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 • Vernon Johns Farm
 • Darlington Heights
 • Prince Edward County
 • Virginia
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Dr Vernon Johns
Birth: Apr. 22, 1892
Darlington Heights
Prince Edward County
Virginia, USA
Death: Jun. 11, 1965, USA

Social Reformer. A Farmer, preacher and civil-rights pioneer who has been refered to as the "Father of the Civil-Rights Movement", he was considered a man ahead of his time in the civil-rights movement. Born in April of 1892 in Prince Edward County, Virginia, his parents did not have enough money to send him to school, so he educated himself while working. He was frequently seen plowing and reading at the same time and was said to have a photographic memory. Able to recite long biblical passages, including the entire book of Romans, he taught himself Greek, Latin, Hebrew and German. Graduatig from Oberlin College in 1918, he became the pastor of Court Street Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virgina (one of the oldest African-American congregations in the South), serving first from 1920 to 1926, then from 1941 to 1945. It was here that Vernon Johns gained a reputation as a orator of great renown and a dramatic pulpiter. He later served as president of Virginia Theological Seminary and College from 1929 to 1934. In 1947 he made his way to Montgomery, Alabama, where became pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (1948 to 1952). A blunt-spoken opponent of racial segregation and a champion of civil rights, he exhorted his congregations in the south to resist the laws that constricted their lives. In spite of his eccentricities, the black-elite congregation of Dexter Avenue liked his preaching and his leadership. Within two years, however, he started to speak out about racial issues and to castigate his congregation for ignoring them. Members of the congregation were increasingly discomforted by his behavior. He accused them of doing nothing while their race was being killed. Vernon Johns eventually offered his resignation in 1952 and the deacons accepted it after much debate. He was proceeded by a young Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He spent the rest of the years of his life speaking out against racism and working on his farm in Darlington Heights, Virginia. In 1965 shortly after delivering his last major sermon "The Romance of Death," at Howard University, he died of a heart attack in Washington, D.C. He was buried under a tree on his Virginia farm. (bio by: Curtis Jackson) 
Vernon Johns Farm
Darlington Heights
Prince Edward County
Virginia, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Curtis Jackson
Record added: Feb 28, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7219193
Dr Vernon Johns
Added by: Curtis Jackson
Dr Vernon Johns
Added by: Curtis Jackson
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