A Long Stride Forward

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					                           A LONG STRIDE FORWARD

                             A brief history of



                          Edward E. France, Ph.D.


        Acknowledgments ........................................... i
        The Covenant ............................................. ii
   I.   PILGRIMS AND PIONEERS ..................................... 1
  II.   THE CHURCH FROM ONE TO SIX –1944-1950 ..................... 3
 III.   THE FRIENDLY HOUSE OF PRAYER .............................. 5
  IV.   THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT .............................. 7
   V.   WITH MALICE TOWARD NONE .................................. 10
  VI.   NEW HORIZONS ............................................. 12
 VII.   SOME PROFILES ............................................ 14
VIII.   ROSTER OF OUR CHARTER MEMBERS ............................ 17

                                October 1964

Even the compilation of a brief history of
South Berkeley Community Church leaves the
writer with more debts of gratitude than he
can ever repay. May the mention of a few
serve as a token of my sense of obligation
to the many. To Dr. John B. Thompson, a man
with the patience of Job; to Mrs. Leona
Martin, a typist with the endurance of a
marathon racer; to Henry Clark, Sr., a
pioneer with the memory of the ancient
story tellers; and to my wife, Frances P.
France, for her patience and understanding,
I express my everlasting thanks.

                 --Edward E. France


(A statement of the purpose and faith of the South Berkeley Community
Church, (Congregational) approved by vote of the membership, July 9,

"In the Name of the Father of all Mankind, Amen.

Witnessing in our day the division of Christendom by many distinctions
of race, class, nation, and creed; concerned by these denials of the
spirit of Him who prayed that we might all be one; and wishing in our
worship, fellowship, and service to express the ministry of
reconciliation committed to the followers of Jesus, we do solemnly
covenant together in the presence of God and of each other to
establish this Church.

We promise, as members of this Church, to walk together as Christian
brethren, submitting to its governance and discipline;

We cherish for each person the fullest liberty of conscience and
belief in seeking to find and to know the Will of God, made known or
to be made known to us;

We welcome to our fellowship all persons, without regard to race,
class, nation, or creed, who join with us in this covenant;

In the love of truth and in the Spirit of Jesus, we unite for the
worship of God and the service of man."


                           PILGRIMS AND PIONEERS

     The most admirable attribute of the spirit of brotherhood seems to be
that it reaches its greatest ascendancy, its highest inspiration during
times of sorrows and tribulations. If difficult and perilous conditions are
propitious for the development of great moral strength, then the year 1943
provided such an environment. The entire world was involved in a devastating
war and the outcome was still a matter of uncertainty. The forces of hatred
and bigotry were rampant even in the United States of America, the Arsenal
of Democracy. Darkness was upon the land, but a small band of dedicated men
and women, a precious few, decided to light a candle rather than curse the
darkness. That candle was the idea that men, regardless of race or
nationality, could "walk together as Christian brethren". That candle,
ignited in the oppressive gloom of World War II was South Berkeley

     Who were the intrepid and inspired men and women venturing to take
such a bold stride forward? As in all events in human history there are
always a great number of individuals who make valuable contributions to a
cause. It is impossible to chronicle every name, every occurrence, but
usually it is possible to find some individuals who stand a little taller
than the others. Among those spiritual giants who led the movement for the
establishment of South Berkeley Community Church one may discern the names
of Henry and Laura B. Clark, T. R. and Mamie Lane, Ernest Houlding, Mrs.
Pearl Ivey, Thomas Walker, Lucille Lane, and young Tom Walker.

     The greatest dreams amount to naught unless there be some means of
bringing them to fruition. In order to consummate their vision of a church
founded on the proposition that God is no respecter of the external
appearances of man, the pioneers needed a house for the service of the Lord.
On the corner of Fairview and Ellis Streets in Berkeley, California stood a
weather-beaten, deserted old church building. For thirty-one years it had
provided shelter for a faithful congregation, but now, despite the Herculean
efforts of the Reverend Tom Watts, it had succumbed to all the ills incident
to war and the consequent population shifts. To the prospective South
Berkeley Community Church members the old building seemed to plead, "Here am
I, take me." The seekers heard the voice and negotiations with the Northern
California Congregational Conference began.

     Dr. Harley H. Gill, after an interview with Mrs. Laura Clark suggested
that the unused building be made available for such a project as presented
by the founders. The Conference then assumed the initiative and appointed a
committee to study the feasibility of reopening the church with an
interracial congregation and an emphasis on interracial cooperation. The
committee appointed included Dr. Vere V. Loper of First Congregational
Church in Berkeley; Dr. Robert Ingalls of Plymouth Congregational Church in
Oakland; Mrs. Laura B. Clark; Reverend Ernest W. Houlding of the old Park
Congregational Church, and Mr. Rufus Kerlinger, a layman. After much
research and contemplation the committee submitted a favorable report. The
last great hurdle was thus removed; now the work could begin.

