Collection inventory

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Willis J. King Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: King, Willis J.
Title: Willis J. King Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1922-1965
Quantity: 2.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American clergyman, author (b. 1886). King was elected bishop of the Methodist Church in Liberia. Collection includes correspondence, incoming and outgoing (1949-1965); manuscript articles (1961-1965) and speeches (1952-1962); photographs and printed material related to the Methodist Church.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

Willis Jefferson King (1886-1976) was an African-American Methodist bishop, college professor and author.

Born in Rose Hill, Texas, on October 1, 1886, King was educated at Wiley College, Boston University School of Theology, and Harvard University. He earned his PhD in sociology from Boston University, which later awarded him an honorary doctorate, as did the University of Liberia. Wiley College eventually named its administration building for him, and his exemplary scholarship led to his selection as the black students' representative at the World's Student and Christian Federation in Peking, China, and as a Fellow of the Julius Rosenwald Fund for Research at Oxford University. He served as Professor of Old Testament Literature at Gammon Theological Seminary (1918-1930), president of Samuel Houston College (1930-1932), and president of Gammon Theological Seminary (1932-1944).

King's career in the Methodist Church began as a deacon in the Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church (1908). He became an elder in 1913 and held pastorates in Texas (Greenville, St. Paul, Galveston, and Houston) and in Boston, Massachusetts. The next three decades were spent largely in academia, as described above, until the Central Jurisdiction of the Methodist Church elected him bishop in 1944. Bishop King presided over the Liberia Conference (1944-1956) and the New Orleans Area (1956-1960, including two conferences in Texas, two in Mississippi, and one in Louisiana. He retired in 1960 to New Orleans, where he spent his time in writing and speaking.

His awards and recognitions included the Order Star of African Redemption and the Knight Commander Order of Pioneers (Liberia), and in 1975 he was honored as the oldest living United Methodist bishop.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Willis J. King Papers consists of correspondence, subject files, manuscripts, and published material.

Correspondence contains both incoming and outgoing.

Subject files contains lectures, Methodist conferences and program material, and photographs.

Manuscripts consists of addresses for special occasions, articles on the the Bible (general articles, New Testament articles, Old Testament articles), and articles for the Upper Room disciplines, Negro Methodism, the dedication of the Methodist Mission (Gbarnga, Liberia), and reports.

Published material includes articles by and about Bishop King, and books by Bishop King and by others.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Subject files are arranged alphabetically by topic. Manuscripts are subdivided by topic as listed above; within that, special occasion articles are arranged alphabetically by title and Bible articles are arranged chronologically. Published material is subdivided into material by King, about King, and by or about others.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has a number of collections relating to the church and clergy in America; please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings

Persons

King, Willis J.

Corporate Bodies

Methodist Church -- Clergy.
Methodist Church -- Missions -- Liberia.

Subjects

African American Methodists.
African American clergy.
African Americans -- Biography.
Clergy as authors.
Methodists -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Articles.
Correspondence.
Photographs.

Occupations

Clergy.
Speeches.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Willis J. King Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Willis J. King, 1966.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: --
Date: Apr 1966
Revision history: 28 Jan 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Inventory

Correspondence
Box 1 Incoming and Outgoing 1949-1965 (17 folders)
Box 1 Undated
Subject files
Box 1 Lecture Series by Bishop W. King
Box 1 Methodist Conferences and Programs
Box 1 Photographs
Manuscripts
Addresses, special occasions
Box 1 "The Blessing of Adversity" Conference Visitation, Leipzig, Germany 1958
Box 1 "The Challenge of the Present World Situation to the Christian Women of America" (2 copies)
Box 1 "A Christian Approach to the Current Racial Situation in America" Southeastern Jurisdictional Convocation Feb. 19, 1959
Box 1 "A Christian Approach to the Current Racial Situation in America" New Orleans Clericus Club March 28, 1960
Box 1 "The Christian Conception of Neighbor" (2 copies)
Box 1 "The Christian Church and the Field of Public Health" Flint Goodridge Hospital May 14, 1954
Box 1 "The Christian Church in a Changing World" Baccalaureate Address, Interdenominational Theological Center 1962
Box 1 "The Church-Related College and Its Work in the Future" Inauguration of President J.J. Seabrook, Huston-Tillotson College Oct. 25, 1956
Box 1 "The Good Life - What It Is - How Achieved" Baccalaureate Address, Rennet College, N.C. 1954
Box 1 "The Gospel of Labor"
Box 1 "John Wesley, the Minister of Christ" A Wesley Anniversary Service in Sierra Leone 1952
Box 1 "Laymen in the Early Christian Church," Laymen's Day Oct. 18, 1959
Box 1 "Methodism and the Christian Witness," A Wesley Anniversary Service in Sierra Leone 1952
Box 1 "Negro Methodism," African Central Conference
Box 1 "The Place of Religion in the Life of the Nation," Liberia University Conference 1952
Box 1 "The Significance of the Negro Spirituals for Religion" (2 copies)
Box 1 "Some Lessons from the Life of John Frederic Oberlin, Protestant Saint," The Town and Country Convocation at Gulfside Assembly June 21-24, 1955
Box 1 "The Spiritual Pilgrimage of Two Christian Leaders: Saul of Tarsus and John Wesley," A Wesley Anniversary Service in Sierra Leone 1952
Box 1 "What Men Live By" Convocation Oct. 18, 1912
The Bible - "The Bible Speaks to Our Day" Series, General Articles
Box 1 "The Bible Speaks to Our Day" Jan. 1, 1961
Box 1 "The Bible Speaks to Our Day" Jan. 15, 1961
Box 1 "How to Read. the Bible" Feb. 1, 1961
Box 1 "Teach Us to Pray" Feb. 15, 1961
Box 1 "The Bible in Worship" March 1, 1961
Box 1 "The Bible and the Moral Law" March 15, 1961
Box 1 "Christian Stewardship" April 1, 1961
Box 1 "The Bible and Race" April 15, 1961
Box 1 "The Bible and the Use of Alcoholic Beverages" May 1, 1961
Box 1 "The Bible and the Christian Church" July 1, 1962
Box 1 "The Bible and the Christian Church" July 15, 1962
Box 1 "The Bible and the Christian Church" Aug. 1, 1962
Box 1 "The Bible and the Christian Church" Sept. 15, 1962
Box 1 "The Bible and the Christian Church" Oct. 1, 1962
Box 1 "The Bible and Family Life" Oct. 15, 1962
Box 1 "Laymen in the History of the Church" Nov. 1, 1962
Box 1 "The Calendar of the Christian" Dec. 1, 1962
Box 1 "The Twelve Disciples - Thomas and Matthew" July 1, 1963
Box 1 "The Twelve Disciples - James, the Son of Alpheus, Judas Not Iscariot, Simon the Zealot" July 15, 1963
Box 1 "The Twelve Disciples - Judas Iscariot" Aug. 1, 1963
Box 1 "The Epistles - Letters to the Churches" Aug. 15, 1963
Box 1 "The Epistles - First and Second Thessalonians" Sept. 1, 1963
Box 1 "The Epistles - Letter to the Galatians" Sept. 15, 1963
Box 1 "The Epistles - The First Letter to the Corinthians" Oct. 1, 1963
Box 1 "The Epistles - The Second Letter to the Corinthians" Oct. 15, 1963
Box 1 "The Epistles - The Letter to the Romans" Nov. 1, 1963
Box 1 "The Epistles - Letter to the Ephesians" Nov. 15, 1963
Box 1 "The Epistles - The Letter to the Philippians" Dec. 1, 1963
Box 1 "The Epistles - Letters to the Colossians and Philemon" Dec. 15, 1963
Box 1 "The Epistles - First and Second Timothy, and Titus" Jan. 1, 1964
Box 1 "The Epistles - The Letter to the Hebrews" Jan. 15, 1964
Box 1 "The Epistles - The Letter of James" Feb. 1, 1964
Box 1 "The Epistles - First and Second Letters of Peter" Feb. 15, 1964
Box 1 "The Epistles - The First, Second, and Third Letters of John" March 1, 1964
Box 1 "The Epistles - The Letter of Jude" March 15, 1964
Box 1 "The Book of Revelation - Introduction" April 1, 1964
Box 1 "The Book of Revelation - Summary and Message" April 15, 1964
Box 1 "The Members of the Christian Community Become the 'Chosen People" ' Oct. 15, 1965
Box 1 "Jesus and the Jewish-Samaritan Problem" Sept. 1, 1965
Box 1 "Jesus and the Law" Sept. 15, 1965
Box 1 "Jesus and the Jewish Hierarchy" Oct. 1, 1965
Box 1 "The Ancient Creeds and the Faith of the Church Today (The Apostles' Creed)" Jan. 1, 1963
Box 1 "The Ancient Creeds and the Faith of the Church Today (The Nicene Creed)" Jan. 15, 1963 (2 copies)
Box 1 "The Bible and the Sacraments - Baptism" Feb. 1, 1963
