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

Bottoms, Lawrence Wendell

(born: 1908  -  died: 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.

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“Bottoms, Lawrence Wendell,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-09-14 21:33:42