     This daring new venture in human relations and interracial
understanding called for men who could match the mountains of difficulties
that were bound to appear. Fortunately the leaders had the perspicacity to

detect the needed qualities in two young men already residing in Berkeley.
The call went out to Mr. Roy Nichols, a senior at the Pacific School of
Religion and to Mr. Robert K. Winters, a junior at Starr King School for the
Ministry. They accepted the challenge. To paraphrase a famous chronicle one
might say that the South Berkeley Community Church was an energetic crew led
by two good captains in the prow.

     The first services were held on the fourth Sunday of October, 1943. In
keeping with the significance of the occasion some illustrious men were
invited to participate. Dr. Charles S. Johnson was the principal speaker but
he shared the honors with Dr. Buell G. Gallagher, President of Talladega
College and with Dr. Will Alexander from the United States Department of
Education. Lest it be forgotten that the United States was in the midst of a
great war one must mention that the Camp Ashby Military Singers furnished
the music. Parenthetically it may be stated that the caliber of the men who
occupied the pulpit for the initial ceremonies is a fair indicator of the
kind of men who have contributed messages to the congregation over a span of
twenty years.

     The next Sunday, the first Sunday in November, approximately thirty
persons were present. Two years later the membership had increased to 187.
While this was not a spectacular growth, it was significant because it was
proof positive that a philosophy based upon the inherent good in the nature
of man still had many supporters, a tower of strength in all liberal causes,
Buell G. Gallagher, joined in the work as co-pastor when Mr. Winters
resigned to join the Armed Forces in April of 1944. At the time Dr.
Gallagher was a professor at the Pacific School of Religion.

     Technically the South Berkeley Community project was a Fellowship
until October 2, 1944. On that date, having drawn up and adopted a proper
constitution and having met all other requirements, the church became a
bonafied member of the Northern California Congregational Conference. Dr.
Harley R. Gill delivered. a prophetic sermon - "Pilgrims and Pioneers". The
learned men who shared the pulpit on that great occasion - Buell Gallagher,
Clarence Reidenbach, Vere Loper., Robert Ingliss, Roy Nichols - had
important things to say. Everything uttered that day, however, could be
summed up in the words of the Covenant:

     "In the love of Truth and in the Spirit of Jesus, we unite for the
worship of God and the service of man".


                        THE CHURCH FROM ONE TO SIX -

                                1944 - 1950

     The new church was dedicated to the service of mankind and it was soon
apparent that dedication meant more than pious words. Prior to the
establishment of the church a community survey was conducted. The results
provided some interesting insights into the nature of the community and its
needs. The South Berkeley Community Church Center was created to serve all
persons who cared to attend its activities. The indomitable Mrs. C. R.
Claiborne furnished early leadership and continued to guide the fortunes of
the Center throughout the decade of the 1940's. The "Prophet", an
informative and pleasant church bulletin, states that the Center program was
on a six day basis as of April 30, 1944. A scant two weeks after it’s
establishment 151 persons had attended the various groups and classes. Those
participating had their choice of millinery, dressmaking, knitting, music
appreciation, boys clubs, girls clubs, or nutrition taught by a Red Cross
instructor. By the beginning of 1950 the center had become one of the most
outstanding achievements of the church. No one contributed more time,
effort, or inspiration than Mrs. Mattie Claiborne. She always considered the
Center as her finest work and the Reverend Roy Nichols concurs in that
evaluation. From Salem Methodist Church "In the Heart of Harlem” he writes
in a letter dated September 28, 1964 ..."The Community Center program
pioneered by Mattie Claiborne, was the most significant church project in
California in the 40's"...

     Searching through the record one discovers other beginnings. The first
Vacation Church School under the joint auspices of South Berkeley Community
Church, St. Paul AME Church, and the Progressive Baptist Church, was started
in August of 1944. The Reverend Robert James of the American Friends Service
Committee was the coordinator of the Vacation School project. At the time he
was in Berkeley as leader of a work camp group which earlier had stripped
away the jungle of vines from the old church building and then applied a
much needed coat of paint. The paint, of course, has faded but the idea of
the Vacation Church School has never died.

