and Pliny Nichols. He taught for 14 years in Kentucky schools and was principal of Newport City Schools. In 1885 he became a preacher. Nichols contributed articles to many magazines and newspapers and owned and published The Negro Citizen, a weekly newspaper, in Paducah, KY. His editorials helped secure jobs for African Americans in the local hospital. He was married to Dovie Candaca Haddox, of Beattyville, KY, in 1887, and in 1916 became secretary at Wilberforce University. For more see Centennial Encyclopedia of the American Methodist Episcopal Church..., by Richard Allen and others (Philadelphia: 1816) [available online at the UNC Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Leesburg, Harrison County, Kentucky / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Beattyville, Lee County, Kentucky

Nutter, Homer
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1989
Reverend Homer Nutter was a minister, an undertaker, and civil rights leader who fought to end discrimination at downtown businesses in Lexington, KY. He was born in Harrison County, KY, and raised in Paris, KY; in 1900, the Nutter Family lived on 8th Street in Paris, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Rev. Nutter was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lexington for 50 years; he replaced Rev. Robert Mitchell in 1926 and retired in 1976. He was a two-time graduate of Simmons University [Simmons College]. Kentucky Governor Wetherby appointed Rev. Nutter to the Governor's Advisory Committee on Education Desegregation. He was also a member of the Board of Regents at Kentucky State University and the Board of Trustees at Simmons University. He served in the U.S. Army during WWI as a company clerk. Homer Nutter was the husband of Ida B. Coleman Nutter and the son of Harrison and Ameila Nutter. For more see "Lexington Civil Rights Leader Dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/10/1989, City/State section, p. B1.

 

Access Interview Read about the Homer Nutter oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Kentucky African American Churches, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Harrison County, Kentucky / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Olden, James Clarence "J.C."
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1967
James C. Olden was a Baptist minister and a civil rights leader in Louisville, KY. He was born in Murfreesboro, TN, the son of George Olden who had been a slave in Oldham County, KY, before running away to join the Union Army during the Civil War. Rev. J. C. Olden came to Kentucky around 1949 and developed the Militant Church Movement (MCM) in Louisville. MCM was a civil rights organization that led in many protest campaigns, including the Interracial Hospital Movement that initiated the desegregation of Kentucky hospitals in 1953. Rev. Olden also led in the 1953 effort to bring Everett Lee, Jr. [Sylvia Olden Lee's husband] to Louisville, where he become the first African American to direct a white orchestra, and the first orchestra director to perform before an integrated audience in Louisville. Rev. Olden had been a civil rights activist prior to coming to Kentucky; in 1948, while a visiting minister at Salem Methodist Church in Harlem, NY, he led a national campaign against segregation in transportation. J. C. Olden was a graduate of Fisk University, where he sung in a quartet with Roland Hayes, Lem Foster, and Charles Wesley. He was a second tenor in Hayes' Apollo Quartet in 1910. In 1913, Olden married Sylvia Alice Ward (b.1889 in New Orleans, LA), a pianist and vocalist; they had met while students at Fisk. Sylvia Ward had turned down a singing position with the Metropolitan Opera in 1913, because the job came with the stipulation that she not tell anyone that she was Colored. Many years later, the first African American with the New York Metropolitan Opera would be Sylvia Olden Lee (1917-2004), musician, vocalist, and vocalist coach; the daughter of Sylvia and Rev. J. C. Olden. Sylvia O. Lee grew up in Washington, D.C. where her father was pastor of the Plymouth Colored Congregational Church. The Oldens were also international travelers. In 1926, Rev. Olden and his wife returned to the U.S. from Southampton, England, aboard the ship Majestic, according to the New York Passenger Lists. For more see To Stand and Fight by M. Biondi; and "Schiller Institute Dialogue with Sylvia Olden Lee, Pianist and Vocal Coach" 02/07/1998, [reprinted from Fidelio Magazine, vol. 7, issue 1 (Spring 1998)].

See photo image of James C. Olden and his then son-in-law, Everett Lee, at the Courier-Journal.com "Black History Month | 1953 Everett Lee," 02/01/2010.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Murfreesboro, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Oldham County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Our Women and Children
Start Year : 1888
End Year : 1890
This women's magazine was established in the 1880s by William J. Simmons sometime after he had established the American National Baptist Convention at State University (Simmons University, Louisville, KY). The magazine was published by the American Baptist, the state Baptist newspaper. The staff consisted of women associated with State University. The magazine coverage included African American juvenile literature and the work of women in the denomination and in journalism. Some of the women writers and contributors were Mary V. Cook-Parrish, Lucy Wilmot Smith, Ione E. Woods, Lavinia B. Sneed, and Ida B. Wells. The magazine had a national reputation and readership. When William Simms died in 1890, so did the magazine. For more see Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930, by L. H. Williams.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Paris, William H., Jr. "Bubba"
Birth Year : 1960
William H. Paris,Jr. was born in Louisville, KY, and played football at DeSales High School, where he was team captain and an MVP. At 6'6", 300 pounds, Paris went on to play offensive tackle at the University of Michigan, where he was All-Big Ten, All-American, and All-Academic. He was taken in the second round of the NFL draft and played all but one season of his professional career with the San Francisco 49ers, 1983-1990. In 1991, Paris played for the Indianapolis Colts. During his time with the 49ers, the team won three Super Bowls. He is the father of the former University of Oklahoma basketball players Courtney and Ashley Paris. Bubba Paris, an ordained minister and motivational speaker, lives in California. For more see Bubba Paris, at databaseFootball.com; bubbaparis.org; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006.

See photo image of William "Bubba" Paris at the University of Michigan Library website.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Football, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / California

Parker, Noah
Birth Year : 1850
Noah Parker was an African American minister born in Kentucky around 1850 to Cato and Winnie Parker. Noah Parker died after 1880, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, he was a preacher. In the rural area of Clintonville, Kentucky, in the late 1800s it was rare to find an African American male listed with an occupation other than farm hand or laborer. Clintonville, KY. was established around 1800 by George and John Stipp. First known as Stipp's Crossroads, this community was later named Clintonville in 1831. Noah Parker was instrumental in organizing the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church that is located on Clintonville Road. The actual congregation was formed in 1860 by residents of what would become the community of Boonetown, an African American community also located on Clintonville Road. The land was given to local African Americans after the Civil War by George Boone. Noah Parker was the first minister to this religious group of African Americans, even before there was a church building. Around 1873, the residents of Boonetown built the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. According to population statistics from the 1870 U.S. Federal Census there were approximately 339 blacks and mulattoes in the Clintonville, KY precinct. This population number grew to approximately 446 by 1880 according to the U.S.Federal Census. Today the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church is still in the original building and, according to Mrs. Ora Mae Jacobs, the eldest member of the church, there is still a small and active congregation. Few personal or historical facts have been found about Noah Parker. However, he was an early African American minister who showed leadership skills and was able to read and write. Led by men of such strong leadership, it was not uncommon for African American churches to become the foundation for early black schools in rural areas of Kentucky. Churches such as Pleasant Valley Baptist Church served as a benevolent organization, caring for the ill and indigent, and a meeting place to discuss community issues.

Sources: 1870 and 1880 U. S. Federal Census for Bourbon County, KY; Kentucky Place Names by Robert M. Rennick; Historic Architecture of Bourbon County, Kentucky by Historic Paris-Bourbon County, Inc. and The Kentucky Heritage Council; Interview with William Brown of Paris, KY; oral history interview with Ora Mae Jacobs, longtime resident of Clintonville, KY; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky: from slavery to segregation, 1760-1891 by Marion B. Lucas. This entry was submitted by Kellie Scott of the Paris-Bourbon County Public Library.
Subjects: Communities, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: (Boonetown) Clintonville, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Parrish, Charles H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1931
Charles H. Parrish, Sr. was born into slavery in Lexington, KY, to Hiram, a teamster, and Henrietta Parrish, a seamstress. Charles Parrish became pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Louisville, KY; president of Eckstein Norton College; and later president of Simmons University (KY). He founded the Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children. In 1905, he attended the World Baptist Alliance in London, England, and in 1912 was named a fellow in the British Royal Historical Society as a result of his research in Palestine. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on the University of Kentucky campus and off-campus via the proxy server]; Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930, by L. H. Williams; and "Reverend Charles Henry Parrish" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States, by S. W. Bacote.

See photo image of Charles H. Parrish, Sr. and students in the 1920s, in the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Collections website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Passmore, Norman L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 2003
Norman L. Passmore, Sr. was born in Columbus, GA. He was an exceptional student who played quarterback on the Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] football team that won national championships in 1934 and 1937. He graduated from Kentucky State University and the University of Kentucky. He later was the head football coach of the old Lexington Dunbar Bearcats, beginning in 1951 and continuing for 16 years, accumulating a record of 98 wins, 16 losses, and 6 ties while winning three state titles. He also coached for one season at Kentucky State College. He retired as principal of Henry Clay High School in 1984. Passmore was also a pastor and a World War II veteran. For more see M. Davis, "A classic game for a classic educator," Lexington Herald-Leader, section C, l8/29/04; and J. Hewlett, "Long time educator dies at 87 - N. L. Passmore Sr. taught at Dunbar," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/19/2003, City&Region section, p. B1. See also the sound recording interview of Norman Passmore in the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, 1900-1980 at Special Collections, University of Kentucky.

Access Interview Read about the Norman L. Passmore, Sr. oral history interview available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Football, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Columbus, Georgia / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Phillips, Thomas [Antioch Colored Christian Church, Lexington, KY]
Start Year : 1851
This entry comes from the outhouse blog dated 12/10/2014 by Kopana Terry, and from the Peter Brackney article on the Kaintuckeean website dated 07/24/2013. : Thomas Phillips was the slave of John Brand (1775-1849) in Lexington, Kentucky.  With assistance from Brand, Thomas Phillips was able to purchase a building for his church, the Antioch Colored Christian Church. Beginning in April of 1851, Thomas Phillips lead services in the new church building, whch had been an old carriage factory at the corner of West Fourth Street and Morris Alley. Thomas Phillips was 68 years old when he died August 11, 1858 at the home of W. Brand [source:"Thomas Phillips," Kentucky Statesman, 08/20/1858, p.3, column 6]. His church is listed as "Christian, col'd s s e 4th by Upper and Mulberry" under the heading "COLORED CHURCHES" in Maydwell's Lexington City Directory, for 1867 on p.18. The congregation soon outgrew the building and it was razed in 1874 and a new building was constructed in its place. The congregation continued to grow and eventually moved to a building on 2nd Street. With the move, the name of the church was changed to Second Street Christian Church. In 1880, the church purchased a new building and located at 146 Constitution Street [source: see the East Second Street Christian Church website]. In 1881, Rev. H. M. Ayres was the pastor [source: Williams' Lexington City Directory, for 1881-82, p.13]. The church was referred to as Second Street Christian Church in the Lexington Leader newspaper until the mid-1920s when the name was changed to East Second Street Christian Church. The earlier building that was constructed on 4th Street was used by Thomas Underwood Dudley, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky; he formed a new church in the building. Today, the 4th Street building is used for storage and the sell of antiques.
Subjects: Freedom, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Plymouth Congregational Church (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1877
The Plymouth Congregational Church was established in 1877; members initially met in a home in Louisville until an older Jewish synagogue was purchased on Jefferson Street. In 1891, Rev. Everett G. Harris became pastor, and the American Missionary Association purchased land at the corner of Seventeenth and West Chestnut Streets, where a church was constructed in 1902. In addition, the Plymouth Settlement House was completed in 1917; it was a social welfare agency that served children, had a dormitory for young women new to the city in search of work, and provided services to the community. The Plymouth Congregational Church was a meeting place for African Americans of the middle and upper classes. A new church was constructed in 1930, referred to as the "New Plymouth." It has been said that the church was the most exclusive Negro church in Louisville. For more see B. D. Berry, Jr., "The Plymouth Congregational Church of Louisville, Kentucky," Phylon, vol. 42, issue 3, pp. 224-232.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Settlement House Movement in Kentucky, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Plymouth Settlement House (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1917
The 1890s mark the beginning of the Settlement House Movement in the United States, but for African Americans the movement began at the turn of the century with the Frederick Douglass Center in Chicago, 1904. More than a decade later the Plymouth Settlement House in Louisville became a part of the movement. The building was located at 1624-26 W. Chestnut Street, next door to the Plymouth Congregational Church. It had taken the church pastor, Reverend Everett G. Harris, six years to raise funding for the Settlement House. The three-story structure included an auditorium, an assembly room, classrooms, a kitchen, and a 14-room dormitory and parlor for the young women who lived on the third floor. The women were considered "decent" and were selected renters who had come to the city seeking employment. Their weekly room charge was $1.75, and the dormitory was accessible from a separate entrance on the side of the building. There was an employment service in the Settlement House that placed the women in homes as domestic helpers. In 1919, the Settlement House became part of the Louisville Welfare League. The center offered classes that prepared young women for domestic service, marriage and motherhood. Plymouth Settlement House also included a day care for children, a Boy Scout program, and a community Sunday School. As a part of the Welfare League, the Settlement House no longer came under the direction of the church, so a new governing board was established. Rev. Harris, a Howard University graduate from Virginia, remained superintendent of the Plymouth Settlement House and pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church. For more see Everett G. Harris in the Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; G. D. Berry, Jr.; "The Settlement House Movement and the Black Community in the Progressive Era: the example of Plymouth Settlement, Louisville, Kentucky," Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas, vol. 21 (1990), pp. 24-32; and Plymouth Settlement House and the Development of Black Louisville,1900-1930 [dissertation], by B. D. Berry.
Subjects: Settlement House Movement in Kentucky, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Polk, James Knox (former slave)
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1918
This entry was submitted by Yvonne Giles, with additional research and sources provided by Brenda Jackson.

