“You’re Going to Have to Go Out There Yourself”

Stephen R. Haynes

in The Last Segregated Hour

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195395051
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979288 | DOI:
“You’re Going to Have to Go Out There Yourself”

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The chapter tells the story of the kneel-ins at Memphis's Second Presbyterian Church from the perspective of members and staff of the targeted congregation. It examines in detail the segregation policy adopted by the church in 1957 and its regional and denominational contexts. The chapter also tells the stories of the men and women who were younger church members at the time, many of whom were opposed to the stand taken by ruling elders on the session (the church's governing body) and some of whom refused instructions to “guard” the church's doors. Condemnation of the church's segregation policy by the pastoral staff is described, as is the process through which a group of lay leaders ultimately broke the power of racial hardliners on the session. Finally, the dissenting views of active church women are inferred from annual narratives published by the Women of the Church.

Keywords: Second Presbyterian Church; Presbyterian Church in the United States; segregation policies; church women; church lay leaders

Chapter.  8559 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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