Mike Stroud, director of the Project 66-16 history initiative, has written an essay on the event that laid the groundwork for the beginning of the Southeast Conference of the UCC on January 1, 1966, an event whose 50th anniversary we commemorate on the last weekend of April. On April 24, 1965, delegates from the old Southeast Congregational Christian Convention, an all-Euro-American body, voted by a small margin to allow into its ranks four Evangelical and Reformed churches in Alabama and Tennessee that had previously belonged to an Indiana judicatory and, more importantly, about 20 to 25 African-American congregations that had been affiliated with the old segregated Convention of the South. Taking place as this did some weeks after the March on Selma, this was an extraordinary achievement, given the circumstances, which Stroud lays out in this essay. It is available as a download here.
The essay will be expanded upon and will serve as the anchor for Stroud’s forthcoming book on the history of the SEC, tentatively titled Ye Shall Be Witness Unto Me in the Southland, scheduled for release around Christmas time (December) 2016.
For more information about the Project, or to make criticisms or suggestions, contact Stroud at (256) 642-8052 or [email protected].