     In retrospection, from the vantage point of fifteen to twenty years,
one can discern a panorama composed of moments of jubilation and sorrow, of
welcoming and departures, of births and deaths, and of weddings and
christenings. There are scenes of Roy Nichols and Ruth Richardson being
joined in holy matrimony by Dr. Buell Gallagher and Dr. Howard Thurman in
July of 1944; of the formation of the first choir under the direction of
Alfred O'Neal; of the tremendous effort put forth to attempt to secure the
passage of a fair employment Practices Act in 1946; of the readjustments by
dozens of dozens of persons to the demands new situations created by the
advent of peace or at least the cessation of total war in 1945, and of Buell
Gallagher running a very close race for congress from the seventh district
of California. The section of the picture most clearly delineated is the
resignation of Roy Nichols and the acceptance of the pastorate
by his successor, John Charles Mickle.

     Mr. Mickle came to South Berkeley Community Church from Cleveland,
Ohio in 1947. He remained as pastor past the end of the 1940's and his quiet
manner provided effective leadership for the congregation. In characteristic

understatement he recalls that: the pastors and members put forth many
efforts to fulfill in the church building and in the community our calling:
"To serve, in so far as we may, the spiritual, social, and recreational
needs of the people without regard to race, creed or color. Some of the
activities involved were:

     "In the church building: worship services, Sunday school classes,
     organized play, millinery classes, ballet classes, well baby
     clinic, released time Christian education classes, fine arts
     exhibits, scouting for girls and boys, knitting classes, weaving
     classes, public speaking classes, meetings of human relations
     groups, classes in the practical arts.
     In the community: working for racial integration: in ministerial
     associations, in public schools, in hospitals, in city
     governments, in libraries, in employment.
     In the life of our Christian denomination: helping other churches
     to achieve racial integration and to serve the people of the
     neighborhoods in which they are located, and fostering
     interracial patterns in the programs and activities of youth,
     laymen., and ministers."

     The resignation of Dr. Gallagher to accept a position with the United
States Government in Washington, D.C. left a void difficult to fill.
Everyone had been aware for a long time of a sense of apprehension that the
brilliant Buell Gallagher would move on to larger fields. But everyone hoped
against hope that somehow the church could keep him. Such was not to be and
the congregation listened to the disheartening news on March 13, 1949. With
the fortitude born of adversity the church accepted the situation and
prepared to sponsor a banquet honoring Dr. Gallagher and his family. The
banquet was at the International house on March 31, 1949. Every segment of
the racial and economic community had representatives at this event, a
testament of the sense of loss felt by all who knew and loved this wondrous
fighter in the field of social justice.

     Recognizing that church housing is a necessary part of carrying on the
work of God the congregation authorized a committee selected by the Board of
Trustees to do whatever was necessary "to make and complete the purchase of
a parsonage" for the church. The committee (composed of Edwin C. Linsley,
Argee Barksdale, and Isaac Jones, Sr.) discharged its immediate duty by
purchasing a building located at 1807 Fairview Street one half block from
the church.

     In summary we can say that the six year old was a vigorous child by
the end of 1949 but he had not escaped his growing pains. Poignant evidence
of this fact is revealed in this statement by Edwin C. Linsley, the
financial secretary.

“Dear Member:
     As we come to the end of this year, we find that the financial
position of the South Berkeley Community Church is unfortunately not as
strong as it should be. Our actual receipts did not measure up to what we
expected and included in our annual budget, while expenses have continued at
the expected rate."

     The date of the report is December 29, 1948. It could have been a
December in any year from 1944 through 1964.


                        THE FRIENDLY HOUSE OF FRAYER

     For many years the majority of the members of the South Berkeley
Community Church felt that the Church could promote its program of
democratic fellowship most effectively through the employment of co-pastors,
preferably of different racial backgrounds, In theory the policy was ideal,
but in practice it gave rise to serious complications. Some of these
difficulties will be mentioned in greater detail later, but for the moment,
it is noted that by the year 1950 the problem of holding good men in the
pulpit was becoming serious, Already the Reverends Winters, Nichols, and
Gallagher had gone. A new minister, James E. Simpson, had been called to
replace Dr. Buell Gallagher, but Mr. Simpson resigned after serving from
January through September of 1950. Essentially the problem was this: How can
a church with a very limited financial base pay for the services of two
highly qualified pastors? The answer was that it could not be done unless
the ministers were willing to serve at great personal sacrifice to
themselves and their families. Fortunately for the church there were still
such men available.

     The historian above all others is in a position to know the futility of
speculating on "what might have been". Nevertheless it seems probable that
the fundamental character of South Berkeley Community Church might have
changed had it not been for the unselfish contributions of two men - Dr.
Fred S. Strip and the Reverend Ernest G. Houlding. Mr. Houlding had been
active in the promotion of the church from the beginning and Dr. Stripp had
become active while still a student at Pacific School of Religion. The
Reverend John Charles Mickle (with Mr. Houlding serving as Assistant and Dr.
Strip as Associate was able to maintain the church without diminution of the
quality service rendered to the congregation. A more positive statement is
that under leadership of these three men South Berkeley Community Church
made some of its most notable advances.

