Interview with G. A. Childs, June 16, 1987

Project: Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

A fourth generation minister and a descendant of Virginia slaves, the Rev. Childs delineates family histories and ancestral memories of slavery. He remembers his father as a well known and well respected leader of the African American communities of Harrodsburg and Somerset; talks about the moral values with which he was raised; and,the high expectations of his family. Rev. Childs recalls attending school at Somerset Dunbar elementary; teacher, Mrs. Virginia Lackey; and, the reputation and discplinary practices of Principal Harry McCluskey. Commenting upon the triparate influences of church, school and home upon the African American community, Rev. Childs remembers growing up in Somerset during the Depression: the acts of violence committed by African Americans upon each other; the struggles for power; the pervasive fear of the African American citizens; the lack of interest shown by the white majority; and, the impact of the accidental killing of the white chief of police upon Somerset.
Rev. Childs recalls his athletic career before graduating from Harrodsburg Westside High School; working his way through school doing odd jobs; studying sociology at Kentucky State College; and meeting his future wife. While serving in the Unites States Navy after college, Rev. Childs was stationed mainly within the country but did have one assignment in China. He recalls his experiences working at the Officer's Mess, the treatment received and the limited racism encountered. Upon his return to the US, Rev. Childs worked briefly as a chaueffeur for Beaumont Inn before heeding the call to the ministry and attending seminary school at Southern Baptist in Louisville.
He remembers the move to Louisville; working his way through seminary school at International Harvester; first position at Harrodsburg's First Baptist Church; Ashland's New Hope Baptist Church;his current position at Shiloh Baptist Church; and the role of his wife and her influence upon the congregation. He discusses the divine inspiration received throughout his career; how his teachings have impacted his life; his opinions as to the role of the church today and ministerial leadership; and, the increased cohesiveness of the African American churches in the Lexington area. He comments upon Reverand Nutter and his political activism during the civil rights movement; the activism in Ashland during this time period; and the influence exerted by African American churches to force social changes in Ashland.

Interview Accession

1987oh087_kh418

Interviewee Name

G. A. Childs

Interviewer Name

Emily Parker

Interview Date

1987-06-16

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Childs, G. A. Interview by Emily Parker. 16 Jun. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Childs, G.A. (1987, June 16). Interview by E. Parker. Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Childs, G. A., interview by Emily Parker. June 16, 1987, Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





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