Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Benjamin S. Baker, June 1, 1978

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:21 - Background / church programs

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Partial Transcript: My name is Edward Owens. I'm with the Urban League, this is our oral black history project.

Segment Synopsis: Baker discusses his background prior to arriving in Lexington in 1976, including his education history. Also talks about his pastoral career, including the relationship between black and white pastors. Baker also discusses the activities and programs that he has started as a pastor in Lexington.

Keywords: Black church leaders; Black churches; Church programs; Lexington Church leaders; Main Street Baptist Church (Lexington, Ky.); Pastors; Race relations

Subjects: African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington.; African Americans--Religion; Lexington (Ky.).

00:05:16 - Church related outreach programs / housing discrimination in Lexington

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Partial Transcript: Um, being a concerned citizen of Lexington, since you've been here, I'm sure that you are aware of the social problems that blacks are confronted with in this community...

Segment Synopsis: Baker discusses his church's efforts to provide aid to their community on a variety of levels. He also talks about the housing problems in Lexington and the church's involvement in advocating against housing discrimination.

Keywords: Church outreach; Community involvement; Housing conditions; Kentucky Human Rights Commission; Main Street Baptist Church (Lexington, Ky.); Race relations; Social activism

Subjects: African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington.; African Americans--Religion; Discrimination in housing

00:10:52 - The role of the church in the black community

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Partial Transcript: In the 1960s, in the middle 60s, when the civil rights movement was, lets say, at a peak...

Segment Synopsis: Baker talks about the church's evolving role in the black community during the civil rights movement.

Keywords: Black church leaders; Black churches; Black leadership; Civil rights movement; Community relations; Role of the black Church; The black community

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington.; African Americans--Religion

00:15:21 - Black businesses and the church / examining the church's purpose

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Partial Transcript: It seems to me that the church is the backbone of the community, of the black community, but has the church maintained its leadership role in helping black businessmen...

Segment Synopsis: Baker talks about the church's influence on the black community and also talks about the church's role in aiding black businesses. He also talks about the purposes of the church and how people have moved away from the mission of the church.

Keywords: Black businesses; Black churches; Black communities; Community involvement; Role of the Church; The black community

Subjects: African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington.; African Americans--Religion

00:21:39 - Examining the church's purpose continued

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Partial Transcript: Okay, what you just said, can you see the churches of the 50s and the 60s ----------(??) God?

Segment Synopsis: Baker discusses how the purpose of the church has changed since the 1950s and 1960s. He goes on to discuss his belief that the church needs to take on more responsibility in the effort to improve the community. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Black churches; Black organizations; Church leadership; Community involvment; The role of the black church

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African Americans--Religion