[ITC First 20 Years: A History and Student Sermon by Cheeseboro]

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Isaac R. Clark Memorial Collection

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circa 1963

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Dr. Harry V. Richardson celebrates 20 years of the Interdenominational Theological Seminary through a presentation of its history. He explains how the school was initially funded by the Rockefeller Foundation Sealantic and General Education funds. Dr. Richardson also describes the meetings with Rockefeller foundation representatives including Danna Creel and Dean Rusk. He also discusses meetings with Benjamin E. Mays and Frederick D. Patterson and the importance of original ITC board members and faculty such as Martin Luther King Sr. and Charles B Copher. Also, ITC student Cheeseboro delivers three sermons.

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00:00:05 Audio begins with Dr. Harry V. Richardson speaking.

00:01:17 Tells about the beginning of the Interdenominational Theological Center.

00:01:50 Talks about how in 1955 there were three small theological schools in Atlanta (Morehouse School of Religion, Turner Theological Seminary in Morris Brown and Gammon Theological Seminary Located in South Atlanta), and everyone feeling like these schools could do much better if they cooperated.

00:03:05 Talks about how many had called for cooperation and tried to achieve this blending of schools and how Benjamin E. Mays was one of the most active and persistent in the call for cooperation.

00:03:27 Talks about how in March of 1955, two trustees of Clark College who were in Atlanta attending a Clark College board meeting came to Richardson’s office at Gammon and asked him if he knew about a new foundation that had been set up to aid theological education. It was a Rockefeller foundation fund (Sealantic Fund) .

00:05:56 Talks about meeting with Rockefeller Foundation Sealantic Fund with Frederick D. Patterson (UNCF) on January 10, 1956 in New York, NY. Tells of the Sealantic representatives present at the meeting (Mr. Danna Creel, York S. Allen, and Harry Misère) .

00:08:43 Talks about his friend Linsley F. Kimbrough in another Rockefeller Fund to assist in funding for planning.

00:10:35 Talks about meeting he had with Dean Rusk in New York.

00:11:21 Talks about afternoon of March 24, 1956 and receiving call from Dean Rusk being in Atlanta and coming to meet with him and gives detail of the meeting.

00:14:50 Talks about his book coming out about the history of the Interdenominational Theological Center.

00:16:39 Talks about report of 1957 “Report of Agreements” as the basic document of ITC.

00:19:35 Talks about how he received a letter on April 18, 1958 from the general education board saying their trustees had appropriated $500,000 for the new school called the Interdenominational Theological Center. Also talks about how on June 4, 1958 he received telegraph from the Sealantic Fund that trustees had appropriated $1.5 million dollars for the new school.

00:20:57 Talks about the founding fathers of the Interdenominational Theological Center including Dr. E.C. Caldwell, Dr. Henry P. Van Dusen, Benjamin E. Mays, Dr. F.D. Patterson, Bishop B. Julian Smith, Dr. Martin Luther King Sr., P.R. Shy, and Bishop W.R. Wilkes.

00:24:08 Talks about forming of the first faculty and points out Dr. Copher and the generous response from organizations to the school.

00:28:25 Talks about how he was elected president of new Interdenominational Theological Center on November 7, 1957 and how Dr. Benjamin E. Mays recommended him as president and there brotherly affection for each other.

00:35:22 Talks about how the school was never intended to relieve the denominations of all financial responsibility of their preachers.

00:42:37 Talks about theology and how men go to theology to find meaning in life.

00:43:19 Talks about the need for a religious breakthrough if religion is to help man and how there is a moral collapse and the church being on the run.

00:49:30 Ends presentation and prays.

00:50:30 Music plays and choir sings.

00:53:20 Cheeseboro prays.

00:54:10 Talks about how the book of Exodus bears witness to the religious meaning of what took place in the life of the Israelites.

01:01:56 Talks about cigarette smokers and how being informed of the dangers.

01:17:40 Talks about example of petitioning God for strength and determination.

01:25:44 Sermon ends.

01:26:01 Cheeseboro prays.

01:26:23 Talks about how the book of Luke was written by the beloved physician and companion of Paul and how it was written for the Greeks and tells of the perfect humanity of Christ.

01:30:07 Introduces sermon: Knowing How to Use the Power of God.

01:39:08 Talks about the definite need of a source more powerful than oneself.

01:48:37 Talks about Jesus knowing that his God was stronger than death and how he calls humans to live a life of faith.

01:51:08 Sermon ends.

01:52:23 Cheeseboro prays.

01:53:01 Introduces Philippians 4:4-7.

01:55:55 Talks about Paul urging Philippians to follow his example.

01:56:13 Introduces sermon: Being Satisfied in Christ.

02:09:28 Talks about how text suggests that even though one is in the mist of persecution one should reconcile themselves to prayer to God.

02:21:21 Talks about is to be joyful in the Lord and forever being happy in knowing the Peace of God has been granted through his son Jesus.

02:27:38 Audio ends.


The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library acknowledges the generous support of the National Endowment for Humanities - Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Implementation Project Grant in supporting the processing and digitization of a number of its major archival collections as part of the project: Spreading the Word: Expanding Access to African American Religious Archival Collections at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library.

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