Crisis of Conscience


Arkansas Methodists and the Civil Rights Struggle
Edited by James T. Clemons and Kelly L. Farr
978-0-9708574-4-6 (paper)
July 2007


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Crisis of Conscience features personal stories by Arkansas Methodist pastors, laypersons, and community leaders—including Dale Bumpers, M. Joycelyn Elders, and Miller Williams—who lived through the struggles for civil rights in the 1950s and saw their congregations and other institutions rocked by the tumultuous events of the history-making era. The book also depicts the desegregation of Hendrix College, the prophetic role of Philander Smith College in civil rights activism, and the experiences of other Arkansas Methodist institutions in the great freedom struggle that caused many of the state’s church members to realize they could no longer reconcile their belief in God with participation in a segregated society.

James T. Clemons is a native of Arkansas, a retired United Methodist minister, and professor emeritus of New Testament at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Kelly L. Farr, also an Arkansas native, is an editor and journalist.

Distributed for the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.