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Oral history interview with Paul Hardin Jr., December 8, 1989

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Creator:Hardin, Paul
Creator:Mathews, Donald G.
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with Paul Hardin Jr., December 8, 1989
Date:1989 Dec. 8

Bishop Paul Hardin presided over the Council of Methodist Bishops during the 1960s and started the process of integrating the denomination. In this interview, he recalls how he got involved in Methodist ministry and became one of the first theology students at Emory University. He also describes some of the issues unique to leading a southern congregation, especially controversy over racial integration. Hardin served as pastor for the First Methodist Church of Birmingham throughout the early 1960s and remembers welcoming black attendees while excluding the White Citizen's Council against the wishes of his congregation. He used humor and personal conviction to oppose Governor George Wallace's segregationist stance and push white and black pastors past their reservations about working together. His commitment to interracial cooperation stemmed from his support of the reunification of the southern and northern Methodists in 1939 and from his father's early support for integration. He feels his life work contrasts with Martin Luther King's criticism of him and other progressive ministers in the "Letter from Birmingham Jail."

The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the aggregation and enhancement of partner metadata.

Types:Transcripts | Sound recordings | Oral histories (document genres) | Text | Sound
Subjects:Hardin, Paul | Southern States--Race relations | Methodist Church--Clergy--North Carolina | Methodist Church--North Carolina--Clergy | Emory University--Students | Methodist Church--Southern States | Race relations--Religious aspects--Christianity | Civil rights--Religious aspects--Christianity | United States, North Carolina, 35.759573, -79.0193 | United States, Georgia, Fulton County, Atlanta, 33.7489954, -84.3879824 | United States, Georgia, DeKalb County, 33.7715286, -84.2264079
Collection:Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement
Institution:Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Contributors:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Documenting the American South (Project)
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Forms part of Oral histories of the American South collection.

Persistent Link to Item:http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/C-0071/menu.html