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Mary T. Henry

bishop, civil rights leader, and educator, was born in Columbia, South Carolina, to Rev. Eugene Avery Adams and Charity Nash Adams. He and his three siblings, Avery, Charity, and Lucy Rose, were raised in a spiritual and intellectually stimulating home. His father, an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) minister and social activist, in the 1920s organized the first African American bank in Columbia and the first modern statewide civil rights organization in South Carolina. None of these activities went unnoticed by young John and they helped to define his later focus and commitments. Adams was educated in the segregated Columbia school system and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. His undergraduate work was completed at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he earned an AB degree in History in 1947 After studying at Boston University School of Theology he received a bachelor of ...

Article

Richard Bardolph

John Wesley Edward Bowen was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on December 3, 1855, the son of Edward and Rose (Simon) Bowen. Edward, a carpenter, had moved from Maryland to New Orleans, where he was ensnared in slavery and held in bondage until he purchased his own freedom. Subsequently he purchased freedom for his wife and his son John, then three years old. Edward Bowen later served in the Union Army during the Civil War (1861–1865).

The newly freed parents who were intelligent industrious and ambitious themselves quickly recognized their son s similar gifts and directed him in early childhood to the best education that their means and circumstances allowed They enrolled him in New Orleans University established for blacks by the Methodist Episcopal Church and there he attained his basic education from the first grade up through college years He received his bachelor s ...

Article

Stephen Butler Murray

Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard University, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the only child of Peter Lobo Gomes, a cranberry bog laborer who had immigrated from the Cape Verde Islands, and Orissa Josephine Gomes (née White), a member of a prominent family in the black aristocracy of Boston, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, and the first black woman to work in the Massachusetts State House, where she was a principal Clerk. Peter J. Gomes was raised in the predominantly white town of Plymouth Massachusetts where he was the only black student in his class An exceptional student and the president of his class Gomes devoted himself to the First Baptist Church of Plymouth where his mother played the organ and directed the choir and where Gomes preached his first sermon at the age of ...

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Vincent F. A. Golphin

clergyman, and the first African American Roman Catholic archbishop in the United States, was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, the sixth of eight children of Jesus Maria Marino, a baker, and Lottie Irene Bradford a maid After an elementary and high school education in parish schools the future prelate studied for the priesthood as a member of a religious community established to minister to blacks and Native Americans He graduated from St Joseph s Seminary College in Washington D C and later earned a master s degree at Fordham University Marino grew up as a religious minority within a racial minority oppressed by segregation in the Deep South The family was devoutly Catholic in a region of the country that was overwhelmingly Protestant and historically as hostile toward the Church of Rome as it was toward people of African descent Biloxi s Catholic parish for blacks Our Mother ...

Article

Anthony A. Lee

Enoch Olinga was born into a family of Christian (Anglican) converts among the Teso people in Uganda. His father was a catechist and missionary for the church, and he was educated in missionary schools. During World War II, he joined the British Army Education Corps and served in the East African King’s Rifles Corps in South Asia: Burma, East Pakistan, Ceylon, and India. When he returned to Uganda in 1946, he was employed by the colonial Department of Public Relations and Welfare as a translator, eventually moving to Kampala. He produced two books in his own language, Ateso.

In 1951, fired from his job because of heavy drinking, Olinga began to study the Baha’i faith, recently introduced into Uganda by Ali and Violette Nakhjavani, a Baha’i couple from Iran. In February 1952 Olinga converted to the Baha i religion Almost immediately he returned to his home village ...