The finding aid for the J. Taylor and Kathryn T. Stanley papers is now online. The collection pertains to the development of Black Congregational and Christian churches in the southern United States during the early to mid-twentieth century, and is a wonderful resource for anyone studying African American religious life. Apart from the personal papers of the Stanleys, the collection also contains numerous collected items gathered by J. Taylor Stanley in his role as church leader and scholar. These include photographs, reports, publications, and ephemera, administrative records, programs, and memberships lists for various churches, conferences, and instrumentalities of the United Church of Christ and its predecessors.
The Rev. Dr. J. Taylor Stanley and his wife, Kathryn (nee Turrentine) were both born in Alabama and educated in schools operated by the American Missionary Association. He graduated from Howard University Divinity School in 1925, and, throughout their lives, the Stanleys served Congregational churches in Nashville, Tennessee; Wilmington, North Carolina; and Dudley, North Carolina. In 1924, she became the first African American extension worker appointed by the Congregational Sunday School Extension Society. In 1942, he became Superintendent of the Southeast Region of Congregational Christian Churches, a region that spanned from Virginia to Texas. Dr. Stanley was also a founding Conference Minister of the Convention of the South, which was the Black jurisdiction of the United Church of Christ. When the Congregational Christian Churches merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Churches in 1957, Dr. Stanley supported the inclusion of churches in the Black jurisdiction in integrated conferences across the South.
More information about the Stanleys and their papers can be found in the online finding aid.
(Images from the J. Taylor and Kathryn T. Stanley papers. May not be reproduced without permission.)
Posted by Christopher Harter