James Knox Polk, according to his obituary, was born into slavery January 21, 1845, on the Bosque Bonita farm, owned by Abraham Buford in Woodford County, KY. His mother, Margie Johnson, chose to name him for the newly elected President of the United States. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Abraham Buford joined the Confederacy, taking James Polk with him to serve as a hostler - handler of the horses. He remained throughout the war with Buford. Polk returned to Woodford County and married Mary Bohannon in 1868. They were parents of Reuben Buford, Ellen, James Henry, Lee Christy, John Knox and Dolly Polk. James K. Polk studied and became an ordained minister in 1871. He founded the Pilgrim Baptist Church at Midway, KY, on the second Sunday in January, 1872. He also became a pastor at the African Baptist Church of Christ in Mortonsville around 1873. The church's name was changed to Polk Memorial to honor the minister who served the congregation for 45 years. Polk was a member and served as moderator twice of the Kentucky General Association of Baptists and served as a delegate to the Colored People's Convention of 1898 at Lexington during the Separate Coach Protest. Comment in his obituary: "Reverend James K. Polk was faithful and devoted to his ministry, a good citizen, a man of integrity and force of character, of kindliness, humility and courtesy." Polk died January 27, 1918, and was buried in Woodford County.

Sources:
Death Certificate #5945, Woodford County, KY.
Obituaries - Lexington Leader, January 29, 1918, p. 5, col. 3; Woodford Sun, January 31, 1918, plus photo.
Polk Memorial Baptist - Woodford Sun, October 30, 2003, p. A3.
Kentucky Historical Society Highway Marker Program, June 22, 2008, Marker #2239.
Brenda Jackson, researcher and family member

Note:
Brenda Jackson found an 1870 census record indicating a James Polk serving in the USCT, 25th Infantry in Texas. No mention of his service was made in his obituary.
1880 Woodford County Census Index, p. 408.
1900 Woodford County Census Index, p. 167A.
1910 Woodford County Census Index, p. 238B.

Additional Sources:
"The degree of D. D. was conferred on Rev. J. K. Polk...," Blue-Grass Clipper, 02/03/1903
"Mrs Margie Johnson, colored, aged 76..." in the column "In and About Versailles.," Woodford Sun, 02/10/1898.
"Polk Memorial Church Celebrating 98th Year," Woodford Sun, 10/04/1951.
"Zebulah Baptist Church (Disbanded)" on p. 34 in Scott County Church Histories: a collection, edited by A. B. Bevins and J. R. Snyder.
More on Confederate General Abraham Buford in Marking Time in Woodford County, Kentucky. by D. C. Estridge and R. D. Bryant; and Dr. M. Myers, "General Abraham Buford: fearless cavalryman," Kentucky's Civil War, 1861-1865, 2011 Sesquicentennial Edition, pp. 32 & 36-38.

 

  See photo image of James Knox Polk, bottom left, on p.163 in Golden jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Midway and Mortonsville, Woodford County, Kentucky

Porter, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1911
Dr. B. F. Porter was 3rd Assistant Physician at the Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum in Louisville, KY, in 1896; he was the first African American doctor at the facility. Porter was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the husband of Elizabeth Porter (1843-1910, born in CT) and the father of Wiley Porter (b. 1877 in KY). Dr. Porter received his medical degree in 1878 and was an 1899 graduate of the College of Hypnotism. The family had lived in Columbia, SC, where Dr. Porter was a minister before coming to Kentucky, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. The Porter's employed two African American servants who worked at their home. While Dr. Porter was employed at the asylum, he and his family lived in the housing provided by the institution. The Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum had been established in 1874 as a state house for "feeble minded children." A third of the appropriations for the facility were to be used for the Colored inmates, who were to be kept in a separate ward from the white inmates. The facility had formerly been the State House of Reform for Juveniles. Dr. Porter's appointment to the institution by Kentucky Governor William O. Bradley caused a bit of alarm throughout the state when it was reported that Dr. Porter would be treating both Colored and white children. An article by the asylum superintendent, H. F. McNary, was published in The Medical News, reassuring all that Dr. Porter would only be treating the more than 200 Colored patients. With McNary's published letter, The Medical News editor gave the journal's approval to the hiring of Dr. Porter. In addition to his medical duties, Dr. Porter was also pastor of the African Methodist Church in Louisville, KY. By 1910, the Porter Family had left Kentucky for Carbondale, IL, where Dr. Porter practiced medicine, was minister of the Bethel A.M.E. Church, and was a member of the Knights and Daughters of Tabor. The family employed one African American servant. Dr. Porter was also a veteran; he was a barber when he enlisted in the Union Army on February 10, 1864, and served with the 5th Massachusetts Colored Calvary, according to his military service records. For more see "Colored Medical Doctors as Attendants in Insane Asylums," The Medical News, vol. 68, January-June 1896, p. 622 [available full-text at Google Book Search]; "Rev. B. F. Porter," The Daily Free Press, 12/22/1911, p. 5; and Marie Porter Wheeler Papers at the University of Illinois at Springfield. For more about the Asylum see Acts Passed at the ... Session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth, Regular Session, December 1873, Chapter 287, pp. 29-30 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Barbers, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Williamstown, Massachusetts / Columbia, South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Carbondale, Illinois

Powell, Ruth M.
Birth Year : 1912
Powell was born near Madisonville, KY. She published Lights and Shadows, a comprehensive history of the American Baptist Theological Seminary, in 1964. In 1979 she published Ventures in Education with Black Baptists in Tennessee. Powell graduated from J.C. Smith University in 1940 and Tennessee State University in 1953. For more see Who's Who in Religion, 2nd ed.
Subjects: Authors, Historians, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Presbyterian Community Center Records
Start Year : 1898
Founded in 1898 by seminarians as Hope Mission Station, a summer Sunday school for African American children, the center evolved into a settlement house for the Smoketown neighborhood of Louisville, KY, and was joined by Grace Mission. The collection pertaining to the mission includes a biographical sketch of the Rev. John Little (1874-1948), founder and director of the center for 50 years, and documentation of the center's activities and its role as an outpost in the federal government's war on poverty. The records are available at the University of Louisville Libraries' Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Settlement House Movement in Kentucky, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Priest, James M.
Death Year : 1883
James M. Priest was the slave of Jane Anderson Meaux. Jane A. Meaux was born 1780 in St. Asaph [later Fort Logan], Lincoln County, District of KY, and died in Jessamine County, KY, in 1844. Prior to her death, she educated and freed one of her slaves, James Priest. She sent Priest to Liberia, Africa, to evaluate the situation of the former slaves. When he returned, Priest was sent to school, 1840-1843; he graduated to become an ordained Presbyterian minister. He returned to Liberia and was the first foreign missionary from McCormick Theological Seminary at New Albany [Indiana]. Priest would become the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, 1864-1868. He was serving as the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia when he died in July of 1883. Jane Anderson Meaux stipulated in her will that all of her slaves were to be freed under the condition that they go to live in Liberia. For more see p.205 of History of Kentucky, edited by C. Kerr et al.; p.9 of A History of the McCormick Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church, by L. J. Halsey; pp.562-63 of Maxwell History and Genealogy, by F. A. W. Houston et al. [all available full-text at Google Book Search]; see Settlers to Liberia "April 1843" at The Ships List website; and "The death of James M. Priest...," Arkansaw Dispatch, 07/28/1883, p.2. A daguerreotype portrait [online] of Priest is available at the Library of Congress.


Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Judges, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Saint Asaph [Stanford], Lincoln County, Kentucky / Jessamine County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa

Purce, Charles L.
Birth Year : 1856
Charles L. Purce was president of Selma University (1886-1893) and State University (Simmons University) in Louisville, KY. He was considered one of the best educators in the country, credited with the rapid growth of State University. Purce was born in Charleston, SC, the son of Stephen Sr. and Fannie Purce. He was an 1883 graduate of Richmond Theological Seminary [later merged with Wayland Seminary to become Virginia Union University]. For more see Charles L. Purce in Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings, online at the Documenting the American South website; and A Story of a Rising Race: the Negro in Revelation, in History, and in Citizenship, by J. J. Pipkin.

See photo image of Charles L. Purce from The Negro in Revelation, in History, and in Citizenship by J. J. Pipkin, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Migration East
Geographic Region: Charleston, South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

R. E. Hathway Post No. 3593 (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1938
In December of 1938, the R. E. Hathway Post No. 3593 was organized for Colored veterans of foreign wars. Officers were to be elected the following January. The post was under the Hugh McKee Post No.677. The McKee post was believed to be the oldest in Kentucky. The initial members of Hathway Post No. 3593 were a rather elite group of African American men.

  • Rev. John N. Christopher, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church, husband of Mary E. Christopher, lived at 274 E. 5th Street.
  • Rev. Clarence Galloway, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, husband of Mary B. Galloway, lived at 233 Roosevelt Blvd.
  • Rev. John C. Newman, served in the Philippines in 1899, husband of Ella B. Newman, lived at 301 E. 6th Street.
  • Rev. John A. Jackson, who was blind, lived at 623 N. Upper Street.
  • Rev. James W. Wood, husband of Estella Wood, managing editor of Inter-State County News, notary public, lived at 519 E. 3rd Street.
  • Dr. Charles C. Buford Sr., husband of Roberta Buford, office at 269 E. Second Street, lived at 423 N. Upper Street.
  • Dr. Bush A. Hunter, office at 439 N. Upper Street, lived at 437 N. Upper Street.
  • John W. Rowe, the only Colored lawyer in Lexington in 1938, husband of Hattie H. Rowe (director of Douglas Park in 1939), office at 180 Deweese, lived at 860 Georgetown Street.
For more see the printed announcement on the letterhead "Hugh McKee Post No. 677, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Lexington, Kentucky," dated December 29, 1938, found in the 'Negroes' file of the Milward Collection (vertical file), Box - Moss Family-Newspapers, University of Kentucky Special Collections; for home addresses and other information see Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, Ky.) City Directory 1937-1939.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Notary Public
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Raglin Brothers
Six of the Raglin Brothers were ministers, each with his own church. They come from a long line of ministers that included their father and their grandfather and great-grandfather on their mother's side of the family. In addition to their calling to the ministry, when they were younger the brothers were also a highly sought after gospel singing group known as the Raglin Brothers. Between 1955 and the late 1970s, their singing itinerary included churches and church-related events throughout Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, and Michigan. They were featured on the original PM Magazine television program. Their mother, Susie Brooks Raglin, and her sisters had also had a gospel singing group known as the Brooks Sisters. The Raglin family is known to many in Kentucky because their family has a long history in the state: they are the descendants of slaves Ben and Sally Ragland, who migrated to Kentucky in the early 1800s. They came from Virginia with a wealthy slave owner named Harris. The Ragland family (later spelled Raglin) later lived in Sugar Hill, an African American community located on what is today Sugar Hill Road, a narrow, one-lane, dead-end road off Paynes Mill Road in Woodford County, KY. John H. and Susie Raglin, parents of the Raglin Brothers, raised their family in Zion Hill, KY, not too far from the Sugar Hill community. Their children are Argie Shackleford, John C., James E., Thomas E. (deceased), Robert L., Earl B., Bennie O., and Floyd B. Raglin. (John C. is not a minister and was not a member of the gospel singing group.) Information submitted by Ponice Raglin Cruse and her father, the Reverend Floyd B. Raglin. For more information see K. Fister, "Their ministry is a family affair," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/31/1983, Lifestyle section, p. C1.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Virginia / Sugar Hill, Woodford County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Zion Hill, Scott County, Kentucky

Randolph, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1820
Death Year : 1868
Born in Kentucky, Benjamin F. Randolph was a political leader during Reconstruction in South Carolina. He served as a chaplain for the 26th Colored Infantry during the Civil War. He co-founded the Charleston Journal in 1866 and became editor of the Charleston Advocate in 1867. Within the South Carolina Republican Party, he organized the Union League. In 1876 Randolph was appointed Vice President of the South Carolina Republican Executive Committee and the next year was appointed president of the committee. In 1868 he was elected to the South Carolina Senate for Orangeburg County. Randolph advocated legal equality for African Americans, including the integration of schools. In 1868, while soliciting for the Republican Party, he was shot and killed in Donaldsville, SC, a predominately white area of the state. For more see American National Biography (2004), by P. R. Betz and M. C. Carnes.