     One outstanding achievement was the purchase of the church building
from the Northern California Congregational Conference. The receipt of a
letter from the Reverend Harley Gill, Superintendent of the Conference, was
the immediate cause of action. Dr. Gill gently reminded the church “...You
have had the use of the property a number of years, but this kind of
arrangement should not continue indefinitely. Perhaps you would like to name
a special committee to meet with a committee appointed by the Conference
Board of Directors to go into all phases of this problem...”

     This letter was written on April 25, 1951. In the church bulletin for
May 20, "the following notice appears:
     "At a regular meeting held Monday night May l4th, the Church Council
voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Trustee Board, that a
committee of our Church meet with a committee of the Board of Directors of
the Northern California Congregational Conference and bring to the
membership of the church, for approval, the provisions of a mutual agreement
whereby the title of the property and the ownership of the building and land
may be transferred from the conference to the church. The members the
committee are: Mrs. C.R. Claiborne, Mr. James F. Davis, Mr. E.C. Lindsley,
Mrs, Lucille Lane, and Mr. Anthony Walker. Exofficio: Mr. Joseph Kittredge
and the Rev. J.C. Mickle."

     On June 9, 1951 the two committees met at the church. Perhaps
unconsciously influenced by a tradition of yankee shrewdaess, the South
Berkeley Committee finally persuaded the Conference committee to sell a
church valued at $35,000 for $13,000. The mortgage was to be paid in full
within five years after the signing of the contract, but there was to be no
interest charge for the first three years. The terms were approved by the
Executive Committee of the Board of Directors at its June 12th meeting. The
friendly house of Prayer" now was the property of the congregation of South
Berkeley Community Church.


                          THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT

     As previously noted the question of dual pastorshipwas almost a
perennial dilemma. Consequently the congregation received this message with
dismay and apprehension:

To the Menbers and Friends of South Berkeley
Community Church (Congregational)

     I have received a call from Memphis, Tennessee to become Minister of
Second Congregational Church and Student Personel Worker at Lemoyne College.
After much meditation and prayer, I have decided to accept the call.

     My resignation from the pastorship of South Berkeley Church is hereby
presented to become effective on Monday August 31, 1953.

     You   can readily understand the reluctance and searching of heart this
decision   has occasioned. Our church here is in the midst of a great work. It
has been   a real pleasure to serve with the other pastors of the church and
with you   in kindom building. Your support and tender concern for the church
program,   and your generous affection for my family and me have been sources
of great   joy and comfort...

                          Yours in Christian service,

                          John Charles Mickle

P.S. You are requested to be present at a meeting of the congregation which
is to be held in the sanctuary of the church on the evening of Friday,
July, 24th at 8:00 o'clock. You will be asked to accept formally my
resignation and to make plans for the continuing work, service and
fellowship of our church.

     It was necessary to find a replacement. During the long and arduous
search, those stalwart soldiers in the service of the Lord, Fred Stripp and
Ernest Houlding once more stepped into the breach.

     The pulpit committee began a nationwide search for a minister able to
carry on the work of the church in the direction desired by most of the
congregation. By the end of November the nomination of Asa J. Davis was
submitted to the church for approval. He was thought to be satisfactory and
was duly approved. His ministry began on January 1, 1954.

     The new pastor came highly recomended and quite well prepared
academically, having completed extensive studies towards his doctoral degree
at Harvard Divinity School. However his tenure of office was a time of
difficulties and of uneasiness. There were frequent requests for permission
to travel East to complete his studies; while the requests were always
granted there were still the unasked questions: Where do the minister's
interests lie? Is the church, or his studies, of paramount importance? The
ties between the Church and Reverend Mr. Davis were severed in January of

1955. His last notice to the congregation was stated in most polite terms,
yet one can sense hint of friction:

     “Today is my last Sunday as your minister and spiritual leader. Mrs.
Davis and I are leaving with many fond memories of the warm reception and
genuine cordialities from most of the membership. There is much yet to be
done that CAN be accomplished with the right spirit and consecrated effort.
With this in mind, I hope each of you will give the official boards and Dr.
Stripp and the Rev. Mr. Houlding your fullest cooperation in the future.
Both Mrs. Davis and I also hope and pray that this church will continue to
grow, prosper, and take its rightful place among the many fine churches both
in the immediate community and broader fellowship. May the spirit of God and
the example of the life of Jesus be ever present in your homes and in this
church as a guide for the broader horizons and many challenges of the years

