"In 1963 ... 28 native-born Mississippi Methodist ministers signed a formal declaration decrying the racism that made Mississippi the poster child of white supremacy. This powerful monograph by Reiff (religion, Emory and Henry College) contextualizes the declaration in the world of Mississippi's white Methodism, dominated by ministerial conservative Willard Leggett and segregationist John Satterfield. Reiff follows the 28 signatories, some of whom were forced to abandon the pulpits, some of whom chose exodus, and some of whom stayed behind. He explores the significance of the "Born of Conviction" statement as a prophetic challenge to the closed society of 1960s Mississippi, especially its power to shape Mississippi Methodism's evolving but incomplete struggle to overcome racism. ... This monograph adds to the literature about civil rights era Methodists, highlighting the role of racial moderates and their struggles to live out the dictates of their faith in a society ravaged by its tragic history"--Choice Reviews.
Born of conviction cast of characters -- Introduction : at the church steps -- Prelude to a crisis -- Methodism and Mississippi -- The road to born of conviction : sources of dissent -- Mississippi 1962 -- Born of conviction : call and response -- A time to speak -- Methodist ministers shatter vacuum : January 1963 -- Congregational and community responses -- What became of the twenty-eight? -- Spoke out, forced out? -- Continuing exodus -- A mind to stay here -- Memory and legacy -- Assessing and remembering born of conviction -- Legacies of born of conviction
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