See photo image and additional information on Benjamin F. Randolph at the Historic Randolph Cemetery website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Migration East, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Donaldsville, South Carolina / Orangeburg, Orangeburg County, South Carolina

Reid, Barney Ford, Jr.
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1951
Barney F. Reid, Jr., a tailor, was born in Lancaster, KY. He was at Camp Zachary Taylor during World War I and was promoted to sergeant. He was made principal of the Consolidated Army School and in 1931 became president of Cincinnati Theological Seminary. Reid was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Cincinnati, OH, from 1927 to his death in 1951. Barney F. Reid, Jr. was the son of Barney F. Reid, Sr. and Marie Hendron Reid. He was the husband of Claudia Ballen Reid, the couple married in Jeffersonville, IN, on December 2, 1895 [source: Indiana Marriage Records]. Barney F. Reid, Jr. died November 10, 1951 in Cincinnati, OH. [source: Ohio Department of Health Certificate of Death]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America,1928-29, and Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky / Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Cincinnati, Ohio

Robinson, John Wallace
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1941
Robinson, born in Shelbyville, KY, was pastor and founder of Christ Community Church of Harlem and pastor of St. Mark's Methodist Episcopal Church, both in New York City. He led the building of a new facility for St. Mark's congregation, "Cathedral of Negro Methodism," which cost $500,000. Robinson was a graduate of Indiana University and Gammon Theological Seminary. He started preaching in 1894 and was a minister in Chicago before moving on to New York City in 1923. Robinson was also a civil rights activist; he fought for a federal anti-lynching bill. In 1935 he represented Negro ministers as a member of Mayor LaGardia's investigation committee, which was formed in response to the riot in Harlem on March 19, 1935, which included the police shooting death of 16 year old Lloyd Hobbs, an African American. Countee Cullen and A. Philip Randolph were also on the committee. For more see "Dr. J. W. Robinson, retired pastor, 70," New York Times, 11/28/1941, p. 23. For more about the riot, see Race, Space, and Riots in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, by J. L. Abu-Lughod.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Harlem, New York City, New York

Robinson, Kathy
Kathy Robinson came to Kentucky from St. Louis, Missouri, in 1983; she accompanied her sister, who was in the military and had been transferred to Paducah. In 1988, Robinson wanted to sell music but recognized the need for a community news outlet, so she created The Kentucky Voice. The event marked the return of a newspaper that focused on the African American community in Paducah. Editor and publisher T. A. Lawrence had published such a paper in the 1920s, as had Pleasant A. Nichols in the late 1800s. The Kentucky Voice newspaper is published monthly, and home delivery is $1 per month. Thomas Bell takes care of the graphic design and production, and the newspaper is produced by the Murray Ledger & Times newspaper. Kathy Robinson is also head of the non-profit "The Genesis House: A Place for New Beginnings," an economic development and resource center. Robinson and her husband also own a beauty supply store, which allows them to continue their ministry. For more contact Kathy Robinson at The Kentucky Voice, 1210 Bernheim Street, Paducah, Kentucky 42001, (270) 210-6874, thekentuckyvoice@hotmail.com.
Subjects: Businesses, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

Rudd, Daniel A.
Birth Year : 1854
Death Year : 1933
Daniel Rudd was born in Bardstown, KY, the son of Robert Rudd and Elizabeth Hayden. In 1884 he established the newspaper Ohio State Tribune, which later became the American Catholic Tribune and moved to Cincinnati, then to Detroit. He helped to establish the Catholic Press Association and the Afro-American Press Association. Rudd also organized annual congresses of African American Catholics to help define the meaning of Roman Catholicism for African Americans. For more see Canaan land: a religious history of African Americans, by A. J. Roboteau; and for a fuller account of Daniel Rudd's life, see his entry by Cyprian Davis in African American Lives by H. L. Gates and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Detroit, Michigan

Scott, Isaiah B.
Birth Year : 1854
Death Year : 1931
Born in Woodford County, KY, Bishop Isaiah B. Scott was the first African American president of Wiley College in Marshall, TX (1893-1896). In 1907 the school received the first Carnegie library west of the Mississippi River. In 1887, Scott had also been the first "Negro Missionary" in Hannibal, MO; Scott Chapel was named in his honor. He was also editor of the Southwestern Christian Advocate in New Orleans (1896-1904). He was elected Bishop for Africa in 1904 and moved to Liberia. He wrote Four Years in Liberia, published in 1908. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; L. Richardson, "Scott Chapel United Methodist Church," a Hannibal Free Public Library (MO) website; and Religion and the Rise of Jim Crow in New Orleans, by J. B. Bennett.

See photo image of Bishop Isaiah B. Scott at the Liberia United Methodist Church website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Woodford County, Kentucky / Marshall, Texas / Hannibal, Missouri / New Orleans, Louisiana / Liberia, Africa

Seal, Catherine
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1930
Seal was born in Hustonville, KY. Although illiterate, she led one of the largest religious cults in the United States, the Church of the Innocent Blood, which was an interracial faith. She believed that women made better leaders. She had thousands of female followers, both black and white, and she focused on caring for unmarried pregnant women. They prayed to the image of a Black Jesus. Seal's ministry was in New Orleans, LA, where her church was built. In 1930, Mother Catherine told her followers that she needed to go home to fight a spirit; she died a few hours after she arrived in Lexington, KY. She was listed as living on Charbonnet Street in New Orleans in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. After Seal's death, Mother Rita took charge as head of the church, temporarily, warning that if the church were sold, then New Orleans would be destroyed by a flood. The property was sold in 1931 because Mother Catherine left no will. There were no unpaid debts or taxes, so the proceeds from the sale went to the Louisiana State Treasury. For more see African-American Religious Leaders, by N. Aaseng; and "Physicking Priestess" in Time, vol. 17, issue 16 (04/20/1931), pp. 63-64.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Hustonville, Lincoln County, Kentucky / New Orleans, Louisiana / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Seymour, William
Birth Year : 1843
Death Year : 1920
William Seymour was born a slave in Kentucky. He and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, were members of the Exodusters Movement: they settled to Ottawa, Kansas, and later moved on to Colorado Springs, Colorado in the latter part of the 1890s. When the family of eight left Kentucky, it included Sorelda Seymour, the mother of William, his wife and five children. All were born in Kentucky. While in Kansas, William and Mary Elizabeth Seymour had three more children, according to the 1885 Kansas State Census. In 1903, William Seymour would become the first African American to serve on a jury in El Paso County, Colorado. A bronze sculpture of Seymour stands on the lawn of the Pioneer Museum, which was the former location of the El Paso County Courthouse. Seymour also helped found the St. John's Baptist Church. According to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the Seymour family lived on Moreno Street in Colorado Springs. For more about Seymour and his descendants, see E. Emery, "Bronze honors golden ideals 1st black to sit on El Paso jury," Denver Post, 03/01/2002, p. B-03.

  See William Seymour statue at the waymarking.com website.
Subjects: Migration West, Nicodemus, Religion & Church Work, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Kansas / Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado

Sheppard, William Henry
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1927
William H. Sheppard was born in Waynesboro, Virginia. He was a devoted Presbyterian whose parents were freed slaves; his father was a barber and his mother managed a women's health bath. Sheppard became a minister, then found a way to go Africa, even though at that time African Americans were not chosen to head African missions. Sheppard was an evangelist who fought to improve the living conditions of Africans. He was also the first American to collect African art. Sheppard referred to himself as "The Black Livingston." In his final years, Sheppard resided in Louisville, KY, where he was a leader in the community as well as pastor of the Grace Hope Presbyterian Church (1912-1927). The Smoketown housing development, Sheppard Square, is named in his honor. William Sheppard was featured during Family Saturday at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY, February 2003. The African art collection included items donated by Sheppard's family. In 2007, William H. Sheppard was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame. For more see M. Larry, "Speed will showcase William Sheppard's life," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 02/14/03; M. Lewis, "Jewel of the Kingdom," Mission Frontiers; and William Sheppard: Congo's African American Livingstone, by W. E. Phipps.

See photo image of William H. Sheppard at the Wikipedia website.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Barbers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Waynesboro, Virginia / Africa / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Simmons Bible College Records and Historical Materials
This archive includes school catalogs, yearbooks, promotional literature, scrapbooks, and photographs, together with minutes and other publications of the school's sponsoring agency, General Association of Kentucky Baptists, formerly the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky. Available at the University of Louisville Libraries' Special Collections. The Finding Aid to the collection is available through the Kentucky Digital Library. See also the Simmons University (Louisville, KY) NKAA entry.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Simpson, Melissa
Birth Year : 1817
Death Year : 1901
Melissa Simpson was the founder of the Rock Valley A.M.E. Church in Clinton, KS. Born in Logan County, KY, she had been a slave. She was taken out west when she was 16 years old and sold to W. H. Bradley in Warrenburg, Johnson County, MO. Simpson was a free woman when she moved to Clinton, Kansas in 1866. She worked as a farm hand on the Petefish Farm in Clinton; Simpson did whatever was required, from making rails to keeping house. She was considered fairly well-off for a married woman and the mother of 10 children, six of whom were still living when Simpson died on July 3, 1901. She had kept her own money and at the time of her death had acquired between six and seven thousand dollars. Melissa Simpson was the wife of Patrick Simpson, who was also born around 1817 in Kentucky. The couple married in 1840 in Missouri. They owned their farm in Clinton, KS. The family is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. For more see "Mrs. Melissa Simpson..," Plaindealer, 07/12/1901, p. 4.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Logan County, Kentucky / Warrenburg, Johnson County, Missouri / Clinton, Kansas

Sissle, George A. and Martha A.
George A. Sissle (1852-1913), born in Lexington, KY, was a prominent minister in Indianapolis at the Simpson M. E. Chapel and in Cleveland at the Cory United Methodist Church, one of the oldest Black churches in the city. He was also an organist and choirmaster. He was the husband of Martha Angeline Sissle (1869-1916), and she too was from Kentucky. She was a school teacher and probation officer. The couple was married in 1888, and were the parents of several children, including composer and jazz musician, Noble Lee Sissle (1889-1975). Martha Sissle was raised by her mother's close friend; her mother had been a slave and could not afford to raise her child. George Sissle's father had been a slave on the Cecil Plantation; he disliked the name Cecil and changed the spelling to Sissle. For more see Slave and Freeman: the autobiography of George L. Knox, by G. L. Knox; The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [online], sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society; A Life in Ragtime by R. Badger; and The Theater of Black Americans, v.1, edited by E. Hill. *The last name is sometimes spelled "Sisle" in the U.S. Federal Census.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Cleveland, Ohio

Smith, Charles Herbert
Birth Year : 1931
The following information comes from the written biography of Reverend Charles H. Smith, provided by Yvonne Giles. Reverend Charles H. Smith, born in Lexington, KY, was recognized by the Herald-Dispatch newspaper as the 6th most influential person of the 20th Century in the Huntington Tri-State area (West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky). Rev. Smith is a graduate of Virginia Union University (BA in English) and the school's Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Religion (Masters of Divinity), and he holds post-graduate certification in Epidemiology in Public Health from the University of Pennsylvania and Executive Management Certification from Harvard University. In 1960, he became pastor of the First Baptist Church in Huntington, WV, and took on the mission of eliminating segregation in Huntington. He was co-founder and executive director of the Tri-State Opportunities Industrialization Center (O.I.C.) in Huntington [employment and training programs], which had an integrated faculty and student body. He was director of the West Virginia Jobs Program. He was co-founder of ACTION, Inc. (A Community to Improve its Neighborhood), which advocated for social and economic justice for the common good of the community. He led his church in establishing Rotary Gardens, a 21-acre low income integrated housing development in Huntington. Rev. Smith was active on many fronts, including serving as chair of the West Virginia State NAACP Life Membership Committee, deputy executive director of the national NAACP, and a member of the board of directors of the national NAACP. Rev. Smith established a seafood business, Fisherman's Wharf, and a catering business that provided food services to child development centers and commercial institutions. A few years after leaving Huntington, Reverend Charles H. Smith and his wife Kimanne I. Core Smith lived in Madison, NJ, where Rev. Smith was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. His publishing company, Jubilee Creations, produced Jubilee Legacy Collection, which traces the spiritual origins of African Americans, from Africa to the 20th Century.

 

Additional information:

Reverend Charles H. Smith, the son of Rev. T. H. and Helen Smith, was a civil rights activist in his hometown of Lexington, KY; he participated in the early sit-ins in downtown Lexington [source: Blackford, Linda B., "Lexington civil rights pioneer credits church for his many successes," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/27/2013, p. A3]. He also helped organize the first chapter of CORE at Shiloh Baptist Church where his father, Rev. T. H. Smith, was pastor for 30 years. CORE meetings were held at Pleasant Green Baptist Church in Lexington. Rev. Charles H. Smith had returned to Lexington in 1955, after his graduation from Virginia Union University and following his brief time as pastor of a church in Philadelphia, PA. In 1960, he left Kentucky for Huntington, WV, where he was pastor of the First Baptist Church and a civil rights activist; he is a member of the West Virginia Hall of Fame. He continues to be remembered for being the eulogist at the funerals of the 13 who died in the 1970 plane crash when most of the Marshall University football team was killed.

 

Rev. Charles H. Smith served as the chair of the NAACP's Board's Committee on Economic Development in 1973 while also serving as pastor of his church in Huntington [source: "NAACP Board selects Illinois leader as successor to Ming," The Crisis, December 1973, pp. 349-350]. The First Baptist Church in Huntington, WV, is located at 801 6th Avenue, and within the building is the Charles H. Smith Fellowship Hall. The Rotary Gardens Housing Complex is located at 65 Smith Drive (also named for Rev. Charles H. Smith) [source: T. Stuck, "First Baptist Church to host youth group reunion," Herald-Dispatch, 08/17/2014, p. 1]. During his tenure at the First Baptist Church in Huntington, "the church was engaged in a grocery store, fish market, restaurant, credit union, low-income housing and state supplemented day care."- - [source: First Baptist Huntington History webpage (link below)]. In 1980, after 20 years as the church pastor, Rev. Smith left the First Baptist Church in Huntington to become Deputy Executive Director of the NAACP [source: "Deputy Executive Director named," The Crisis, June/July 1980, p. 222]. At that time, he was the husband of Lillie Hamilton, from Richmond, VA, and they were the parents of three daughters. In 1983, Rev. Smith was named deputy national political director of the John Glen presidential campaign (OH U.S. Senator, Democrat) [source: "On the move," Black Enterprise, July 1983, p. 76, bottom of column 3]. Throughout his career, Rev. Smith frequently visited the Huntington First Baptist Church for anniversaries and other special occasions, as noted in articles in the Herald-Dispatch. Rev. Smith was pastor at the First Baptist Church in Madison, CT for ten years, serving as interim pastor, having replaced Rev. Johnnie Brewster, who died in 2000, and becoming the permanent pastor in 2002 [S. Capone, "Madison well-wishers say goodbye to Rev. Smith," Madison Eagle, 08/24/2012 - online]. Rev. Smith left the church in 2012 for his new home in Georgia, though he continues to serve as pastor emeritus at the First Baptist Church in Huntington. Rev. Smith is the father of five daughters.

 

 

See photo image and history about the First Baptist Church in Huntington, WV.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Migration East
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Huntington, West Virginia / Wayne and Madison, New Jersy / Georgia

Smith, Elijah Strong
Smith, born in Henderson, KY, was a graduate of State University [later named Simmons College] in Kentucky. He moved to Alabama and was employed at the Union Mutual Aid Association in Mobile; the insurance company was started by C. F. Johnson, one of the wealthiest African American men in Alabama. Union Mutual Aid Association was incorporated in 1898, and had over $170,000 in income in 1913. Elijah Smith excelled within the company and after a short time was a district manager. He would soon become the district manager of the Tuscaloosa area. Smith was also president of the Negro Business Men's League in Tuscaloosa, a delegate to the national league in 1912, and secretary of the state league in 1916. He also held a number of positions within the Tuscaloosa Baptist Church and was president of the District Baptist Young People's Union and an advisory member of the Federation of Colored Women of Alabama. For more see "Elijah Strong Smith" in the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and for more on C. F. Johnson and the Union Mutual Aid Association see vol. 2, p. 208 of The Story of the Negro, by B. T. Washington [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and pp. 1134-1135 in the Annual Report of the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Alabama for year ending December 31, 1913 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Negro Business League, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Mobile and Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Smith, Gerald L.
Birth Year : 1959
Born in Lexington, KY, Gerald L. Smith is a history professor and fomer director of the African American Studies and Research Program at the University of Kentucky (UK). Smith is a three time graduate from UK, having earned bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. He has had more than 30 items published in history journals and reference books. Smith is the author of a number of books, including A Black educator in the segregated South: Kentucky's Rufus B. Atwood and the Black America series title, Lexington, Kentucky. Smith is also an ordained minister. For more see Gerald L. Smith, Ph.D.


Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Smith, James T. "Jimmy"
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1999
James T. Smith, born in Maceo, KY, was a national track athlete in Indiana and was considered by some to be the best black long distance runner in the United States. Smith attended high school in Evanston, IL, and in 1934, became a student at Indiana University. He was not an outstanding track athlete in high school, but he excelled in college. James T. Smith was a member of the four mile relay team and set the national collegiate record by running his leg in 4 minutes and 14 seconds. In 1936, he set the mile record at the Indiana State Intercollegiate Track Meet with a time of 4 minutes and 11 seconds; it was the Indiana collegiate record for 29 years. Smith also won the National Junior A. A. U. Cross Country Championship his freshman year. He was the co-captain of the Indiana University Cross Country Team and was a member of the All-American Cross Country Team. He was selected for the Big Ten All-Star Track Team. In 1938, he broke the Big Ten record for the two mile run. James T. Smith's college track coach was E. C. Hayes. The Achievement Commission of Kappa Alpha Psi awarded James T. Smith the Gold Key for outstanding achievement by an undergraduate member of the fraternity. Smith put himself through college by working at various jobs on and off campus. He was a business major and graduate from Indiana University in 1938. He became a public accountant and was owner of Smith's Big 10 Grocery. His brother Lannie Smith assisted him with his grocery business. James T. Smith was the first president of the black organization the Indy Trade Association. In 1982, he graduated from Christian Theological Seminary and became an associate pastor at the Light of the World Christian Church. In 1998, James T. Smith graduate from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH, with a doctorate of ministry. For more see C. B. Ashanin, "Thankful for the life of Rev. James T. Smith," Indianapolis Star, 12/25/1999, p.A22; J. Cebula, "Ministry born of little sister's suffering," Indianapolis Star, 12/12/1998, p.D8; "Rev. James T. Smith to be honored," Indianapolis Recorder, 05/04/1985, p.10; R. Woods, "Grocers love for people makes successful business," Indianapolis Recorder, 01/15/1966, p.11; see 'Now there is Jimmy Smith...' in the article "World of Sports" by Frank M. Davis in the Plaindealer [Kansas], 05/07/1937, p.3; see 'The Achievement Commission...' in the article "Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity discusses national problems at conclave," Negro Star, 01/15/1937, p.3; "Smith looms out as a formidable candidate for Indiana University track," Indianapolis Recorder, 11/24/1934, p.2; and G. J. Fleming, "After Jimmy graduates, what?," The Crisis, August 1938, v.45, no.8, pp.264 & 277.



*Maceo, Kentucky was settled after the Civil War by former slaves, according to author Robert M. Rennick. The land was provided by the freedmen's former owners. One of the earlier names of the community was Powers Station in honor of Colonel J. D. Powers of Owensboro. In 1897, the community was renamed Maceo for Capt. Alonzo Maceo who was a Cuban mulatto killed during the Cuban revolt against Spain. Source: Kentucky Place Names by R. M. Rennick, p.183.

Subjects: Businesses, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Communities, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Maceo, Daviess County, Kentucky / Evanston, Illinois / Indianapolis, Indiana

Smith, Kevin L.
Birth Year : 1967
Kevin L. Smith is the pastor of the Watson Memorial Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. In 2006, during the Kentucky Baptist Convention, Bill Henard nominated Smith for vice president, and Smith won the election. It was thought to be the second time that an African American was elected as a state convention officer. Smith is an assistant professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. For more see T. Henderson, "Ky. Baptists pick young leaders for top offices, celebrate giving," Associated Baptist Press Archives (11/20/2006).

See photo image of Rev. Kevin L. Smith at the Watson Memorial Baptist Church website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Smith, S. E.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1907
Born in Barren County, KY, Rev. S. E. Smith had lived in Owensboro, KY. He was a minister and a civil rights activist. He spoke out against the Separate Coach Act in Kentucky. In 1886, he was one of the spokesmen who appeared before the Kentucky Senate demanding just laws for African Americans. He was a trustee of State University [later named Simmons University]. Smith was a delegate to the National Republican Convention over a period of 16 years. He was author of History of the Anti-Separate Coach Movement in Kentucky [full-text available online at Kentucky Digital Library]. Kentucky Governor Bradley appointed Rev. Smith as the Kentucky representative at the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897. Rev. Smith was the National Grand Secretary of the Order of Samaritans. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lexington, KY, and just prior to his death, he had accepted the position as pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Columbus,OH. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; S. E. Smith in Chapter 12 of The Reformed Reader [available online]; and "Noted colored man dies," The Washington Post, 08/08/1907.


See photo of Rev. S. E. Smith on p. 295 in Sermons, Addresses and Reminiscences and Important Correspondence, by E. C. Morris, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

Smith, Thomas J.
Birth Year : 1871
Smith was born in Ballard County, KY. He was principal at the Colored high school in Versailles, KY (1896-1917) while serving as a pastor in Dayton, OH. He was also pastor at Zion Baptist Church in Paris, KY (1912-1917). Smith served as historian for the Kentucky State Teachers Association (1900-1917). He wrote The Boy Problem in Church, School, and Home, published by State Normal Press in 1903. African American men within the Baptist denomination made it their mission to better guide African American boys and young men for the sake of the race as a whole. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and A. M. Hornsby, "The Boy problem: North Carolina race men groom the next generation: 1900-1930," The Journal of Negro History, vol.86, issue 3 (Summer, 2001), pp.276-304.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Ballard County, Kentucky / Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

South Union, KY - Shakers, Slaves, and Freemen
Start Year : 1807
South Union, located in Auburn, KY, was the southernmost Shaker Community during the War of 1812. It was founded in 1807 and closed in 1922. The community was known as Gasper River until 1813 when it was renamed South Union. According to the thesis of Ryan L. Fletcher, in 1812, Willie Jones, from Halifax, NC, wanted to bring 107 of his slaves to South Union to receive the gospel. There were already slaves at South Union who belonged to Shaker Believers. It had not been easy to convert the slaves into Believers. They were referred to as the Black Family and were segregated from the remaining members. The thought of adding Willie Jones' slaves was not immediately embraced. It was decided that Jones' slaves would either willingly convert to Shakers and move to South Union, or they would remain slaves in North Carolina. Either way, they would still be slaves. Four of the slaves converted and the remainder were sold with none of the profits going to the South Union Shakers; they refused to have anything to do with the money. Willie Jones and his four slaves joined South Union, until Jones was accused of being a backslider and he left, taking his four slaves with him. Jones' downfall was attributed to slavery and the inequality that came with it. Shaker Believers supposedly followed a doctrine of egalitarianism, and slavery was causing disunion in South Union. In 1817, there was a protest referred to as a Shaker slave revolt. The revolt was nonviolent, it was led by African American Elder Neptune. The slaves wanted their freedom and equality, as was professed in the Shaker gospel. They began leaving South Union and re-establishing themselves in Bowling Green, KY. Elder Neptune soon joined them. Owners attempted to regain their slaves without legal or violent means, it was the Shaker way. Elder Neptune returned to South Union and in 1819, the ministry advised slave owners to emancipate their slaves. By the 1830s, all slaves at South Union had been emancipated. Many of the former slaves, including Elder Neptune, left the community and were captured and sold back into slavery; their emancipation in South Union was not recognized beyond the community. For more see "Does God See This?" Shakers, Slavery and the South by R. L. Fletcher (thesis); By Their Fruits by J. Neal; Shaker Papers, Shakers 1769-1893; and visit Shaker Museum at South Union.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Religion & Church Work, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: South Union, Auburn, Logan County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Spurgeon, Samuel J. W.
Birth Year : 1861
Spurgeon, who came to Kentucky from Tennessee, was the minister at Mt. Sterling, KY, Christian Church, then later relocated to the Constitution Street Christian Church in Lexington, KY. Spurgeon founded and edited the Christian Worker and was a correspondent for other journals. He was also a contributing editor of The Messenger, a weekly published in Lexington. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

St. Augustine Church (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1870
The first African American Catholics were slaves who arrived in Kentucky with the settlers from Maryland in 1785. In 1869, Father John L. Spalding was appointed to organize African American Catholics in Louisville, KY. Worship was held in the burial crypt in the basement of the Cathedral of the Assumption. By 1870, Father Spalding had raised enough money for the building of a new church, St. Augustine, on Broadway between Fourteenth and Fifteenth Streets. St. Augustine is the oldest African American Catholic church in Louisville; when it opened in 1870, it was one of six in the United States. St. Augustine School opened in 1921; the name later changed to Catholic Colored High School and then changed again to Catholic High in the 1940s. The present St. Augustine Church, dedicated in 1912, is located at 1310 W. Broadway. For more see Centennial 1870-1970: St. Augustine Church, 1310 Broadway, Louisville; B. Pike, "Long-closed school not forgotten," The Courier-Journal, 02/28/99; and S. Edelen, "Looking Back; 135-year-old St. Augustine plans museum,"The Courier-Journal, 01/26/05.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Maryland

St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church (Cynthiana, KY)
Start Year : 1852
According to an article by Marilyn Wash in the Harrison Heritage News, the St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church was already established when the first house of worship was built in 1852 on Pleasant Street in Cynthiana, KY. In 1854, abolitionist Minister R. A. Graham from Ohio spoke to the congregation of free persons and slaves during an evening service. Graham was accused of keeping the slaves out too late with his talk of escape and finding freedom in Ohio. The following day, Graham was ordered out of Kentucky. He refused to leave until his tractor was sold; the tractor was the initial reason given for his visit to Cynthiana. When Graham attempted to ride a horse over into the next county (Bourbon County) he was attacked by a mob of slaveholders and chased through the streets until he was finally placed in the Harrison County jail for his own protection. The following day, he was to be escorted to the train station for his exit from Kentucky. A few members of the mob got to Graham while he was in jail and blackened his face with lunar caustic. After Graham's departure, services at the African Methodist Church continued. One of the early pastors was Rev. Levi Evans, who led the building of the present St. James AME Church structure beginning in 1872. Evans, a leader in the AME Church, was a free man (not a slave) who had been a trustee of the Fourth Street Colored Methodist Church in Louisville, KY, in the 1840s. He also dug the first shovels of dirt for the foundation of Quinn Chapel in Louisville. Evans was at St. James for a brief period and continued the work that had begun when the first pastor arrived around 1865. The St. James AME Church is one of the oldest African American Churches in Harrison County. For more see M. Wash, "St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) - 153 years in Cynthiana," Harrison Heritage News, vol. 6, issue 2, February 2005; the Black Methodist Churches section of "African-American life in Cynthiana - 1870-1940," Harrison Heritage News, vol. 5, issue 2, February 2004; History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson; and "Slaveholders mob," Frederick Douglass' Paper, 09/15/1854, p.3.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky

St. Paul United Methodist Church (Paris, KY)
Located at 1117 High Street in Paris, KY, it is thought to be the oldest African American Methodist church in Kentucky, the building having been constructed some time between 1870 and 1876. For more information contact the Paris Bourbon County Tourism Commission.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Stafford, Frank
Birth Year : 1937
Stafford, a retired coal miner, is the mayor of Mortons Gap, KY. As of 2008, he has been mayor for 18 years, which is longer than any current mayor in Hopkins County. He was initially an appointed interim mayor, fulfilling the unexpired term of the previous mayor who stepped down due to controversy. Stafford then ran against the previous mayor's brother, in 1991, and was elected [only 4% of Mortons Gap residents are African American]. Stafford is also a pastor at Lively Stone Church in Nortonville, KY. For more see A. Cross, "Rural Democrats think Obama can win state," Courier-Journal, 06/08/2008, Forum section, p. 3H.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Mayors
Geographic Region: Mortons Gap and Nortonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Stephens, Fred E.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1985
Fred E. Stephens was the first African American Chaplain of the first African American service unit in the Air Corps [today the Air Force] of the U.S. Army. Prior to WWII there were no African Americans in the Air Corps. In 1943, Stephens was one of 22 African American, commissioned, graduates from the 9th class of the Army Chaplain School of Harvard University [more information]. The first class had graduated in August of 1942. Fred E. Stephens was born in Tatesville [Tateville], KY, the son of Sandy and Bertha A. Davis Stephens. According to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Sandy was a farmer, Bertha was a farmhand, and the family lived in Patesville, Hancock County, KY. They later moved to Evansville, IN, were Fred Stephens graduated from high school. He earned his A.B. from Indiana University in 1932, and his LL.D. from Shorter College in 1942. He was pastor of AME churches in Atlanta, GA; Tucson, AZ; and Columbia, MO. He was a member of the NAACP national board and general chairman of the branch in Kansas City, MO. He was a member of the YMCA, the Masons, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and was vice president of the Young Democratic League. He was also the author of newspaper and journal articles, and was a radio announcer in Arizona and Missouri. In the late 1950s, Stephens served as pastor of the Bethel AME Church in Kansas City, MO. In the 1970s, Stephens was pastor of the first AME Church in Los Angeles; in 1975 he married Ralph Russell and Debraca Denise Foxx, daughter of comedian and actor Redd Foxx. Rev. Fred E. Stephens died in Los Angeles, April of 1985. For more see Chaplain Fred E. Stephens in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; P. D. Davis, "22 receive commission as Chaplain," Plaindealer, 07/09/1943, p.5; and Rev. Fred Stephens in photograph on p.203 in The Crisis, April 1958 [available online at Google Book Search], and p.361 in The Crisis, Jun-Jul 1958 [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Radio, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Tatesville [probably Tateville], Pulaski County, Kentucky / Patesville, Hancock County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana / Kansas City, Missouri / Los Angeles, California