     In reviewing Mr. Davis' year at South Berkeley one achievement stands
out: the purchase of a new organ. The minister of music, Mr. Willian Duncan
Allen, had performied beautifully and manfully on the old instrument; now
with less effort he could give harmony to the congregation. It was left for
others to eliminate the discordant notes in the spiritual life of the

     As a successor to the Reverend Asa Davis the church selected the
Reverend Hazaiah Williams. He was welcomed into the Church on June 3, 1956
and seldom, if ever, has there been a more promising beginning. But the
seemingly bright future was only the calm before the rising of controversy
that was to rend the church asunder. The details of the conflict would
require much more space than is now available, but the intensity can be
gathered from the records available. On November 4. 1956 this message was
given to the members of the congregation:

     “Dr. Fred Stripp is not here this morning due to a restraining order
preventing him from attending church service, issued by the Superior Court
of Alameda County...”

     November 19, 1863 is a day of special significance to Dr. Fred Stripp
because it is the date around which he constructed his highly interesting
sermon "Lincoln at Gettysburg.” How ironical was the appearance of this
notice in the Prophet for Sunday, November 19, 1956:

                             NO CHURCH MEETING

     There will be no church meeting on Nov, 19th at any time. No special
  meeting will be called to consider any question which might be affected
  by the proceedings in Alameda County Superior Court. The legality and
  propriety of such a meeting or any other action taken might be well
  dependent upon, or influenced by the results of those legal proceedings.
  The Alameda County Superior Court has modified its previous decree in
  order to permit Fred Stripp to visit the church and worship with us if he
  so desires. However, for your information Dr. Stripp has been ordered by
  the Court, because of serious questions about his authority to act as
  Associate Pastor not to attempt to perform any pastoral duties or
  functions and not to enter the pulpit. The Court order also forbids any
  interference with your ordained and installed pastor in the performance
  of his duties.

     The schism was now beyond the realms of compromise. There was a period
of acrmonious debate, suits and counter-suits, rumors, threats and rash
charges. In the end Mr. Williams resigned. A substantial protion of the
Congregation followed from the halls of South Berkeley Community Church.
Whether the Church could survive the stress of partition was a moot question
at the end of 1956. The bitterest points of differences had reached their
climax in the last weeks of December – the Christmas holiday season. Never
had there been a greater need to sing and mean the old familiar carol:
“Peace on earth and goodwill toward men".


                          WITH MALICE TOWARD NONE

     Dr. Fred Stripp, in the interests of harmonious functioning of the
church, had resigned as Associate pastor when the conflict between the
congregation and the minister was approaching the breaking point. Later, as
a matter of principle, he decided to reconsider this action and pursue the
issue until it was resolved. To effectuate any tolerable solution it was
necessary to have a person who was neutral, or at least not so deeply
involved in the controversy that he would not be acceptable to both
factions. Under such conditions Edward E. France became the moderator,
supposedly for one night only. Somewhat in the manner of "the man who came
to dinner”, the moderator stayed five years.

     The pulpit committee, faced with the task of selecting a new minister,
was handicapped. The figure of Fred Stripp loomed so large upon the horizon
that it was difficult to see anyone else. In September of 1957 all doubt was
erased and Fred Stripp became pastor of South Berkeley Community Church.

     “When the nightingale sings all other birds keep silent" is an
expression used sometimes by Fred Stripp in referring to a rendition of a
beautiful solo by an accomplished artist. Hear then the history of South
Berkeley Community Church for the years 1958 through 1960 in the words Dr.
Fred Stripp:

                                                 July 20, 1960

My dearest friends,

     I feel very much like a relay runner who has burned himself out
negotiating his lap and is more than ready to hand the baton to the next
runner on the team. When I started this lap, it was necessary to drop back
and pick up the baton where it had been dropped on the track by the previous
runner. And then from deep inside and from God above and from all you
priceless friends around me came the strength to run this lap. It will be up
to the next racer to put us out in front, but at least we are back in the
running again, thanks in the greatest part to your unflagging support in the
past three years!

     Our whole family has made friends here that we intend to keep forever.
We have laughed together, cried together, sung and worshipped, worked and
played together. We have shared the joys that accompany the miracle of
birth, the sacrament of baptism, the sacrament of marriage. We have shared
the sorrows that accompany the transition of death. We have watched with
warm satisfaction as more than a hundred of the finest people we know
selected our church for their membership. We have listened to the most
challenging guest speakers in our pulpit. We have been blessed with a
musical ministry beyond evaluation. We have watched our mortgage go up in
smoke. We have brought into our hearts from far-off Africa a member who is
now a son in our family, making us happy with his fine progress in our
University. We have helped to send a lovely U.C. co-ed to Poland. We are
helping to educate a splendid young man from Mexico for the Protestant
ministry there. We have watched our Woments Fellowship grow from one to four
friendly and productive circles. We have rejoiced in the faithful leadership

of our Church School. Our young people have given us sound assurance of the
future of our Church. We have celebrated special days when our men and our
women have conducted beautiful morning services. We have camped together at
Cazadero. We have shared the hospitality of many homes in our membership. We
have proved to the world that an inter-racial, inter-creedal church can be
richer by far than one limited to one race or one denomination.

