Our very own civil rights leader(s)

Vincent Harding and Anna Marie PetersonDid you know that RMC member Anna Marie Peterson (pictured here with Vincent Harding) was a neighbor to Martin Luther King Junior in the early 60s?

The story, from what I understand, goes like this: In 1960 Anna Marie spent one semester as an exchange student at Spelman College, a black liberal arts college for women located in Atlanta, Georgia. She had such a good experience that semester that she went back to Atlanta after finishing college at Bethel in North Newton, KS. She lived at what was called The Mennonite House and she taught at Spelman College Nursery School.

Mennonite House in AtlantaSince the backyard of the Mennonite House touched the backyard of Dr. King Junior’s house, many hellos, waves, and smiles were exchanged. Anna Marie even remembers Christmas caroling at the Dr. King Junior’s house!

Dr. King Junior

Here is someone else Anna Marie knew: Septima Poinsette Clark.  Mrs. Clark was in charge of the Freedom Schools that made voter registration possible. She has often been called the grandmother of the Civil Rights movement.

Hiring tips-page3Anna Marie has fond memories of Septima Poinsette Clark and considers her a friend.

Another important leader at this time was Andrew Young. Here is a picture of the Young family.

The Young familyThere is so much more to this story and I look forward to sharing more about The Mennonite House and Vincent Harding (pictured above with Anna Marie) in my sermon on Sunday.  Hope to see you all in church!

Finally, I want to thank Anna Marie for permitting me to post this information, along with pictures. And THANK YOU FOR BEING A CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER!

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