Stone, Lee Owen
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1977
Stone was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Walter and Lillace Peasons Stone. He was a 1936 graduate of Bishop Payne Divinity [merged with Virginia Theological Seminary in 1949], and a 1944 graduate of Lewis and Clark College. Stone taught at the Kentucky House of Reform before leaving Kentucky for Portland, OR, where he spent the rest of his career as Vicar of St. Philips Episcopal Church. Stone was a leader of the Portland African American community; in 1942 he called for Union Reform during WWII. He was a board member of the Portland Urban League, the Portland Council of Social Agencies, and the Portland U.S.O. The Lee Owen Stone Cooperative Preschool was named in his honor. Lee Owen Stone is buried in the Rose City Cemetery in Portland Oregon. For more see "Lee Owen Stone" in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers by E. L. Williams; "Biography-Rev. Lee Owen Stone," Vertical File, Oregon Historical Society Research Library; "Church-Episcopal-Portland-St. Phillip the Deacon," Vertical File, Oregon Historical Society Research Library; and Lee Owen Stone's obituary in The Oregonian, 03/11/1977, p.A13.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Portland, Oregon

Stone-Campbell Movement in Kentucky
Start Year : 1800
Also referred to as the Restoration Movement, the Stone-Campbell Movement began in the early 1800s. The name refers to Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell, two leading figures of independent movements which were merged. As a result of the merger, a new way of preaching and teaching developed. The roots of the movement were planted at The Great Revival held at Cane Ridge (Bourbon County), KY, in 1801. African Americans, most of them slaves, were among the thousands who attend the revival. Samuel Buckner, a slave and a preacher, was a member of the Cane Ridge Church; he was ordained in 1855. The first African American congregation in the movement was the Colored Christian Church in Midway, KY (1834), followed by Hancock Hill Church in Louisville, KY (1850s), and Little Rock Christian Church in Bourbon County (1861). The College of Scriptures was established in Louisville in 1945, providing correspondence course work for African Americans not allowed to attend the school. The school was located in Louisville because "this location was considered not too far North and not too far from its primary constituents, would-be preachers for African American congregations." In 1971, Walter D. Bingham was elected moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) by the General Assembly meeting in Louisville. Bingham was the first African American Disciple named to the post. For more see In Other Words... Stories of African-American Involvement in the Early Years of the Stone-Campbell Movement in Kentucky, by M. A. Fields and S. B. Fields; and The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, edited by D. A. Foster, P. M. Blowers, A. L. Dunnavant, and D. N. Williams [quotation taken from p. 227].
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Cane Ridge and Little Rock, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Sunday School Unions (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1861
In the early 1850s, several of the African American churches in Louisville, KY, joined together to form a singing school for children. The classes were alternated among the various churches on Sunday afternoons. The school was well received: an overwhelming number of parents and children attended the sessions. The school, led by W. H. Gibson, Sr., continued until the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. For more see History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Suter Brothers, Barbers
Start Year : 1871
End Year : 1908
Andrew and Richard Suter were born near Midway, KY, two of at least eight children born to Charles and Winnie Suter. Prior to becoming a businessman, Andrew Suter (b. 1847) served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He returned to Midway, KY, and in 1870 married Kentucky native Ellen P. Clark (1857-1918 [source: Still Voices Yet Speak]). Also in 1870, Andrew Suter had an account with the Freedman's Bank in Lexington [source: Freedman's Bank Records], and the following year he became a barber in Lexington, KY, staying in business for 37 years. For a few of those years, Andrew and his brother, Richard Suter (b. 1842), were in business together, "S., R. & A.," and their shop was located in the basement at 2 S. Upper Street [source: Prather's Lexington City Directory 1875 and 1876]. By 1878, Andrew Suter and William Anderson were in business together as "Suter and Anderson"; the barber shop was located on the corner of Upper and Main Streets [source: R. C. Hellrigle and Co.'s Lexington City Directory 1877-78]. Richard Suter, who was also a chiropodist (foot doctor), was doing business on his own and in 1882 was a barber in the Phoenix Hotel [source: William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82]. "Suter and Anderson" continued to thrive within the barbering business. Andrew Suter had a Colored servant, Amy Ferguson, who was employed at his home [source: William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82]. By 1898, "Suter and Anderson" had several other employees: William Anderson Jr., Clarence Suter (Andrew's son), Henry Dupee, and Churchill Johnson. During the same period, Richard Suter and McCagih Robinson had a barbering business, "Suter and Robinson," in the basement of a building at the corner of Main and Limestone Streets [source: Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory 1898-9]. In addition to being a barber, Andrew Suter was a member of the Colored First Baptist Church in Lexington. He was re-elected treasurer of the church in June of 1904, at which time he had been treasurer for 27 years. Suter was dedicated to his duties, and in August of 1904, when the church split, he refused to recognize the departing members' vote to make him their treasurer. Andrew Suter was also a mason,  treasurer of Mt. Carmel Chapter No. 3 R A M, and treasurer of Bethany Comandery No. 2 [source: Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory 1898-9]. Andrew, Richard, and Clarence B. Suter are all buried in African Cemetery No. 2 according to their death certificates, and Ellen Suter is also buried there, according to the book Still Voices Yet Speak. Andrew Suter died of heart disease on July 29, 1908. He and his family had lived at 916 Lexington Avenue. His son, Clarence B. Suter, died of Bright's Disease on January 26, 1904, and his brother, Richard Suter, died of pneumonia on April 10, 1913. Andrew Suter's daughter, Katie Suter Miller, was born in 1877 and died May 28, 1929, and was also buried in African Cemetery No. 2. For more see "Andrew Suter," Lexington Leader, 07/29/1908, p. 7; and "Andrew Suter's position," Daily Leader, 08/14/1904. For more about the Suter family members buried in African Cemetery No. 2, see Still Voices Yet Speak, by Y. Giles.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Talbert, Horace
Birth Year : 1853
Death Year : 1910
Horace Talbert, an AME minister, was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Jane E. Dory Talbert and William Talbert. He was the husband of Sarah F. Black, born 1859 in Washington, D. C., and they had 14 children. Talbert was assigned to a number of churches in Kentucky and in other states. He edited and managed the African Watchman; served as secretary and financial officer of Wilberforce University, beginning in 1897; and was part owner of Talbert Specialty Company, a mail order house. He was the author of The Sons of Allen [available online at Documenting the American South]. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915The Autobiography of William Sanders Scarborough: an American journey from slavery to scholarship by W. S. Scarborough, p. 361; and Rev. Horace Talbert in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.

  See photo image of Horace Talbert at the "Documenting the American South" website.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Wilberforce, Ohio

Taylor, Bartlett
Birth Year : 1815
Taylor, a slave born in Henderson County, KY, was the son of a slave woman and her owner, Jonathan Taylor. Both of Bartlett Taylor's parents had come to Kentucky from Virginia. When he was a small child, the sheriff withdrew a portion of the slaves as payment toward Jonathan Taylor's financial debts. Included in the roundup were Bartlett Taylor's mother, her baby, and her four oldest sons. Jonathan Taylor left Henderson County and settled in LaGrange, KY. He had brought with him his remaining slaves, which included Bartlett and his sisters, all of whom were eventually sold as payment for more of Jonathan Taylor's debts. Bartlett hired himself out in Louisville, KY, with the intention of purchasing his freedom. He was sold, but he managed to get his emancipation papers with the promise of payment; Bartlett finalized the payment in 1840. He learned to read and write and also became a butcher. Bartlett owned a retail and wholesale business that packaged and shipped meat and traded and shipped livestock. He became a fairly wealthy man who owned several homes and lots on East Market Street in Louisville. He was also an African Methodist Episcopal [AME] Church minister who contributed financially toward the founding and building of churches. Bartlett Taylor was considered the church builder of the Kentucky AME Conference. In 1872, he built the largest AME Church in the state in Bowling Green, KY. In 1881, while a pastor in Shelbyville, KY, he negotiated with the city for a permit, then paid for a school building for African American children and the employment of teachers. Bartlett Taylor also served as treasurer of Wilberforce University beginning in 1864 and was a trustee for sixteen years. Bartlett Taylor and his wife, Marian [Mary] Taylor (b. 1826 in Indiana) are listed as living in Louisville in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see the Bartlett Taylor entry in the following sources: Afro-American Encyclopedia; History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson; and Men of Mark, by W. J. Simmons.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Henderson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky

Taylor, Marshall W. (Boyd)
Birth Year : 1846
Death Year : 1887
Born in Lexington, KY, Marshall W. Boyd was educated by private teachers and at private schools. (He later changed his last name to Taylor.) He organized the first school for African Americans in Hardinsburg, KY, in 1866, and armed himself in an effort to keep the school open; the school was bombed on Christmas Day, December 25, 1867. The following year, Taylor was elected president of the Negro Educational Convention, which was held in Owensboro, KY. He was licensed to preach in 1869 and was also a lawyer with the Kirkland and Barr law firm in Louisville, KY. Taylor edited the Southwestern Christian Advocate. He is most remembered for compiling the early African American hymnal, Collection of Revival Hymns and Plantation Melodies (1882). He was also author of Handbook for Schools and The Negro in Methodism. According to his entry in Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography, volume 4, Taylor died September 11, 1887 in Louisville, KY. Taylor was the grandfather of jazz saxophonist Sam Rivers (1923-2011). For more see History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880, by G. W. Williams [available full view at Google Book Search]; Out of Sight: the Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895, by L. Abbott and D. Seroff; and Forty Years in the Lap of Methodism: history of Lexington Conference of Methodist Episcopal Church, by W. H. Riley.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Taylor, Preston
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1931
Preston Taylor was born in Louisiana; his parents, Zed and Betty Taylor, were slaves who moved (or were brought) to Kentucky a year after he was born. In 1864 Preston Taylor enlisted in the army. After his service years, he went to Louisville, KY, where he was employed in the marble yards. He later became a pastor at the Christian Church in Mt. Sterling, KY. He was chosen as the General Evangelist of the United States by his denomination. Though African Americans had been excluded from Reconstruction efforts, Taylor was able to secure a contract to build sections of the Big Sandy Railway from Mt. Sterling to Richmond, Virginia. He also purchased property in New Castle, KY, where he established the Christian Bible College. Around 1884 Taylor moved to Nashville, TN, where he was one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the city. For more see Preston Taylor (1849-1931), by the Tennessee State Library; "Elder Preston Taylor, co-founder. First Treasurer, One Cent Savings Bank and Trust Company," The Tennessee Tribune, 04/22-28/2004, p. 2D; and "The Athens of the South: pen picture of the life of Rev. Preston Taylor," Freeman, 07/04/1896, p.1.

  See photo image of Preston Taylor at "Anniversary Edition: House Divided," a Dickinson College website.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Louisiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / New Castle, Henry County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Terrell, Alexander C.
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1922
Rev. A. C. Terrell was a leader within the Kansas District of the Nebraska Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), he was presiding elder just prior to his death. Terrell was born in Ballard County, KY, and had attended Northwestern University. He was licensed to preach in 1876 and joined the Missouri Conference in 1879. He was consider an authority on the history, law, and doctrine of the AME Church. He was also a member and officer of the Knights of Tabor and Daughters of the Tabernacle of Twelve of Kansas and Nebraska. Terrell was the husband of Laura Graves, the couple married in 1869. For more see "The Grand Lodge," The Fair Play, 07/22/1898, p.1; and "Minister of the gospel 46 years - funeral Wednesday largely attended - was presiding elder," Afro-American Advocate, 04/21/1922, p.1.
Subjects: Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Ballard County, Kentucky / Kansas / Missouri

Tri-City Messengers
Start Year : 1999
Tri-City Messengers is a six part a capella gospel group from the Benham-Lynch, KY, coal mining area. All but one of the men are retired coal miners. The members are Roy Wilson, Alfonson Sims, George Massey, Bennie Massie, Sanford Baskin, and Willis Bates. For more about the group see the DVD, A Beautiful Sound, by Pigeon Pie Films; and the group's performances on Rhythm of My Soul, a PBS Home Video, and More Than Music, by the Kentucky Historical Society.