     Now it is my fervent conviction that it is time for a new leader to
come to the pastorate. September 15, 1960 will round out exactly three years
since I was priviledged to assume the opportunities and responsibilities of
this ministry. Coupled with the work at the University it has meant a seven
day week for most of the three years. To assume the pastorate meant laying
aside the research for a study on the religion of Lincoln. This fascinating
task will be my next major project. I am submitting my resignation by
separate letters to the Trustees and Council, but I wanted all of you to
know at the same time.

     I look forward confidently to a satisfaction greater than any of those
of the past, your fulfillment in the tomorrows that lie ahead of the
promising visions which have brightened our yesterdays.

                                           With all my love,

                                           Minister, SBCCC


                                NEW HORIZONS

     One of the criteria for judging the effectiveness of leadership is the
ability to provide the organization of group with the proper atmosphere for
the mergence of new leaders. Dr. Stripp had developed such an atmosphere.
South Berkeley Community knew where it wanted to go and the direction it
wished to take. The pulpit committee, under the able guidance of Levi
Nelson, seemed to sense that it had a mandate from the church to secure the
services of a pastor who possessed both a keen sensitivity to the problems
of the present and an optimistic approach to the tasks of the future. After
numerous interviews with many candidates the committee was prepared to
submit for approval by the congregation the name of Dr. John B. Thompson. On
March 22, 1961 the acion of the pulpit committee was supported by the
unanimous vote of the members assembled.

     Dr. John B. Thompson brought a rich background of experience and
scholarship to SOuth Berkeley Community Church. He had served on the
faculties of the Universities of Oaklahoma and Chicago and had served as
pastor in a number of churches in the United States. Long before such
activities were socially, economically, and physically "Safe", Dr. Thompson
had been vigorously active in the promotion of better human relations in the
areas of race and religion. The remarkable fact about Dr. Thompson's work
was that it was done in large part in the heart of the opposition's
stronghold - the Deep South. There could be no doubt of his courage and

     It is difficult to make a fair assessment of the here and now because
one needs the perspectives provided by time alone. However, few, if any,
will deny the truth of the statement that the church has continued to
progress under the stewardship of Dr. Thompson. Evidence abounds in the
increased size of the congregation, in the physical improvement of the
church plant, in the beauty of the architectural changes, in the quality of
the messages delivered from the pulpit, and in that intangible quality --
the spirit that moves men and women to work enthusiastically for a noble
cause. At this point one might say that John B. Thompson's contributions can
be encompassed in these three words: Twentieth Anniversary Project. They are
words to conjure with; they cover three years of arduous labor and a world
of inspired ideas.

     Our story now is ended, but we must remember that "the past is but
prologue". Every historian is painfully aware of the fact that man "born
without permission, to die without consent" has an almost passionate desire
to leave some evidence that he has passed this way. Unfortunately
limitations of time and space make it impossible to include all that could
be said. Perhaps our present minister., Dr. Thompson, best expresses our
deep respect for the past and our sanguine hopes for the future in these

          "On this twentieth anniversary we praise famous men and our
     fathers who begat us' because they spent their energies for values
     that endure. They spent their limited resources in high adventures of
     faith. 'They looked for the city which hath the foundations whose
     maker and builder is God.”

     “Their work is unfinished, God having provided some better thing
concerning us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”

     "From weakness we are made strong by such an enduring

     "In our generation we shall see all churches in America open
their doors to all conditions and races of men.”

     "We shall be humbly proud that our church helped lead the way and
that our founders placed their trust in God who through Christ calls
us from alienation into the community of faith where the dividing
walls of hostility have been broken down."

                          REPRESENTATIVE PROFILES

     These profiles were extracted from various issues of the “Prophets'
Wife" a creation of Mrs. Frances Linsley who was much too self-effacing to
write one of herself.

                             DR. THOMAS BROWNE

     Dr. Browne came originally from Texas to take graduate work in bio-
chemistry until military service caught up with him. Following his tour of
duty, he decided upon medicine, and graduated from Meharry Medical School in
Nashville. He did his interning and pediatric work at Highland Hospital. He
currently serves as one of the doctors at the Berkeley Public Health Well
Baby Clinic which meets weekly in our building.

