URIAH J. FIELDS' ABODES IN MONTGOMERY AND CALIFORNIA
By Uriah J. Fields
Following my four-year tour of duty in the Army, two of them during the Korean War, I returned to my native state of Alabama to live for a decade in Montgomery, in a certain way, far from the hamlet of Sunflower, Alabama, where I lived the first sixteen and one-half years of my life. During these years I was a college student at Alabama State College (now university), pastor of the Bell Street Baptist Church that was bombed by rabid racists during the Montgomery Bus Boycott and rebuilt during my nine years as pastor of this church. I was one of eighteen persons to found the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) and served as secretary of the organization for six months which gave structure to and directed the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Martin Luther, King, Jr., served as president of the MIA for the duration of the 381-day long bus boycott. The MIA was founded four days after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give her bus seat to a white person to give structure to and direct the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
It was not without difficulty that I became a registered voter in Montgomery and before leaving Montgomery my name was on the ballot as a candidate for the Board of Education. For that the Ku Klux Klan sent me threatened mail and ordered me to leave Montgomery. I did not leave. I did remember what I was trained to do as a soldier. During my years in Montgomery I received the Bachelors of Science degree and Masters of Education degree from Alabama State College and later commuted to Atlanta for three years to attend the Gammon Seminary (now a federated seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center) where I received the Masters of Divinity degree cum laude.
In 1962 I became a resident of California where I would live in Los Angeles and San Diego the next thirty-three years. There, I was a founder and president of the American Christian Freedom Society, a founder and Encourager-in-Chief of the Mutuality Warrior Corps, and established the Mutuality Center for Creative Living where for over a decade a weekly People United Freedom Forum convened that I moderated. For more than a decade I was secretary of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Los Angeles. In 1979 Rev. Thomas Kilgore, Jr, pastor of Second Baptist Church of Los Angeles, and 130 other preachers gathered at Second Baptist Church and founded "The Gathering," an ecumenical group that sought to reduce an increase in police brutality. Kilgore was elected to serve as President and I was elected to serve as Secretary of The Gathering.
In 1965 during the Watts Riot and in 1992 during the Rodney King Riot I joined with a group of ministers who were active in preventing more deaths than the approximately100 people who were killed during those riots.
While in Los Angeles I matriculated at the University of Los Angles and the California Graduate School were in 1974 I was awarded the Ph.D. degree. I also was the author of "Mutuality: The Full Life Process," "Be the Best: Do It Easy, Do It Now" and "The Magic Power of Positive Ideas."
While in California I fought a few battles, including some in the courts. To read about two of my court cases, a Housing Discrimination case, (that happened before the 1968 Federal Housing Act that became law one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.) and my Religious Freedom case against the City of Sierra Madre, California. I won both cases. To read texts of these cases cited in "My Fight for Justice as a Plaintiff and as a Defendant," visit: http://uriahfields.com/gpage4.html.
Additional information, "Uriah J. Fields Biography" is available at: http://uriahfields.com/gpage65.html.
To read my eyewitness account of the "Rodney King Riot" visit: http://uriahfields.com/gpage36.html
(Note: You may have to locate these three titles in the green column to the right, located on this page.)
Copyright 2016 by Uriah J. Fields