Access Interview Listen to the Tri-City Messengers perform during the Berea Celebration of Traditional Music in 2002, a Berea Digital Content website. 
Subjects: Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Benham and Lynch , Harlan County, Kentucky

Tucker, Charles Ewbank
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1975
Charles Ewbank Tucker was a lawyer, a civil rights advocate, and a leader in the AMEZ Church. He also was co-editor of The Herald Tribune, a Louisville newspaper with co-editors William Warley and Huron Clark [source: The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan, p.528]. Tucker led early civil rights demonstrations and sit-ins in Louisville, KY, in the 1940s through the 1960s. Tucker also delivered the benediction at Nixon's Inauguration (1960). He was the husband of Rev. Amelia M. Tucker. Charles E. Tucker was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Olivia and William Tucker. The family lived in Jamaica. He was a 1913 graduate of Beckford and Smith's school in Jamaica and a 1917 graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He was the pastor of the Stoner Memorial AMEZ Church [at 1127 West Oak Street] in Louisville and completed the Kentucky Bar Exam in 1929. His son, Neville Tucker, was also a lawyer in Louisville. Charles E. Tucker became a bishop in 1956. He was a Republican. For more see Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright; and the Charles Ewbank Tucker biography in The Last Public Execution in America, by P. T. Ryan.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Baltimore, Maryland / Jamaica / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Turner, Roxy
Birth Year : 1856
Death Year : 1901
Sister Roxy Turner, born in Madison County, KY, was the founder and head of the Power Church, also referred to as the Power Society. She founded the church around 1891 based on the belief that all faithful worshipers in the service of God would receive a mysterious power from heaven, and that there were seven steps toward acquiring the supreme power that would allow you to converse with the dead. There were congregations in Lexington, Cadentown, Warrentown, Brucetown, all in Fayette County, and in Nicholasville, Winchester, and Louisville. The churches were said to have a combined total of 1,000 or more members. The church sermons could last for days and they would sometimes get loud and the police were called. There was also a court case due to the dispute between the Powers and the Methodists concerning damages to the church in Cadentown during services held at the church by the Powers. The church in Lexington was located at the corner of Warnock and Constitution Streets, and there was a membership of 120 persons. Sister Roxy Turner was a large woman who stood about 6'2" tall. She claimed to have the power to heal the sick and to communicate with the dead. She was the wife of James Turner, they married in 1876, and she was the mother of Rolly Turner [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. The family lived on Race Street and James Turner was a farm laborer. No occupation was listed in the census for Roxy Turner or her son who was also a preacher in the Power Church. Roxy Turner died February 24, 1901, her funeral arrangements were handled by Porter and Jackson, and she is buried in African Cemetery #2 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death #5034]. For more see "Head of a church is dead," The Atlanta Constitution, 02/27/1901; "Queer believers," The Evening Herald [Syracuse, NY], 10/01/1898; and "The Seven Powers," The Hartford Herald, 10/18/1896, p.4.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Lexington, Cadentown, Warrentown, Brucetown, all in Fayette County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Vertrees, Peter
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1926
Peter Vertrees was born in Edmonson County, KY, his mother Mary E. Skaggs, was white, and his father, Rev. Booker Harding was the mulatto son of Jacob Vertrees. Peter Vertrees was raised by his grandfather Jacob Vertrees and his wife Catherine. Peter Vertrees served with the Confederate Army in the 6th Kentucky Calvary during the Civil War; he was a servant to his uncle, J. L. Vertrees, an enlistee who was white and a physician. Peter Vertrees left Kentucky to live with his uncle Judge J. C. Vertrees in Tennessee. He would become one of the first students to attend Roger Williams University. He would become a teacher and a preacher, and a respected community leader in Sumner County, TN. In 1880, he was a 31 year old widower living in Gallatin, according to the U.S. Federal Census; his wife, Amanda L. Dowell, had died in 1872. He had next married Sarah Head and the couple had three sons. In 1901 he married Diora Wylie (b.1875 in TN), according to their Marriage Bond, and the couple had three children, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. They would later have two more children. Peter Vertrees was principal of the South Gallatin School, and for 60 years he served as pastor of the First Baptist Church. He was actually pastor of more than one church, and was president of two benevolent societies that helped pay for medical assistance and burials. He opened schools for African Americans within the churches where he was pastor. He founded the East Fork Missionary Baptist Association with 28 churches in Tennessee. A historical maker honoring Peter Vertrees was placed at the corner of South Water and Bledsoe Streets in Sumner County, TN. For more see the Negro Baptist History, 1750-1930 by L. G. Jordan; and Peter Vertrees, by Dessislava Yankova at the rootsweb.ancestry.com website.


Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Edmonson County, Kentucky / Gallatin, Sumner County, Tennessee

Vinegar, Alexander C. "Peter"
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1905
Alexander C. "Peter" Vinegar is believed to have been born free in Midway, KY. Peter came to Lexington, KY, after the Civil War and was made pastor of the Main Street Colored Baptist Church, where he remained for 20 years before leaving to preach in other locations. In later years he had no church but would preach every Sunday in the Lexington courthouse yard, in front of the Phoenix Hotel, or other parts of town. Huge crowds of both whites and blacks would gather to hear him speak. He also held revivals in surrounding counties. He was remembered for his sermons: "When Gabriel Blow Dat Ho'n," "Kill Old Speck," "Hold Dat Tiger," and "Down Where de Columbine Twineth, and de Whangdoodle Moaneth for Its Mate." Peter Vinegar is buried in the 7th Street Colored Cemetery No. 2 in Lexington. For more see P. B. Estes,"The Reverend Peter Vinegar, Southern Folklore Quarterly, vol. 23, issue 4, pp. 239-252.

See photo image of Alexander C. "Peter" Vinegar in Explore UK.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Walker, Maymie Baker
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1951
Walker, an educator and evangelist, was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Albert and Bettie Mitchell Walker. She was a graduate of State University [Simmons College in KY], and was later principal of the business school at Eckstein Norton University, and dean of women at Albion Academy in Franklinton, NC. She was licensed as a missionary evangelist. Walker was also employed in social services. She was a member of Israel Beard Circle No.12, and she had served as chaplain of the Kentucky Council of the Ladies of the GAR and the USO. For more see Mrs. Maymie Baker Walker in  The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Franklinton, North Carolina

Walker, Thomas Vaughn
Birth Year : 1950
Walker, born in Heathsville, Virginia, is the oldest son of the late Thomas and Mary Walker. He is a minister, an educator at the college and secondary school levels, and a community leader. He was the first African American appointed to a regular professorship in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1986 when Walker became a faculty member at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Now a tenured professor, Walker oversees both the Doctor of Ministry program in Black Church Leadership and the Ph.D. program in Black Church Studies. Since 1984, he has also been the Senior Pastor of the First Gethsemane Baptist Church in Louisville. The church, founded in 1910, has grown in membership, missions outreach, and vision; it was chosen as one of the 13 congregations included in Dr. Thom Rainer's research and the resulting 2005 book titled Breakout Churches. Walker has been an active member of a number of community organizations and overseas missions in countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Israel, Jordan, Germany, and the Bahamas. Walker has written a number of journal articles and his book chapters include the co-authored work "Minorities and Spirituality" in the title Becoming Christian by B. Leonard. Walker is a 1972 graduate of Hampton University; he earned a M.S. from Eastern Illinois University and a M.Div/C.E. at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and he earned his Ph.D. from Oregon State University. Vaughn Walker Way, a street in Louisville, was named in his honor. In 2000, he received both the Community Service Reconciliation Award, and the Heritage Award, Black Church Development Divisions. In 2006, Walker was recognized by the Kentucky Senate [SR 209]. This entry was submitted by Cheryl Walker, wife of Dr. T. Vaughn Walker. Additional information is used with permission from the vita of Dr. T. Vaughn Walker.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Heathsville, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wallace, Bonnie Goddard and Theodore "Cal" Sr.
Activist Theodore Calvin Wallace, Sr. (1914-1987) was a pioneer in radio and television in Lexington, Kentucky. He was born in Patton, AL, the son of Eula Wallace Williams (b.1898 in AL) and the stepson of Allen "Baby Bush" Williams (b.1883 in MS). According to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Allen Williams was a coal miner in Parrish, AL. The family of four lived on Jasper Road. Theodore Calvin Wallace was known as Cal. He grew up in Parrish, AL, and later came to Kentucky to work in the coal mines in Harlan. While in Harlan, he met his future wife, Bonnie J. Goddard (1920-2002), the daughter of Lee D. (b.1875 in KY) and Edward Goddard (b.1864 in TN). Ed Goddard was a circuit-ridding preacher of the Christian Church/Church of Christ. Bonnie Goddard was born in Harlan, KY. She and her husband left Kentucky for West Virginia and Virginia, where Cal Wallace worked in the coal mines. He eventually left the coal mines and moved his family to Cincinnati, OH, where he had various jobs and also worked for a radio station. He was sometimes on the air at WZIP in Covington, KY, and was one of the first two African American disc jockeys (DJs) in the state. [The other was Ernie Waits.] Cal Wallace moved his family to Lexington, KY in 1954, and they all lived in the home purchased on Whitney Avenue in the Forest Hill area. The school-age children attended Booker T. Washington School. Cal Wallace had come to Lexington the year before his family arrived; he was employed as a DJ with WLEX Radio (AM). He was a DJ at night and sold accounts [air time] during the day. The radio station had another African American employee named Nancy Webb, she had a half-hour program called "Webb Presents." When WLEX expanded to television, Cal Wallace had a weekend program, he was on the air live and showed films. He was the first African American to have a program on television in Lexington, KY. Cal Wallace was also in accounts at WLAP Radio (AM), and it was there that he came up with the idea of developing the commercial station WLAP FM. He then went to a local store named Barney Miller's and ordered a truck load of FM radios, and gave them to people in the community, because most of his potential audience members had only AM radios. WLAP FM, with Cal Wallace as general manager, proved to be a hit. Several of Cal Wallace's sons and his wife were on the air. Bonnie Wallace had a popular program called "The Sweet Chariot." The station also had a DJ contest for teenagers, and two of the winners were Sam Jones and Raymond Ross, both of whom would become successful broadcasters. Cal Wallace was the first African American to manage a radio station in Lexington. He also established The Lexington Chronicle newspaper in the 1960s, and the entire family helped to publish each issue. The newspaper was a free publication made available to the African American community. The newspaper was published for about five years. In 1978, Cal Wallace's sons, Edgar and Bernard, resurrected the newspaper with the new title Bluegrass Chronicle. In 1963, Cal Wallace ran unsuccessfully for the Kentucky House of Representatives. His son Edgar Wallace would become a Lexington City Council Member, and his son, Theodore (Ted) Calvin Wallace, Jr. was a House Member of the Michigan Legislature for four terms and he also served as judge of the 36th District Court for seven years. The leadership role of their father extended into the community; Cal Wallace served as director of the Lexington Community Action organization, and he worked with Micro City Government. Cal Wallace was also a minister, he was pastor at Prall Street Church of Christ in Lexington. The church was founded by Cal and Bonnie Wallace, and began as a Bible class in their living room. Today, the church is located on Russell Cave Road. Cal Wallace would become a bishop and overseer in the Church of Christ, he was over seven churches that were located in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Cincinnati, OH, and Lexington and Harlan, KY. Cal Wallace's communication skills had been well groomed when he was a high school student in Alabama where he also competed in oratorical contests. He attended Lincoln Normal School for Colored Students [today Alabama State University], then returned to his high school as a teacher and he coached the football team. For additional information listen to the Edgar Wallace interview [info.], and the Thomas C. Wallace interview [info.]; see "Fayette radio pioneer 'Cal' Wallace dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/04/1987, p.C7; and "Bonnie G. Wallace, ex-DJ at WLAP, 81" Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/23/2002, p.C4. See also the NKAA entries for Thomas C. Wallace, Ted Wallace, and Leula Wallace Hall.

Access Interview Read about the Theodore Calvin Wallace, Sr. oral history interviews available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Radio, Religion & Church Work, Television
Geographic Region: Patton, Alabama / Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky / West Virginia / Virginia / Cincinnati, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Wallace, Thomas Cicero "Little Bee"
Birth Year : 1943
Thomas C. Wallace was an extremely popular and successful radio personality in Lexington, KY for ten years. He was a disc jockey [DJ] known as "Little Bee." He was voted the number one night time DJ in Lexington. Many remember him for his rhythm and rhyming, and he is often referred to as an early and original rapper. "You and me and Little Bee on WLAP," the "Little Bee" program, went on the air at WLAP FM in 1964 and ended in 1974. The format was the first urban contemporary [soul music] program in Lexington. The targeted audience included African Americans in Lexington and surrounding counties, and there were thousands of faithful followers. WLAP FM was managed by Theodore "Cal" Wallace, Sr., the father of Thomas C. Wallace. For many of the former audience members, the "Little Bee Show" is aligned with memories of the civil rights era of activism in Lexington, along with the broadcasts of Alex Williams. But at the time, the program was not considered a civil rights show, according to Thomas C. Wallace. "I was just a Black DJ on a Black station where young folk could tune in and hear Black music." In 1974, Thomas C. Wallace left radio to go into the ministry. He is a bishop in the Church of Christ, sharing the duties with his brother: they are over five of the churches that their father oversaw during his tenure as a bishop. Thomas C. Wallace is also pastor of the New Birth Church of Christ, Christian Ministries, Inc., located on Russell Cave Road in Lexington, KY. He was born in Virginia, the fourth child of the late Bonnie Goddard Wallace and Theodore C. Wallace, Sr. For more information listen to the three Cal Wallace interviews [info.], and the Edgar Wallace interview [info.]; and see "WLAP-AM History" website by Scott Willis. See also the NKAA entries for Ted Wallace and Leula Wallace Hall.

  See photo image of Rev. Thomas C. Wallace and other church pictures at the Facebook page for New Birth Church of Christ, Christian Ministries, Inc.

