From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Cummings, James L.

(born: 1926  -  died: 1982) 

James L. Cummings was born in Allensville, KY, the son of Andrew and Fannie Robbie Cummings. A graduate of Lane College in 1948, and Butler University School of Religion in 1959, Cummings was pastor of Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, IN.

Cummings 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 of creating block clubs to help improve city neighborhoods with community support. The model was expanded to other cities in Illinois and throughout the United States, receiving  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.

Cummings was the husband of Norma Jean Cummings, and the couple lived in California. At the time of his death in 1982, Bishop Cummings was the 1st Vice President of the National Council of Churches, elected in 1981, and he was the presiding cleric of the 9th Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church [source: "Bishop James Cummings, 55, dies in Los Angeles," Jet, 10/25/1982, p. 24]. He had served as bishop of the 9th Episcopal District, headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, since May of 1978 when he was elected to the episcopacy. 

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.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Todd County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Allensville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Jet (periodical)
NKAA Source: Biographical directory of Negro ministers
NKAA Source: The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Cummings, James L.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-01-13 19:34:02