Previous: Mid-late 20th Century
Memphis Presbytery held its spring meeting in Dyersburg on April 27, 1954, with 108 presbyters present. The most important matter that came up at the meeting was the report of the Christian Relation Committee on race relations.
“The discussion centered around a resolution in which it was recommended that
in all activities of our Church [our denomination], that negroes be integrated in the
work as far as possible; that in group meetings, where they last only one day, that
this integration shall be on a one hundred per cent basis.
After much discussion, pro and con, the motion to adopt the recommendations of
the Committee was tabled.
An unusual incident of this meeting of Presbytery was that three negroes attended
and participated in all of the proceedings.”
While none of our current elders were involved in that meeting, we are disappointed with the outcome—that the resolution was not passed, and we recognize as Scripture does, that God created all men (and women) in His own image, and with Him, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28.
We recognize that the civil rights movement of the 1960s was a time of great national distress, and we rejoice that on its eve our church was one place where efforts were made to treat people, regardless of their race or skin color, with dignity and respect.