Access Interview Read about the Thomas C. Wallace oral history interview available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Radio, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Walters, Alexander
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1917
Alexander Walters was born at the Donahoe Hotel in Bardstown, KY, the sixth child of Henry Walters and Harriet Mathews, both of whom were slaves. He was the husband of Katie Knox Walters, and later married Lelia Coleman Walters. In 1877, Alexander Walters was licensed to preach in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion denomination; he was a member of St. John AME Zion Church in Bardstown. He was elected the 24th Bishop of the AME Zion Church and preached at many churches before arriving at Mother Zion of New York Church in 1888. Walters became the first president of the National Afro-American Council in 1898 and was re-elected seven times. He would become a bishop in the AMEZ Church. He was also vice-president of the NAACP in 1911, when the organization was incorporated. Walters was an outspoken civil rights advocate, calling for the formation of the Afro-American League and for African Americans to look beyond the Republican Party for justice. Among his many writings was the co-authored Address to the Nations of the World... For more see My Life and Work, by Bishop Alexander Walters [available full-text at the UNC Documenting the American South website]; The History of the Negro Church, by C. G. Woodson; Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; and R. E. Clement, "Phylon Profile, VII: Alexander Walters," Phylon, vol. 7, issue 1 (1st Qtr., 1946), pp. 15-19.

See photo image of Bishop Alexander Walters at BlackPast.org.

See photo image of the Donahoe Hotel (renamed Newman House) from My Life and Work by A. Walters, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / New York

Walters, Katie Knox
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1896
Katie Knox Walters was a Christian advocate on behalf of her husband's work in the AMEZ Church, and she was an activist in the Colored YWCA in New York City where she chaired the library committee. She had served as vice president of the Women's Home and Missionary Society in California. According to authors Franklin and Savage, Walters raised the largest amount of money in the New Jersey AME Zion Annual Conference in 1898. [Katie Walters' death year is given as 1896 in Bishop Walters' biography.] Katie Knox Walters was the first wife of Bishop Alexander Walters. They met in Indianapolis, IN, and married in 1877, and would become the parents of five children. The family was living in Jersey City, NY, when Katie Walters died. She was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Louis and Kittie Knox. For more see African American Women and Christian Activism by J. Wisenfeld; My Life and Work by A. Walters [available full text at Documenting the American South]; and p.98 of Cultural Capital and Black Education by V. P. Franklin and C. J. Savage.

  See the image of Katie Knox Walters at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Jersey City, New York

Ware, William, Sr.
Birth Year : 1872
Ware was born in Lexington, KY. He was a fraternal worker at Main St. Baptist Church in Lexington and Antioch Baptist Church in Cincinnati. He founded the Welfare Association for Colored People of Cincinnati in 1917, serving as president 1917-1920. He was also a long-time president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) of Cincinnati, beginning in 1920. He was the husband of Lucie Ware, born 1878 in KY; in 1920 the family of 11 lived on Barr Street in Cincinnati, according to the U.S. Federal Census. The family moved to Cincinnati in 1903. William Ware, Sr. was the son of Alfred and Jane Ware. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29, and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio

Warner, Andrew Jackson
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1920
Born in Washington, KY, Andrew Warner was the son of Rueben Warner, a freeman, and Emily Warner, a slave. Andrew was also a slave, he escaped to Ripley, OH, at the age of 13 and enlisted in the Union Army as a drummer boy. He received an honorable discharge and later became a student at Wilberforce College [now Wilberforce University]. Warner had also studied law and was the leading attorney in the Bishop Hillery case [within the Kentucky Conference] in Hendersonville, KY. Warner became Bishop of the A. M. E. Zion Church in Philadelphia, PA, in 1908. He was a candidate for the U.S. Congress from the 1st District of Alabama in 1890, a delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention in St. Louis, MO, in 1896, and a nominee for Governor of Alabama in 1898. The Warner Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Wilmington, NC, was named in his honor. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915Rev. Andrew J. Warner, D.D. in One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church... by J. W. Hood [full text available at UNC Documenting the American South website]; and Andrew Jackson Warner in History of the American Negro, North Carolina Edition (v.4) by A. B. Caldwell [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Washington, Mason County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Alabama / St. Louis, Missouri

Washington, Isam
Birth Year : 1832
Death Year : 1903
Isam [or Isom or Isham] Washington was born in North Carolina and brought to Lovelaceville, KY, as a slave. He was a Civil War veteran who served with the 8th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, Company "L" from Paducah, KY; he was honorably discharged in 1866. He returned to Ballard County, where he later acquired 55 acres of farmland to produce tobacco. Washington later lost his land, then in 1900 moved his family to Massac County, Illinois, where he died in 1903. He had also been a minister. Isam Washington was the father of Isam Mack Washington, the grandfather of Roy L. Washington, Sr., and the great-grandfather of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. For more see The Ancestry of Mayor Harold Washington (1922-1987) by C. G. Brasfield.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: North Carolina / Lovelaceville, Ballard County, Kentucky / Massac County, Illinois / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Washington, Isam McDaniel "Mack"
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1957
Isam [or Isom] M. Washington was born in Lovelaceville, KY. He was the youngest son of Rebecca Neal Washington and Isam Washington. Isam M. Washington married Arbella Weeks from Massac County, Illinois; they were the parents of Roy L. Washington and the grandparents of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. Isam M. Washington was a minister at several churches in Illinois; he helped raise funds for the building of the St. James Church in Lawrenceville and the St. Peter A.M.E. Church in Decatur. For more see The Ancestry of Mayor Harold Washington (1922-1987) by C. G. Brasfield.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Lovelaceville, Ballard County, Kentucky / Massac County, Illinois / Lawrenceville and Decatur, Illinois

Washington, Roy L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1953
Roy L. Washington was born in Lovelaceville, KY, the son of Isam M. Washington and Arbella Weeks. When he was a teenager, Roy Washington left Kentucky for southern Illinois, where he married Bertha Spence Jones (1898-1980). The couple later moved to Chicago, two of the more than 50,000 African Americans who had left the South by 1920 to settle in Chicago. The couple had four children, 2-6 years old, when Bertha separated from Roy. He retained custody of the children while earning $15 per week at the stockyard and attending Chicago-Kent College of Law at nights. Bertha lived nearby and assisted with the raising of the children. She would later marry Ernest Price, and they would have six children. Roy Washington received his law license in 1923, and he too remarried. Washington developed his law practice and was also a minister who preached at various churches in Chicago. He would become the Democratic Party precinct captain in the Third Ward and was also a police court prosecutor. When Roy Washington died in 1953, his youngest child, Harold Washington (1922-1987), took over his precinct position. Harold Washington also served as the Democratic representative to the Illinois State Legislature, 1965-1976; state senator, 1976-1980; and house member, beginning in 1980. He was the first African American mayor of Chicago, 1983-1987 (he died during his second term). Harold Washington was the brother of Ramon Price (1930-2000), Chief Curator of Du Sable Museum of African American History in Chicago. For more see J. Camper, et al., "The road to city hall, a half-century of black political evolution set the stage for the Harold Washington revolution," Chicago Tribune, 11/16/1986; Pinderhughes, D., "Washington, Harold." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, pp. 2267-2268; and The Ancestry of Mayor Harold Washington (1922-1987) by C.G. Brasfield.
Subjects: Fathers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Mayors
Geographic Region: Lovelaceville, Ballard County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Wayman Institute
Start Year : 1890
End Year : 1919
Founded in Harrodsburg, KY, by the Kentucky Conference of the A. M. E. Church, Wayman Institute was named after Bishop A. W. Wayman. It was an elementary school with three buildings located on 20 acres of land (some sources say there were four buildings on 18 1/2 acres of land). The principals were Rev. I. H. Welch, August Reid, W. H. Lacey, George W. Saffell, W. E. Newsome, C. H. Brown, and in 1915, C. H. Boone. The school had three teachers and 53 students during the 1915-16 school term. Twenty-nine students had graduated by 1916; the school closed in 1919. The property was sold and the Kentucky interest of $2,000 was merged into Turner College in Tennessee. For more see Centennial Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, p. 370 [full-text at the UNC Documenting the American South website]; "Wayman Institute," pp. 278-279 in vol. 2 of Negro Education: a study of the private and higher schools for Colored people in the United States, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education, Bulletin 1916, No. 39 [available full-text at Google Book Search]; Wayman Institute on p. 525 of The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; and a detailed history of Wayman Institute on pp. 196-201 in The History of Education of Mercer County, Kentucky, by W. M. Wesley. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.

 

Access Interview

 Listen to the oral history recordings of Margaret Harris for more information about Wayman Institute, recording at "Pass the Word," a Kentucky Historical Society website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Wesley, Charles H.
Birth Year : 1891
Death Year : 1987
Charles H. Wesley was born in Louisville, KY. He was the son of Matilda Harris Wesley, who was mistakenly listed as a widow in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census when she and her son Charles lived on 9th Street with Matilda's father, Douglas Harris, and other family members. Matilda Harris Wesley was not a widow in 1900; her husband (or ex-husband) Charles Snowden Wesley is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as a single man; he was living with his parents, Mary H. and J. H. Taylor, on 9th Street in Louisville and was employed at an undertakers' business. Charles S. Wesley died in April of 1902 [according to information provided to Ms. C. P. Uzelac of the Dorothy Porter Wesley Center, Inc.] His death date is given as April 28, 1904 in the Kentucky Death Index for Jefferson County, KY. His son, Charles H. Wesley, received his B.A. from Fisk University in 1911, his M.A. from Yale in 1913, and a Ph.D in history from Harvard. Wesley was the third African American to receive a doctorate in history from Harvard. As a professor, he taught history and modern language at Howard University. He later became president of Wilberforce University and Central State College [now Central State University] in Ohio. Wesley was president of the Study of Negro Life and History, 1950-1965, and executive director up to 1972. He was an AME Church minister and elder. Wesley wrote a number of articles on the problems of Negro education in the United States. In 1927 he published Negro Labor in the United States, 1850-1925, and, in 1935, Richard Allen, Apostle of Freedom. Wesley wrote the history of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity for seven decades. His last book was The History of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs. For more see Who's Who Among Black Americans, 6th ed.; Notable Black American Men, by J. C. Smith; and Current Biography. Additional information provided by C. P. Uzelac, Executive Director of the Dorothy Porter Wesley Center, Inc.

See photo image of Charles H. Wesley and additional information at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / New Haven, Connecticut / Cambridge, Massachusetts / Washington, D.C. / Wilberforce, Ohio

West Kentucky Conference and West Kentucky Conference Branch (African Methodist Episcopal Church)
Start Year : 1880
The West Kentucky Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church ((AME) became independent from the AME Kentucky Conference in 1880 at Richmond, KY, under Bishop J. P. Campbell. The first conference was held the following year in Paducah, KY. The West Kentucky Conference Branch, a women's missionary organization, was organized in 1908 in Franklin, KY, by Bishop C. T. Shaffer. For more information about the West Kentucky Conference and the West Kentucky Conference Branch and its sub-units, see pp.396-397 and p.430 in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky

White, David French
Birth Year : 1872
David F. White was an educator and minister who combined the two professions: he believed that the Bible should be a part of the course work in schools and that teachers should be Christians. In 1920 he was pastor of the First United Presbyterian Church in Norfolk, VA. White was born in Berea, KY, and he attended Berea College for a year before graduating from Tuscaloosa Institute for Training Colored Ministers [later named Stillman Institute, now Stillman College] and Knoxville College (in 1903). He was principal of Athens Academy and was pastor of the United Presbyterian Church, both in Athens, TN, which began his tenure as a school principal and a minister in several locations: Indianapolis, IN, where he was also active at the YMCA, where he taught Bible classes; Richmond, VA; Prairie, AL; and Cleveland, TN. In 1911, Rev. White resigned from his position as pastor of the Witherspoon Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis to join with Fred B. Smith in the "Men and Religion Forward Movement" headquartered in New York [source: Rev. D. F. White...," Freeman, 06/24/1911, p. 8]. The movement was to bring more men and boys into the church; there was a fear that women had become the dominate membership and would soon sway church policies and decision-making. In 1920, while in Norfolk, VA, in addition to being a minister, Rev. White was director of the YMCA, a probation officer, and a member of the juvenile court. For more see "David French White" in History of the American Negro, Virginia Edition, edited by A. B. Caldwell, and in Black Biography, 1790-1950: a cumulative index by R. K. Burkett, et. al.; and "Y.M.C.A. notes," Freeman, 09/26/1908, p. 8. See the online reprint of W. T. Stead, "The Men and Religion Forward Movement," The Review of Reviews, April 1912.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Tuscaloosa and Prairie, Alabama / Athens, Cleveland,and Knoxville, Tennessee / Indianapolis, Indiana / Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia

White, Paul Dunbar
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 1997
White, a minister, was born in LaGrange, KY, the son of Reverend Isham H. White and Florence Harris White. In 1963, Paul D. White was the first African American judge elected [never appointed] to the Cleveland Municipal Court. He also served as Director of Law in Cleveland when he was hired in 1967 by Carl B. Stokes, the first African American mayor of a major city in the U.S. In 1968, White became the first African American lawyer in a major Cleveland firm, Baker & Hostetler, and was made partner in 1970. The firm established the Paul D. White Scholarship in 1997. Paul D. White was a 1940 graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], where he played on the championship football team as a fullback, then later played professionally for one season in Indianapolis. White was also a 1950 graduate of Western Reserve Law School [now Case Western Reserve University, School of Law] and following his graduation, was hired by Kentucky native and Cleveland attorney Jean Capers. For more see The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [online], sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society; and the The Plain Dealer articles - - R. M. Peery, "Paul Dunbar White, 79, Judge, City Law Director," 09/26/1997, Obituaries, p. 11B, and P. Morris, "The judge inspired, but he never knew," 09/30/1997, Editorials & Forum section, p. 9B.
Subjects: Football, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Judges
Geographic Region: La Grange, Oldham County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

