When Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in April of 1968, the Black theological students at Colgate Rochester Divinity School requested a program and professorship in Black Church Studies as a memorial to what King represented as a pastor and leader of the Black Church. After a forced close-down of the school by the Black students and a series of fundraising efforts, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Professorship in Black Church Studies was established. This position was filled by Henry H. Mitchell (clergyman, educator, author and at that time pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Santa Monica, CA) on July 1, 1969 and the program of Black Church Studies at CRDS/BH/CTS was launched in September 1969. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellows project began as the result of an idea given to Dr. Mitchell for a research and writing project for the purpose of developing literature, curriculum, and bibliographical materials in the area of Black Church practice.
For more information about the collection as a whole, please visit the Martin Luther King Fellows in Black Religious Studies, Inc., collection .