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Southern White Ministers and the Civil Rights Movement$
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Elaine Allen Lechtreck

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496817525

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496817525.001.0001

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Church Visitations

Church Visitations

Trouble Outside, Trouble Within

(p.89) 3 Church Visitations
Southern White Ministers and the Civil Rights Movement

Elaine Allen Lechtreck

University Press of Mississippi

During the Civil Rights Movement, many white churches in the South issued closed-door policies that prevented black people from entering their sanctuaries. Many white ministers who attempted to admit African Americans lost their churches. This chapter relates crisis incidents in three Alabama churches, First Presbyterian, Tuscaloosa, First Presbyterian, Tuskegee, and First Baptist, Birmingham; two Baptist churches in Georgia, Tattnell Square in Macon, and Plains Baptist in Plains, three churches in Jackson, Mississippi, Galloway Memorial Methodist, First Christian, and Capitol Street Church of Christ The chapter also includes an account of the sustained campaign in Jackson by black students from Tougaloo University who suffered pain and rejection. William Cunningham, one of the ministers forced to leave Galloway Memorial Methodist Church, commented, “There was agony for the churches outside and agony within…. The church could not change the culture; but the culture changed and carried the church along with it.”

Keywords:   closed-door policy, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, William Cunningham

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