Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with James Lawson, October 24, 1983. Interview F-0029. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

William Campbell and the Committee of Southern Churchmen

Lawson recalls his impressions of the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen. While he says it was founded in 1963 when Will D. Campbell joined the organization, the organization originated in 1934. The moment Lawson remembers occurred when Campbell joined its leadership and the organization changed its name to the Committee of Southern Churchmen and became more openly involved in civil rights actions.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with James Lawson, October 24, 1983. Interview F-0029. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

DALLAS A. BLANCHARD:
When did you first run into the Fellowship?
JAMES A. LAWSON:
Of Reconciliation?
DALLAS A. BLANCHARD:
No, the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen.
JAMES A. LAWSON:
Oh, the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen. All right. That was in a . . . well see I'm not even sure, to be truthful. It would've been whenever, at about the time it was organized probably because initially it was not in place and Will Campbell created it partially as a vehicle for his own Ministry.
DALLAS A. BLANCHARD:
Right.
JAMES A. LAWSON:
Let's see. In '57 he was NCC [National Council of Churches]. Let's see. How long did that go on?
DALLAS A. BLANCHARD:
That was into the early 60's, I think, or the late 50's.
JAMES A. LAWSON:
Yeah. I think that office closed somewhere around '62 or '63. I'm not exactly sure, so it would be someplace in there then that Will organized the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen.