Descriptive inventory for the Rev. J. H. Jackson papers, part 2, 1889-2003, bulk 1950-1990

Rev. J. H. Jackson papers, part 2

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Descriptive inventory for the Rev. J. H. Jackson papers, part 2, 1889-2003, bulk 1950-1990

Prepared by Katie Obriot and Elise Zerega, 2013.
Please address questions to:
Chicago History Museum, Research Center
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
Instructions for accessing this collection

Collection Overview +/-

Title: Rev. J. H. Jackson papers, part 2, 1889-2003 (inclusive), 1950-1990 (bulk)
Creators: Joseph Harrison Jackson
National Baptist Convention of the United States of America
Dates: 1889-2003 (inclusive), 1950-1990 (bulk)
Accession number: 1992.0036 and later
Bib number: 00066821
Call numbers: MSS Lot J
MSS Oversize J
Size:113.51 linear feet (264 boxes)
24 volumes
2 oversize folders
Language of material:Collection is written in English.

Provenance statement:

Gift of the estate of Joseph Harrison Jackson; the Rev. Jackson's widow, Maude Thelma Jackson, and his daughter, Prof. Kenny J. Williams; and the estate of Kenny J. Williams (1992.0036 and later).

Terms governing use:

All rights owned by the donor, including copyright, were deeded to Chicago Historical Society. Copyright may be retained by the creators of items or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.


Research use of this collection is governed by the standard rules and regulations of the Chicago History Museum Research Center.

Please cite this collection as:

Rev. J. H. Jackson papers, part 2, (Chicago History Museum), plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Additional Materials +/-

Related material:

Related materials at the Chicago History Museum, Research Center include: photos related to Rev. L. K. Williams are found in other collections at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, including Morris Williams family photograph collection (1995.0275) and the Photographs of family and friends of J. LeVelle Williams (1996.0076 ). Other collections related to Olivet Baptist Church include the history of Olivet Baptist Church of Chicago: a saga of a people [videorecording] (call #: 2001.0255 V); the Olivet Baptist Church records; the Rev. J. H. Jackson visual materials (2009.0056.2); the Olivet Baptist Church photograph collection (2000.0196); Rev. J. H. Jackson and Olivet Baptist Church architectural drawings (2009.0056); correspondence in the Claude A. Barnett papers; and publications by the Rev. J. H. Jackson, cataloged separately.

Related materials at the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection, Chicago Public Library, include the Rev. Floyd and Sweetie Johnson Papers/Zion Temple Baptist Church Records.

Separated material:

Separated collections at the Chicago History Museum include the Rev. J. H. Jackson visual materials.

Collection Summary +/-

Part 2 of the collection spans from 1889-2003, with the bulk of the papers ranging from 1950-1990. It is arranged in ten series: "Personal Papers," "Family Papers," "Early Church Ministry," "Olivet Baptist Church," "National Baptist Convention Presidential Records," "Ministries and Organizations," "Speeches and Writings," "Topical/Subject Files," "Scrapbooks," and "Oversized." The majority of the collection is comprised of papers related to Jackson's tenure as pastor of Olivet Baptist Church and the president of the National Baptist Convention. Researchers interested in African American history, Chicago history, and especially the Civil Rights Movement will find this collection useful.

Biographical/Historical Note +/-

Reverend Joseph H. Jackson (1900-1990) was born and raised near Rhuyard, Mississippi. He began preaching at a young age in rural Coahoma and Bolivar Counties in Mississippi and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Jackson State College. He left Mississippi for Rochester, NY where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Divinity School.

Jackson earned his Master of Arts in Education from Creighton University in Omaha, NE, and did further graduate work in philosophy at the University of Nebraska. While living in Nebraska he entered the ministry and became a pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Omaha and was elected president of the Nebraska Baptist State Association. From 1934-1941, Jackson was the minister of Monumental Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and did graduate work in educational administration and philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1941, Jackson was called to minister at Olivet Baptist Church in Chicago, Illnois, after the death of their minister and National Baptist Convention president, L. K. Williams. Jackson was minister at Olivet until his death in 1990, the longest continuous pastorate in the history of the church. During his ministry at Olivet, Jackson continued his graduate studies in theology at the University of Chicago.

In addition to his ministry and tenure at Olivet Baptist Church, Jackson was heavily involved in various religious organizations. From 1935-1941, Jackson was secretary of the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, Inc. (NBC). In 1953, he was elected president of the NBC and served the longest term in the history of that organization, working 29 years until 1982 when he lost the Presidential election to T. J. Jemison. In the 1950s and 1960s, differing beliefs on the role of the organization's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement led to a faction within the NBC. Jackson used his position as president to make addresses and speeches on the importance of loyalty to the federal government and emphasis on the ballot as the strongest weapon in obtaining civil rights. The belief of social change occurring through the confines of the law clashed with the opposing faction who believed that non-violent civil disobedience would lead to reform. Ultimately, the NBC split into two separate conventions in 1961, the National Baptist Convention and the Progressive National Baptist Convention.

