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Presbyterians and the Civil Rights Movement

In 1963, on the heels of the national crisis precipitated by the Civil Rights marches in Birmingham, Alabama, the 175th General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (UPCUSA) mandated the creation of the Commission on Religion and Race (CORAR) as “the focal point for race relations and liaison with interfaith and ecumenical efforts.” Under the leadership of Gayraud S. Wilmore, the Commission was responsible for the design, coordination, and implementation of a comprehensive race-relations strategy for United Presbyterians.

Portrait of Gayraud S. Wilmore, 1968. (Image ID; 1309)

CORAR promotional brochure, Brotherhood Has a Big Sky, ca. 1964. Click to read.

CORAR exhibit. (Photograph by Joseph M. Elkins, ca. 1964.)

A compilation of recent pronouncements and recommendations of the UPCUSA General Assembly, 1954-1964.