White, William Henry
Birth Year : 1897
William H. White, an AME minister and journalist, was born in Cynthiana, KY, the son of William and Fannie Alexander White. In 1947, Rev. White was pastor of the St. Paul Church in Lexington, KY, and had been a pastor in Middlesboro, Shelbyville, Louisville, Danville, and Frankfort, KY. He had attended the Frankfort schools and earned his B.D. at Payne Theological Seminary in 1925, and his A.B. at Wilberforce University in 1928. He was a contributing journalist to the Christian Recorder, wrote articles for secular periodicals, and founded the Kentucky Junior Christian Recorder newspaper. Rev. White was a veteran of WWI, and served with the 159th Depot Brigade, 38th Company. When he enlisted, he was living at 207 Murray Street in Frankfort, KY, and was working at a production company in Dayton, OH. He was a member of the Masons, the NAACP, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Rev. White was the husband of Frozene Campbell (1906-1945), born in Midway, KY, the daughter of Richard and Ellen Tolbert Campbell. Mrs. White was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], and was a registrar and teacher at Turner College in Atlanta. She also taught school in Shelbyville, KY. For more see the entries for Rev. William Henry White and Mrs. Frozene (Campbell) White in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Whiteside, Birdie Mary Lee
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2004
Whiteside was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the daughter of Augusta Radford Jordan and Arkley Whiteside. She founded the Guiding Light Christian Service in 1953 in Indianapolis, designed to take recorded religious sermons to the sick and shut-in. Six years later the service was incorporated. Whiteside moved to Indianapolis in 1950. She was a graduate of Simmons University (KY). The Birdie L. Whiteside Collection is housed at the Indiana Historical Society. For more see Guide to African-American History Materials in Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Whitman, Albery A.
Birth Year : 1851
Death Year : 1901
Albery Allson Whitman was born into slavery in Hart County, KY, on the Green River Plantation. Albery was the husband of Caddie Whitman (1857-1909), who was also from Kentucky. Albery was a poet and a Bishop of the Methodist Church. He was a graduate of Wilberforce College [now Wilberforce University] and served as Dean of Morris Brown College in Atlanta. His published works include "Leelah Misled" in 1873, "Not a Man and Yet a Man" in 1877, and "The Rape of Florida" in 1884. His last work was published in 1901: "An Idyll of the South." His talent as a Negro poet has been described as between Phillis Wheatley and Paul L. Dunbar. Albery A. Whitman was also the father of musician Caswell W. Whitman (1875-1936) and the Whitman Sisters, one of the most successful vaudeville troupes in the U.S. Albery taught his older daughters to dance when they were children, and for a brief period they were manged by their mother, Caddie. The Whitman troupe first toured Kentucky in 1904. The Whitman Sisters were Mabel (1880-1962), Essie B. (1882-1963), Alberta (1887-1964), and Alice (1900-1969). Mabel directed the shows, Essie was a comic singer, Alberta was a flash dancer and did male drag, and Alice was an exceptional tap dancer. For more on Albery A. Whitman see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; and Albery Allson Whitman (1851-1901), epic poet of African American and Native American self-determination (thesis), by J. R. Hays. For more about the Whitman Sisters see The Royalty of Negro Vaudeville by N. George-Graves; and Jazz Dance, by M. W. Stearns and J. Stearns. For more on Caswell Woodfin Whitman see the following Chicago Defender articles - "The Whitman Sister's kin passes away," 04/04/1936, pp.1 & 10; "Allen Bowers Entertains," 03/06/1932, p.7; and "The Whitmans arrive," 03/16/1918, p.6 - [article citations provided by the Curator of the Chicago Jazz Archive at the University of Chicago].
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Religion & Church Work, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Cross Dressing, Dress in Drag
Geographic Region: Hart County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Williams, Jamye Coleman
Birth Year : 1918
Jamye Williams was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Jamye Harris Coleman and Frederick Douglass Coleman, Sr. and the sister of Frederick Douglass Coleman, Jr. She served as an English and speech professor at a number of institutions after earning her B.A. from Wilberforce University in 1938, her M.A. from Fisk University in 1939, and her Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1959. She was teacher of the year in 1968 at Tennessee State University and was co-editor of the journal, Negro Speaks, in 1970. Three years later she became a full professor in communications and took over as head of the department until her retirement in 1987. Williams was the first woman elected general officer of the A.M.E. Church in 1984 and played a leading role in the church naming the first woman bishop in 2000. For more see Jamye Coleman Williams' biography in The History Makers; Living Black American Authors: a biographical directory, by A. A. Shockley and S. P. Chandler; Who's Who Among African Americans 1975-2007; and B. Karkabi, "Octogenarian at crossroads of church's past and future - Jamye Coleman Williams reflects on her legacy in the AME Church," Houston Chronicle, 08/27/2005, Religion section, p. 1. For more about the Coleman family and the AME Church see The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.

  See video with Jayme Coleman Williams and her husband, McDonald Williams, at the National Visionary Leadership Project website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Wilson, Daniel
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1917
Rev. Daniel Wilson was born in Barren County, KY and died in Kingfisher, OK. He was a Baptist minister and organized the first Colored Baptist church in Horse Cave, KY in 1866. Wilson had been a slave until 1864 when he joined the Union Army, and that same year he married Lydia Watkins. After receiving an Honorable Discharge, Wilson returned home and joined the white Baptist church in Horse Cave, KY, and later organized the Colored Baptist church where he was a deacon for seven years. Wilson was ordained in 1874 and was a pastor at churches in Horse Cave, Hicksville, and Seenoria. He was also a missionary of the Liberty Baptist Association of Kentucky. In 1888, Wilson moved to Kansas where he was pastor at several churches. He then moved to Lincoln, NE to become pastor of the J Street Baptist Church, and soon resigned and moved to Kingfisher, OK, where he organized and was pastor of the First Baptist Church until his death. Kingfisher was a two year old town in the Oklahoma Territory when Wilson arrived there in 1891. After two years, he estimated that his church had 300 members, and that there were 400 Colored home owners who were served by seven stores, three Colored attorneys, two Colored physicians, and The Oklahoma Constitution newspaper. In addition to being pastor of his church, Wilson also served as president of the Oklahoma Territorial Baptist Convention, and moderator of the Western District Association. He was a member of the school board and a trustee of the National Baptist Training School for Women in Washington, D.C. that was directed by Nannie Burroughs. Rev. Daniel Wilson is buried in the Kingfisher Cemetery. For more see "Rev. Daniel Wilson," Plaindealer, 06/01/1917, p.4; and "Oklahoma Territory" on p.236 in The Baptist Home Mission Monthly, v.15-16, 1893 [available at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky / Kansas / Nebraska / Kingfisher, Oklahoma

Wilson, James H. (minister)
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1944
Rev. J. H. Wilson was born in Shelbyville, KY, the son of Henry and Mariah Lawson Wilson. He attended school in Jeffersonville, IN, and taught for three years in Missouri. He was licensed to preach in 1885 and was a pastor in Glasgow, Missouri, before being transferred to California in 1904. He helped organize Wesleyan AME Church [later St. Paul AME Church] in San Bernardino, and was appointed the presiding elder of the California Conference in 1905. Rev. Wilson was next appointed to a mission conference, which he built into two conferences and was presiding elder for 23 years. Rev. Wilson was Grand Master of the Masons, Royal Grand Patron of the Eastern Star, and a member of the Grand Joshua Heroines of Jericho. He was editor of Western Christian Recorder from 1928 until his death in 1944. The newspaper was founded at the 1890 AME General Conference in Columbus, OH. It was published privately by J. Frank McDonald in Kansas City, Kansas until 1904 when it was adopted by the General Conference. For more see Rev. J. H. Wilson in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; and A History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by C. S. Smith and D. A. Payne [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Jeffersonville, Indiana / MIssouri / California

Wood, John Edmund [Torch Light newspaper]
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1929
Reverend J. Edmund Wood was born in Hiseville, KY, the son of Fannie Myers Wood and William H. Wood. He was the husband of Ella B. Redd Wood, the couple married in 1891 and had five children. He was a brother to Francis M. Wood. Rev. Wood died of tuberculosis, December 15, 1929, according to his death certificate. Prior to his death, he had been a school teacher and a minister in Munfordville, Woodsonville, Bardstown, and Elizabethtown, all locations in Kentucky, and he served as president of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association in 1899. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Danville, KY, for 31 years, and he also served on the Danville City Council. He was a leader in the Baptist Church, serving as president of the National Baptist Convention for six years. The 46th Annual Session, in 1926, was held in Indianapolis, IN. Wood was secretary of the South District Baptist Association for 35 years, and was the moderator of the General Association of Kentucky Baptist for nine years. In 1912, he was elected a delegate at large and attended the Republican National Convention in Chicago. While at the convention, he spoke out to the media in response to the comments made about the disloyalty of Colored delegates from the South. Rev. Wood was also an undertaker, a printer, and he was editor of the Torch Light [or Torchlight], a weekly newspaper that was published in Danville, KY, until the headquarters was moved to Lexington in 1910, at 434 West Main Street. Subscribers were allowed to pay for the newspaper with eggs, chickens, lard, and other food items. The newspaper was in operation as early as 1904 [source: Freeman, 09/17/1904, p. 1], and Rev. Wood was editor for more than 26 years. In 1907, Rev. Wood was the National Grand Chief of the Independent Order of the Good Samaritans, and he also had been the State Grand Chief. In 1910, he was chairman of the executive board of the Insurance Department of the Odd Fellows. He was elected treasurer of the Kentucky Negro Press Association at the 2nd Annual Session in 1916. Rev. Wood was a graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University], he was a 1903 graduate of National Correspondence College in Vincennes, IN, and a 1908 graduate of State University [Simmons College in KY]. Rev. Wood was a trustee at State University for 20 years. For more see Dr. J. Edmund Wood in The Crisis, March 1930, vol. 37, issue 3, p. 97; "Predicting a Roosevelt bolt," New York Times, 06/18/1912, p. 2; "Baptist throng to the Hoosier convention city," Plaindealer, 09/10/1926, p. 1; "It's nice to be a Kentucky editor...," in the "Short Flights" column by R. W. Thompson in Freeman, 05/13/1911, p. 2; "At Kentucky's capital, Freeman, 04/20/1912, p. 4; T. Richardson, "Ink-Lings of the Ink-Slingers," Freeman, 01/19/1907, p. 3; "The 2nd Annual Session of the Kentucky Negro Press Association," Freeman, 09/09/1916, p. 1; John Edmund Wood, pp. 158-219, in The President Speaks: annual addresses delivered to the National Baptist Convention of America, 1898-1986, edited by M. C. Griffin; "In 1899 Rev. J. E. Wood was elected President.," Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, 04/21-24/1926, p. 32, 2nd paragraph [available online in the Kentucky Digital Library]; and "The Torchlight," Lexington Leader, 01/12/1910, p. 2.


See photo images of Mrs. Ella B. Wood and Rev. J. E. Wood in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Hiseville, Barren County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Woodson (former slave)
The first slave case to be tried in Pittsburgh, PA, under the Fugitive Slave Law was that of an escaped slave named Woodson. The trial took place on March 13, 1851. Woodson, previously owned by a Mrs. Byers in Kentucky, had been living as a free man for two years in Beaver, PA, where he was a mechanic and a preacher. In the escaped slave case, the courts decided in favor of Mrs. Byers, and Woodson was returned to Kentucky. Citizens of Pittsburgh and Beaver raised subscriptions (money) and purchased Woodson, who returned to Pennsylvania. On August 1, 1851, Woodson was guest speaker at the West Indies Emancipation Day Celebration in Oakland, PA; it was the 17th anniversary in recognition of the end of slavery in the British Empire, including the British West Indies. For more see I. E. Williams, "The Operation of the Fugitive Slave Law in Western Pennsylvania, from 1850-1860," The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, vol. 4, issue 3 (July 1921), pp. 150-160 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Beaver, Pittsburgh, and Oakland, Pennsylvania

Young, David
Birth Year : 1836
Death Year : 1907
David Young was a Louisiana Senator for the 15th district that covered the Concordia and Avoyelles Parishes. Young was born a slave in Kentucky on February 4,1836. When he was a boy, he escaped to Ohio but was captured in 1850 and sold to an owner in Natchez, Mississippi. He gained his freedom and moved to Concordia, LA, where he was a property owner and a community leader. He was a civil rights activist who fought for equal access to public establishments such as saloons and theaters, and he fought for equal access to public transportation such as steamships. David Young was elected a House Member of the Louisiana Legislature in 1868; his parish, Concorida, was 92.8% Black. He was re-elected in 1870 and 1872. In 1874, he was elected to the Senate. In 1877 he was indicted for the embezzlement of the school fund for his parish. The case was dismissed and it was the end of David Young's political career. David Young was self-educated and owned interest in the Republican Journal and the Concordia Eagle. After his political career, David Young became a minister in New Orleans and was head of the Zion Traveller's Baptist Church at Adam and Commercial Streets. He was vice president of the Colored Baptist Convention. He was the husband of Nancy Young [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. For more see "Hon. David Young" in the column "State House Sketches," Weekly Louisianian, 02/20/1875, p.2; "Baptist Churches" in the column "Church Directory," Weekly Pelican, 12/25/1886, p.4; Black Legislators in Louisiana During Reconstruction by C. Vincent; Crucible of Reconstruction by T. Tunnell; and "The Rev. David Young," The New York Times, 04/21/1907, p.9.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Ohio / Natchez, Mississippi / Condordia, Avoyelles, and New Orleans, Louisiana

Young People's Congress, Youth Council of Kentucky (African Methodist Episcopal Church)
Start Year : 1926
In 1926, Bishop R. C. Ransom combined the Sunday School and the AME League into an organization named Young People's Congress. The name was later changed to The Kentucky Congress of Youth. The first state meeting was held in the summer at St. Matthews AME Church in Midway, KY, and Rev. Charles Adams was elected president. In 1940, the name of the organization was changed to the ACE Youth Council of Kentucky and several other youth organizations were folded into the group; Bishop R. R. Wright had been assigned to the 13th Episcopal District and it was his goal to enlarge the work of the young people in his district. Annual meetings were held at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. Miss Kathrine Chochran, of Quinn Chapel in Louisville, would become the first woman president of the state youth activities. For more see Young People's Congress, Youth Council of Kentucky on p.552 in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

 

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