In addition to his ministry and involvement with the National Baptist Convention, Jackson traveled throughout the world on numerous religious missions, served as vice president of the Baptist World Alliance, and was a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches. He also wrote many books including: Stars in the Night, 1951; The Eternal Flame: The Story of a Preaching Mission in Russia, 1956; Many but One: The Ecumenics of Charity, 1964; Unholy Shadows and Freedom's Holy Light, 1967; Nairobi: a Joke, a Junket, or a Journey?, 1976; and A Story of Christian Activism: The History of the National Baptist Convention, 1980.

Catalog Subject Headings +/-

African American Baptists--United States--20th century
African American clergy--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
African Americans--20th century
African Americans--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
African Americans--Religion--20th century
Daley, Richard J, 1902-1976
Jackson, J. H. (Joseph Harrison), 1900-1990--Archives
Jackson, Maude Thelma
Jemison, T. J. (Theodore Judson)
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
Baptist World Alliance
Duke University
Freedom Farms Corporation (Sunflower County, Miss.)
Jackson State College
National Baptist Convention of the United States of America--Archives.
Olivet Baptist Church (Chicago, Ill.)--Clergy.
Shell Oil Company
World Council of Churches
Manuscripts of publication
Chicago (Ill.) - Religious life and customs - 20th century
Chicago (Ill.) Race relations - 20th century
Chicago (Ill.) Social Conditions - 20th century
South Side (Chicago, Ill.)

Organization and Arrangement of Collection +/-

The collection is arranged in ten series chronologically by order of accession.

Click on heading to view series description.

Series I. Personal papers, 1920-1994 (boxes 1-25, 263)
Subseries 1. Biographical materials, circa 1929-1990 (boxes 1-7)
Subseries 2. Correspondence, circa 1955-1990 (boxes 8-10, 263)
Subseries 3. Book reviews, 1964-1968, 1976 (box 11)
Subseries 4. Financial papers, circa 1920-1994 (boxes 11-19)
Subseries 5. Real estate, 1962-1987 (boxes 20-23)
Subseries 6. Travel, circa 1938-1986 (boxes 23-24)
Subseries 7. Books, circa 1926-1962 (boxes 24-25)
Series II. Family papers, 1907-2003 (boxes 26-57)
Subseries 1. Maude Jackson, circa 1907-1997 (boxes 26-34)
Subseries 2. Kenny Jackson Williams, circa 1941-2003 (boxes 34-57)
Series III. Early church ministry, 1930-1939 (box 58)
Subseries 1. Bethel Baptist Church, circa 1930-1934 (box 58)
Subseries 2. Monumental Baptist Church, 1934-1939 (box 58)
Series IV. Olivet Baptist Church, circa 1889-2000 (boxes 59-90)
Subseries 1. Administrative files, 1917-2000 (boxes 59-65)
Subseries 2. Correspondence, circa 1942-1989 (boxes 65-67)
Subseries 3. Financial papers, 1945-1948, 1954-1990 (boxes 68-78)
Subseries 4. Day Care Center, circa 1954-1989 (boxes 79-80)
Subseries 5. Clippings, 1944-1978, 1981, and 1986 (box 81)
Subseries 6. Sermons, circa 1944-1987 (boxes 82-85)
Subseries 7. Church Emergency Aid Fund, 1962-1990 (boxes 86-90)
Series V. National Baptist Convention Presidential records, 1915-1990, bulk 1953-1986 (boxes 91-241)
Subseries 1. Administrative files, 1953-1983 (boxes 91-94)
Subseries 2. Correspondence, 1954-1988 (boxes 94-144)
Subseries 3. Financial papers, 1955-1986 (boxes 144-153)
Subseries 4. Conventions/Conferences, 1915, 1936-1939, 1949-1989, bulk 1955-1982 (boxes 154-167)
Subseries 5. National Baptist Convention's Jackson Library material, 1971-1990 (boxes 168-172)
Subseries 6. National Baptist Freedom Farm, circa 1961-1980 (boxes 172-177)
Subseries 7. Press, circa 1950-1985 (boxes 177-201)
Subseries 8. Speeches and addresses, 1952-1984 (boxes 202-213)
Subseries 9. Affiliated organizations, circa 1952-1983 (boxes 214-240)
Subseries 10. Notes, 1963, circa 1967-1988 (boxes 240-241)
Series VI. Ministries and organizations, 1953-1957, 1963, 1969, 1970-1988 (boxes 241-245)
Series VII. Speeches and writings, 1924, circa 1931-1936, 1950-1987 (boxes 245-258)
Series VIII. Topical/Subject files, 1922, circa 1944-1986, bulk 1964-1965 (boxes 258-262)
Series IX. Scrapbooks, circa 1950-1981 (volumes 1-24)
Series X. Miscellaneous, circa 1944-1986 (box 264, oversize folders 1-2)

About This Finding Aid +/-

Creation: Finding aid encoded by Tanya Calvin using Oxygen editor, 2019; ed. by Julie Wroblewski, 2019.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Other Finding Aids:

A finding aid for the Rev. J. H. Jackson papers, part 1, also exists.

Finding aid also submitted to the Explore Chicago Collections portal.

Processing Note:Processed by CLIR funded Black Metropolis Research Consortium "Color Curtain Processing Project." By Katie Obriot and Elise Zerega, February 1, 2012. A small amount of material was processed into the existing series by Tanya Calvin, 2019.
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