BELL STREET BAPTIST CHURCH BOMBED
By Uriah J. Fields
Uriah J. Fields was pastor of the Bell Street Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama when it was bombed. As part of a wave of bombings by white racists, in a last-ditch effort to prevent integration of buses, on January 10, 1957 four black churches, as well as the homes of Reverends Ralph Abernathy and Robert Gaetz, the latter a white pastor of a black Lutheran congregation, were bombed in Montgomery. The bombings followed the integration of the city's buses. In his book, "Parting the Waters," Taylor Branch writes: "On the night of the bombing Bell Street Baptist Church suffered the most destruction." (p. 200).
Bell Street Baptist Church was rebuilt during the pastorship of Rev. Uriah J. Fields. Sixteen months after the church was bombed the congregation held its first worship service in the new sanctuary.
On December 5, 1955, four days after Rosa Parks was arrested for having refused to give her bus seat to a white person, black leaders in Montgomery organized the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) to give structure to and conduct the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Martin Luther King, Jr., Pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, was elected president and Uriah J. Fields, Pastor of Bell Street Baptist Church, was elected recording secretary of the MIA.
To view a photo of the bombed Bell Street Baptist Church in shambles, taken shortly after the January 10, 1957 bombing, visit: http://twitter.com/uriahharp and view Uriah J. Fields, Sept. 9 posting. (Or, just follow Uriah J. Fields on Twitter).
Other writings by Uriah J. Fields about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, including his award-winning account of "The First Day of The Montgomery Bus Boycott" are posted on http://uriahfields.com.
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