Black Members History Project
Welcome to the new Black Members History Project website, created for the church’s Bicentennial to provide a platform where we can share memories about Black church members who held a special place in our church history. Here you will find 42 remembrances of some of our earliest church leaders, listed alphabetically, as well as a soon to be completed pictorial booklet listing a larger universe of Black members who have passed over the years. Our research reflects that there were two deaths from 2020, four deaths from 2021 and one death from 2022.
You are invited to share your memories, photographs, and other feedback for this website. If you would like to share your personal remembrances, tributes, and testimonials, you may either comment on the individual biographical pages (by clicking on the photos below) or submit information through the form found at the bottom of this page. We look forward to hearing from you!
The All Souls Black Members History Project focuses on memories, contributions, and reflections that capture, honor, and keep alive the precious stories and memories of deceased Black members who have gone before us, many of whom started coming in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Some came because they valued the church’s open-minded theology and freedom to explore ideas about God and religion without creed or dogma; others were attracted by A. Powell Davies and his eloquent sermons and passion for civil rights; and still others felt welcome and valued during David Eaton’s ministry between 1969 and 1992, when Black membership and racial diversity at All Souls was at its highest (40%). They were judges, educators, scientists, doctors, civil rights activists and advocates, changemakers, and community leaders. Together, during significant turning points in All Souls’ storied history, they worshipped, sang in church choirs, fundraised, and stepped up to serve in whatever way the church needed, and so much more.
This project is a chance for the All Souls community to get beneath the surface and get to know the Black members who supported this church as we continue to deepen our understanding of All Souls’ values and priorities and lean into our vision of becoming a truly empowered antiracist multicultural community.