Fellowship of Southern Churchmen records, 1937-1986.

Creator: Fellowship of Southern Churchmen.
Collection number: 3479
View finding aid.

Abstract: The Fellowship of Southern Churchmen was an interdenominational, interracial group of southern church people (lay and clergy) interested in race relations, anti-Semitism, rural dependency, labor conditions, and other social issues. Early papers, 1937-1944, are largely copies of reports and publications and some material relating to Howard Kester, general secretary of the Fellowship, 1937-1944; Thomas B. Cowan, chair, 1937-1946, and Charles M. Jones, acting general secretary in 1944. The largest portion of the collection consists of the office files, 1945-1949, of Nelle Morton, general secretary at the organization’s headquarters in Chapel Hill, N.C., including routine correspondence concerning membership, conferences, applications and acceptances of work camp staff, and project planning.Also included are the office files, 1950-1957, primarily of Howard Kester at Black Mountain, N.C., but also of Charles M. Jones, 1951-1952; David S. Burgess; and Francis A. Drake. Kester’s files contain information about relations with other organizations and individuals with similar interests and the Fellowship’s financial structure. Later materials are primarily membership lists.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Included in the collection are papers relating to new uprisings of the Ku Klux Klan, correspondence discussing the Journey of Reconciliation to test the court ruling on desegregation in common carriers in interstate commerce by a coalition of interracial bus riders in 1947,  and the arrest of Fellowship members in Atlanta, Georgia, because of an interracial student folk dance party in 1948. (See the correspondence in Series 1 from 1945 to 1949)

Folder 258 also has some undated material on the Journey of Reconciliation.

Please also see the related collections of Reverend Charles Jones and Howard Kester for more information on the Fellowship of Southern Churchman.

Some materials from this collection have been digitized and are available online. Click here to link to the finding aid for this collection and to access the digital content.