     Dr. and Mrs. Browne chose South Berkeley early in its history because
it came closest to being the kind of Church they wished to be a part of.
Both are much interested in the current drive to wipe out the mortgage once
and for all, and are giving the effort much time and enthusiasm.

     In his "spare" time, Dr. Browne serves on the Berkeley Recreation
Commission, and prefers reading and bridge for relaxing pastimes.

     We are indeed fortunate to have both of the Brownes working so
diligently with us and for us. May they always be a part of SBCCC!

                            MR. HENRY CLARK, SR.

     Mr. Clark was born in Mississippi. He began to come west in 1918 and
found that his health was so much better here that he and his family made it
home. Their second "home away from home" was always a Congregational Church,
but it was a little difficult to find a convenient one. Mr. Clark, and his
late beloved wife, Mrs. Laura Clark, were instrumental in beginning the
initial steps which led to the founding of SBCCC as it is today. Their two
children grew up in the fellowship and are still part of it although they
have homes of their own--Marguerite in Los Angeles and "Hank" in San Mateo.

     Mr. Clark Sr. is an active and avid folk dancer, an excellent hobby in
which he shows great skill. For his "bread and butter" he is in charge of
the red caps at the S.P. 16th St. Station, and is also keeping up his
broker's licence.

     His other main interest is the Church, of which he says simply, but
most sincerely, "It means everything to me". Oh for 50 or so new members
like Mr. Clark!

                             MISS HOPE GLADDING

     Miss Gladding, our globe-trotting member, was born in New Haven,
Conn., but grew up in Barrington, R.I., with the firm intention of becoming
a painter. She studied 5 years at Rhode Island School of Design and 3 years
at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and won a scholarship which sent
her to Europe for study. When World War I broke out, she returned home and
became involved in a number of activities. She did occupational therapy in a
mental hospital, illustrating and teaching. She received a call to come to

California and has been here ever since, "retiring" a year or so ago as
Professor of Decorative Arts at U.C.

     Hope Gladding has been an exemplary member and friend to SBCC
(although she would probably "hoot" at the thought), and we could want
nothing better than to have any number just like her--full of youthful
enthusiasm and unquenchable optimism. We will miss her this summer, but wish
her the happiest of trips.

                        MR. ISAAC WILLIAM JONES, JR.

     Mr. Jones, though not a Charter member, has had direct ties with South
Berkeley Community Church from the beginning. Both his father and mother
were among the pioneers in the movement to establish the church. As soon as
Isaac Jr. was discharged from the Navy he became affiliated with the church
and since 1946 has been a loyal and active member. For several years he has
been a member of the Trustee Board and prior to this responsibility was
chairman of the Welfare Board.

                           MR. JEFFERSON C. NASH

     Mr. Nash, the hard working articulate, efficient chairman of the
Twentieth Anniversary Committee has been a member of South Berkeley
Community Church only a few years, but he has made himself an integral part
of the church's operation.

     Mr. Nash is a teacher at Berkeley High School and a member of various
professional educational and scientific organizations. In 1965 he will be
director of the Berkeley Science Fair. He and his lovely wife, June, along
with their children an valuable assets to the South Berkeley Church.

                             MRS. IDA PRESCOTT

     Mrs. Prescott is a Charter Member and devoted worker for the Church. A
native of Louisiana, she studied teaching and home economics at Straight
University (Which later became incorporated into Dillard). When she married,
she moved to Houston, Texas, and there she took courses in Religious
Education which she thoroughly enjoyed. After moving to the Bay Area, she
worked as a housemother for Delta Sigma Theta.

     Always a Congregationalist, Mrs. Prescott was most pleased to hear in
1943 that a church of that denomination was being organized in South
Berkeley. From the beginning, she was an active part of it. "It is my main
interest," she says, and demonstrates this by serving on the Welfare Board
and being a ticket-seller extraordinary for every function.

     Her outside interests include the NAACP, her sorority and watching
sports. She admits to being an enthusiastic Dodger fan.

     Mrs. Prescott's good common sense, devotion to duty and forthright
honesty serve us well at SBCC. Our thanks for all her good works.

                              MR. WEILAN POTTS

     Mr. Potts is a native of Arkansas. We feel fortunate that he made his
way to us at SBCC. Between Arkansas and California, however, he pursued

studies at Howard University and Lincoln University, where he majored in
chemistry and psychology. He is now an Employment Security Officer at the
California Department of Employment.

     Both Weilan and his wife Lillian attended SBCC as visitors for a
number of years before becoming members in 1952. Our Church appealed to them
as one not rigidly bound by creed and dogma, as well as being a congregation
which held the ideal of integration as the only possible Christian practice
years before most other churches.