Box 1 "The Bible and the Sacraments - The Lord's Supper" Feb. 15, 1963
Box 1 "Easter Festival - The Lenten Season" March 1, 1963
Box 1 "Easter Sunday - The Day of Rejoicing" March 15, 1963
The Bible - "The Bible Speaks to Our Day" Series, New Testament Articles
Box 2 "Jesus, the Fulfillment of Prophesy" Oct. 1, 1961
Box 2 "John. the Baptist, Herald of a New Age" Dec. 1, 1961
Box 2 "The Sermon on the Mount" (1) Feb. 1, 1962
Box 2 "The Sermon on the Mount" (2) Feb. 15, 1962
Box 2 "The Sermon on the Mount" (3) March 1, 1962
Box 2 "The Sermon on the Mount" (4) March 15, 1962
Box 2 "The Parables of Jesus" (1) April 15, 1961
Box 2 "The Parable of the Prodigal Son" (2) May 1, 1962
Box 2 "The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (3) May 15, 1962
Box 2 "Parables and the New Society" (4) June 1, 1962
Box 2 "The Significance of Jesus for Our Day" June 15, 1962
Box 2 "The Twelve Disciples and the Christian Movement" April 1, 1963
Box 2 "The Twelve Disciples - Peter the Rock" April 15, 1963
Box 2 "The Twelve Disciples - Andrew, the Resourceful" May 1, 1963
Box 2 "The Twelve Disciples - James, the Martyr" May 15, 1963
Box 2 "The Twelve Disciples - John the Beloved Disciple" June 1, 1963
Box 2 "The Twelve Disciples - Philip and Bartholomew" June 15, 1963
Box 2 "The Christian Fellowship Becomes an Institution" Dec. 1, 1965
Box 2 "The Message of the Early Christian Church - 'The Good News" Dec. 15, 1965
The Bible - "The Bible Speaks to Our Day" Series, Old Testament Articles
Box 2 "David, Symbol of the Messianic King" June 15, 1961
Box 2 "The Prophets Speak to Our Day" July 1, 1961
Box 2 "Amos, the Prophet of the Moral Law" July 15, 1961
Box 2 "Hosea, the Prophet of Love" Aug. 1, 1961
Box 2 "Isaiah, the Prophet of the Sovereignty of God in the World" Aug. 15, 1961
Box 2 "Micah, the Spokesman of the Ordinary Man," Sept. 1, 1961
Box 2 "Jeremiah, Prophetic Exponent of Personal Religion" Sept. 15, 1961
Box 2 "Ezekiel, the Prophet-Priest Spokesman for God" Oct. 1, 1961
Box 2 "Habakkuk, the Prophet of Faith" Oct. 15, 1961
Box 2 "Jonah, the Herald of International Goodwill" Nov. 1, 1961
Box 2 "Daniel the Prophet of the Ultimate Triumph of Righteousness in the World" Nov. 15, 1961
Box 2 "The Books of Psalms as a Devotional Guide" Jan. 1, 1962
Box 2 "The Message of the Book of Job" Jan. 15, 1962
Box 2 "Genesis - An Introductory Word" May 1, 1962
Box 2 "Genesis - Some Lessons from the Creation Story" May 15, 1964
Box 2 "Genesis - The Story of the Fall of Man" June 1, 1964
Box 2 "Genesis - The Story of Cain and Abel" June 15, 1964
Box 2 "Genesis - Lessons from the Story of Noah and the Flood" July 1, 1964
Box 2 "Genesis - The Unity and Diversity of Mankind" July 15, 1964
Box 2 "Genesis - The Ancestral Background of 'The Chosen People' " Aug. 1, 1964
Box 2 "Genesis - Abraham, the Father of the Hebrew People" Aug. 15, 1964
Box 2 "Joshua, the Leader for a New Generation" Nov. 15, 1964
Box 2 "Isaac and Rebekah, Forerunners of the Modern Christian Family" Sept. 1, 1964
Box 2 "Jacob the Crafty One Becomes 'Israel the Chosen of God'" Sept. 15, 1964
Box 2 "Moses the Great Lawgiver" Oct. 1, 1964
Box 2 "The School of the Wilderness" Oct. 15, 1964
Box 2 "A Great Leader (Moses) Retires" Nov. 1, 1964
Box 2 "Testing Times for the Chosen People" Dec. 1, 1964
Box 2 "Samuel Called to the Leadership of Israel" Dec. 15, 1964
Box 2 "Israel's Religious Leadership Fails the Nation in a Time of Crisis" April 1, 1965
Box 2 "The Prophetic Revival in Israel in the Eighth Century B. C" April 15, 1965
Box 2 "The Contribution of the Eighth Century Prophets to the Religion of Israel and To Mankind" May 15, 1965
Box 2 "The Prophets of Israel and Political Improvement" June 1, 1965
Box 2 "The Prophets and World Peace" June 15, 1965
Box 2 "The Prophets as Spiritual Guides to Israel in Times of National Calamity" July 1, 1965
Box 2 "A Church is Born in Captivity" July 15, 1965
Box 2 "Lessons from the Return of the Babylonian Exiles to the Palestinian Homeland" Aug. 1, 1965
Box 2 "The Priests Take Over the Leadership of the Chosen People" Aug. 15, 1965
Miscellaneous
Box 2 Articles for Upper Room Disciplines
Box 2 Articles - Negro Methodism
Box 2 Dedication of Methodist Mission, Gbarga, Liberia 1949-1956
Box 2 Reports
Published mater1al
Box 2 About Bishop W. King 1944-1960
Box 2 By Bishop W. King 1922-1923
Box 2 By Bishop W. King 1957-1960
Box 2 By Bishop W. King, "History of the Methodist Church Mission in Liberia"
Box 2 Newspaper articles about Bishop W. King
Books
Box 3 Christian Bases of World Order / Merrick Lectures 1963
Box 3 The Negro in American Life / Willis J. King
Box 3 Personalism in Theology / Edgar S. Brightman, editor
Box 3 Weltreise Gedanken / Im Furche-Verlag Zu Berlin

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