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1960s History

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In a response to a letter sent out by the Rev. L. Venchael Booth, 33 delegates from 14 states met on November 14-15, 1961 at his church, the Zion Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rev. J. Raymond Henderson, pastor of Second Baptist Church of Los Angeles, California, presided over the meeting. As a result of this two-day intensive organizational meeting, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. was formed.

As a result of the 1961 founding meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, Rev. T. M. Chambers was elected as its first President. Leadership from across the United States joined the Progressive Baptist family and spawned the Progressive National Baptist Movement. Issues of freedom, civil and human rights, and progressive ideas became the cornerstone for the convention. The PNBC became a new Christian movement which included an array of social and political concerns embodied in its founding principles of Fellowship, Progress, Service and Peace.


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