     Mr. Potts' outside interest include music and reading and both
Potts’es are particularly fond of outdoor life, spending many vacations
camping, hunting and fishing.

     We are pleased indeed to count them among our active and faithful

                            DR JAMES RICHARDSON

     Dr. Richardson was born in Philadelphia, and schooled in Georgia. Dr.
Richardson attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, and from there went to
Meharry Medical School in Tennessee. He interned at S. Margaret's, and has
been for two years a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve Medical Corps. He
is on terminal leave now, serving as a Resident at Highland Hospital and in
the veterans' hospitals on a rotating basis. He is grateful to the Navy for
bringing him to California, which he is "sold on", and to a friend for
bringing him to SBCCC. He and his lovely wife, Carry had been “shopping
around" for a church home, and were immediately impressed with the
intellectual content of our service and the congeniality of our fellowship.
We too are grateful to the Navy and the anonymous friend, for Dr. and Mrs.
Richardson are wonderful examples of the sort of dedicated and enlightened
families that we would like to see swell our membership.

                           MR. ANTHONY W. WALKER

     Mr. Walker has been performing the Job as Treasurer for our Church for
at least 10 years. As the Entire Executive Board of his own business, The
Elite Bookkeeping Service, he is well qualified.

     There is an interesting story about the Walkers coming to SBCC.
Originally from Oaklahoma, Mr. Walker came to the Bay Area by way of
Chicago, At tbat time he felt disillusioned about churches in general. As he
and his wife passed SBCC one Sunday, they were attracted first by the
"quaint" architecture and upon entering, by the spirit and program that was
taking place. They returned the following Sunday and have been here ever
since--to our good fortune.

     Outside interests of Mr. Walker include enthusiasm and hard work for
the Rosicrusian Order (Bldg. Fund Chairman at present), and gardening. One
of these days when he can find the time, he plans to have one of the
loveliest gardens in town.


Gladys C. Hawkins         John Waldo Graham        Ida H. Prescott        Harvey W. House

Leland S. Hawkins         Hattie C. Claiborne      A. Barksdale           Walter Stanley Keane

Eva M. Lane               Jewell E. Parker         Patricia Scarlett      Ernest W. Houlding

Charlean A. O’Bryant      Henry J. Osner           Letitia Carter         Valcour Chapman

Bennie L. Perry           Eleanor B. Poston        Grace E. Graham        Mrs. Dellree Jones

Jack Clifton              T.R. Lane                Mrs. C.W. Hall, Jr.    Geneviere H. Spears

Leila O. Taylor           Alice C. Long            Mrs. Mamie G. Lane     Mrs. Doris Bozonier

A. M. Baily               Maryel Gallagher         Pearl Ivey             Edwin C. Linsley

Ruth Watkins Valle        C.R. Claiborne           Alphonse J. Ravelle    Laura B. Clark

Myrtle Osner              Isaac Jones              Geo. E. Watkins        W.P. Taylor

Thomas Jefferson Pruitt Della C. Ware              Cora A. Maden          Marguerite Clark

Herbert Parham            Wendell W. McClelland    Thera Samuels          Marian Keeney

Mrs. Lillian Lamb         Elizabeth W. Cooper      Margie Mora Small      Blanche B. Jones

Alice Chapman             Helen F. McClelland      Mary Hill Mansfield    Luvenia Fonteno

Mrs. Betty Graves         Charlotte Fitz           Henry Clark            Henri O'Bryant, Jr.

Mrs. Ida Bethel-Burrell Don Battles                Zelia Mai Tatum        Maudelle McKindra

Mrs. Ivy H. Dean          Mrs. Edener Powell       Jeannette Fosta        Rella Ravelle

Henry S. Clark            James F. Davis           Irene Peachey Davis    Henry Bastian

Mrs. Charlotte Harris     Harris Ruth C. Cooper    Wilfred J. Lamb        June S. Gallagher

James Hardy Ward          Frances Linsley          JeanNette Webb Gantt   Buer Bally, Sr.

Mack McKindra             William F. Keeney        R. Hicert              Lucile Marion Lane

Marie E. Watkins          Barbara L. Gallagher     Anita S. Bozonier      Eriabelle Young

Ramsey Miller             Robert J. Ivey           Barbara Ingham Keane   Helen H. Starr

Margaret C. Tate          Arnold R. Forms          Helen Burroughs        Emma H. Gibson

Edward Daniel Brooks      Dr. Ruth Richardson      Elis Blanchard         Clare E. White

Besse Clayton Fondreaux                                                   Clarence M. Vickland


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