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Rev. Dr. William H. Jernagin

Rev. Dr. William H. Jernagin

Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church (1912-1958)

Rev. Dr. William H. Jernagin (1869-1958) was a towering figure in the fight for racial justice and a prominent voice for the African American community. Born in Mississippi, he dedicated his life to dismantling the chains of discrimination, both as a Baptist pastor and a passionate advocate for civil rights.

Jernagin's journey began in the pulpit. Ordained in 1892, In 1912, he became the sixth pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Washington D.C. and for an extraordinary 46 years he transformed it into a vibrant hub of social activism. From his powerful sermons to his fearless leadership, he mobilized his congregation and rallied them to fight against injustices like police brutality and discriminatory housing practices.

Beyond the walls of his church, Jernagin's influence rippled outwards. He served as president of the National Race Congress and later the National Negro Congress, organizing protests and tirelessly advocating for legislative change. He championed Pan-Africanism, attending the Paris Peace Conference and the First Pan-African Congress in 1919. Even his writings, published across various newspapers and journals, served as weapons against prejudice and ignorance.

Jernagin's tireless efforts earned him widespread respect and admiration. He was hailed as the "watchdog of the race" in the nation's capital, leaving an undeniable mark on the city's civil rights landscape.

Illuminating the legacy of Rev. Dr. William H. Jernagin, we celebrate his groundbreaking activism also his unwavering faith and enduring compassion. He embodied the true meaning of a leader, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire generations of civil rights fighters and all who yearn for a more just and equitable world.

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