The History of Racial Justice Issues at Washington Street UMC

A four-part series written by WSUMC Historian, Mike Broome

This four-part series was published in four issues of Washington Street’s The Connection newsletter. Each article represented an event in the history of WSUMC and how we have stood up for racial injustices for many years. You can read the entire series by clicking on the article title below.

Bishop William Capers

Reverend J. Claude Evans and “This Conflict of Race”

William Martin & Family

John Harper and the Founding of Washington Street

Upcoming Events and News of Interest

R-Squared is a project of the General Commission on Religion and Race of the United Methodist Church. R-Squared aims to support and resource diverse faith communities in the work of racial equity, anti-racism, and intersectional justice-making.

Drawing from the assertion of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, we make our resource and service available to people of all religion, race or ethnicity, skin color, or political view. Our goal is to realize the possibility of a world where every member of the human family can live, love, and express themselves in freedom and in peace.

At R-Squared, you will find relevant and practical resources – videos, study guides, online courses, and Bible studies – to help you and your faith community through this critical work of building up a just and equitable kin-dom of God.

Prayer & Action Racial Justice Challenge

Our Christian principles charge us to be a community of prayer and action. We are to live in the tension of piety and work. Worldwide, we continue to experience racial, ethnic, and tribal injustices that dehumanize God’s people. We are called to work towards liberation — as a spiritual and actionable practice. For this reason, the General Commission on Religion and Race invites you to participate in the Racial Justice Prayer & Action Challenge. Beginning on Juneteenth (Sunday June 19, 2022) we will post daily prayers on social media for six weeks. We’ll also include weekly challenges to help you put your prayers into action.

We challenge you and your church to join us by doing each of the following:

  1. Pray with us each day. Share the prayer on your social media and ask your friends to pray too.

  2. Take action. Each week we will suggest anti-racist actions, pick one and do it.

  3. Incorporate the liturgy in worship. We will offer liturgies for each Sunday during the challenge.

  4. Host a community prayer service for racial justice. Use the litanies, scriptures, and prayers below and invite other faith communities to participate.


About the Racial Justice Action Team

This new committee was formed to address and respond to racial injustice after the death of George Floyd. The Racial Justice Action Team met for the first time on June 29, 2020. Members of this team include Patricia Parrish, Alston Lippert, Nancy Whittle, Cindy Cox, Melanie Dobson, Neal Foster, Courtney Foster, Ann Jessup, Karen Lowrimore, Anne Sinclair, and Lee Smith. Nancy Whittle and Pastor Parrish are facilitating the team.

VISION: To actively advocate for racial justice within our congregation and community.

MISSION: Our mission is to inspire and engage our congregation and community to challenge and transform unjust systems of institutional and personal power. To accomplish this mission, we will:

  • Educate ourselves and others around both historic and lived issues of systematic injustice. (Karen Lowrimore,; Cindy Cox,
  • Confront our own biases and the biases of others within WSUMC and the community at large. (Ann Jessup,; Courtney Foster,
  • Identify and remove barriers that prevent justice in social systems (education, housing, voting, law enforcement, etc.) Anne Sinclair,; Cindy Cox,
  • Lead efforts to engage our congregation in the sustained work of racial justice (Nancy Whittle,; Patricia Parrish,
  • The names in parentheses are the team members who will take the lead on these individual efforts by working on actions to achieve each goal. We want to engage the congregation in this effort and we ask for you to join in this journey. If you have a specific interest in the above, please contact the lead team members. We welcome and encourage your participation. We also plan to work with other existing church teams on each action.


For many years BellSouth/AT&T produced an African American History calendar. In the last few years, the SC DOE has taken over this project. It was created to be a resource for teachers to use in the classroom. The calendar generally features individuals. However, for the 25th anniversary, they have highlighted key historical events.  The link below will take you to the full website with current calendar and archives of all years.

Resources on Columbia’s African American and Civil Rights History

Clergy for Racial Equality (CFRE) is a Columbia District network of support and empowerment for clergy to share ideas and “best practices” of addressing racism in each pastor’s community and church context.   CFRE invites you to explore a virtual tour created by Columbia SC 63. This tour covers important African American and Civil Rights Movement historical landmarks.

Whether you explore this tour online or by foot, you can refer to the resources below for further information about this important but often forgotten history of Columbia, SC.

Begin your tour by visiting If a landmark piques your interest, check below for further learning.

  1. Columbia in the 1960s: The State House and Public Protest

“March 2, 1961 at the State House,” Richland County Library blog

  1. Sarah Mae Flemming and the Integration of Public Transportation

Sarah Mae Flemming bio by Columbia City of Women 

Video about Sarah Mae Flemming by BWCAR 2016

  1. Legacies of the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina

Briggs v Elliott video by The 74 

Briggs v. Elliott article by The 74

  1. We Shall Not Be Moved: South Carolina Student Activism and the Supreme Court

History of the NAACP

Friendship 9 video by SCETV 

The Orangeburg Massacre video by SCETV

  1. Bouie v City of Columbia Historic Marker

“Eckerd’s” by 2020 Jubilee (video)

  1. Old Greyhound Bus Station

“Traveling in Columbia during the Jim Crow era,” Richland County Library blog

  1. The Walls Came Tumbling Down: Integration & Racial Dialogue

Interview with Henri Baskins about CCRC

History of CCRC

Bio of I. Dequincey Newman

  1. Modjeska Simkins House

Bio of Modjeska Monteith-Simkins by National Parks Service

“Rise Up” video

  1. Township Auditorium

“Township Auditorium” by 2020 Jubilee (video)

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Columbia,” Richland County Library blog

  1. Washington Street. Black Business District

Black Business District, Historic Columbia

“Main Street at Mid-Century,” Richland County Library blog

  1. Victory Savings Bank/NAACP Office

Cocktail With A Curator – Toy Reveals History of First Black Owned Bank in South Carolina (video)

  1. A Living Sanctuary: Zion Baptist Church & Columbia’s Civil Rights Struggle

“Zion Baptist Church” by 2020 Jubilee (video)

Cola Today put together a great list of minority-owned Columbia Businesses.
Click here to view the article and listings.

The UMC is offering a course on Racism: Anti-Racism 101
Click here for more information!

Resources from Richland County Library (RCL)


Together SC: Our national awakening to racial injustice is a call to nonprofit leaders to step up and lead by tackling systemic racial inequities, within their communities and within their organizations. Together SC is here to help.

Learning Opportunities:



  • #OwnVoices Book Blog Posts | When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, reviewed by Dana M. OwnVoices at Richland Library is a way for black staff to provide thoughtful and well written book reviews, book lists and blog posts to promote Black authors and their work about the Black experience.
  • Dinner Table Talks Posts | Dreamers by Yuyi Morales | curated by Taelor Johnson, Heather McCue, Jocelyn Pettigrew. Dinner Table Talks create the opportunity for families to have important conversations centered around books. These discussions will build our capacity for talking about race and define our roles in fighting against both every day and systemic racism.
  • Let’s Talk Race Thought Leaders Blog Post & Padlet
  • Understanding Race, Equity and Inclusion –A rich collection of resources to begin or continue your anti-racist journey.



· Actor Jodie Turner-Smith Says ‘Systemic Racism’ Led to Her Decision to Have a Home Birth

· Why Racial Gaps in Maternal Mortality Exist

· Black Babies are More Likely to Survive When Cared for by Black Doctors, Study Finds

· Publisher Apologises for ‘Racist’ Text in Medical Book


Race Forward


• Order Books from Independent Black-owned book stores: (click here)

• Here is a great list of books on racial justice compiled by Courtney Foster