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From Labor to Reward: Black Church Beginnings in the Bay Area
Date: Wednesday February 22, 2017
Time: 7p.m.
Location: Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland


Martha C. Taylor is recognized as an authority on Black Church beginnings in the San Francisco Bay Area as chronicled in her recent released book From Labor to Reward, Black Church Beginnings in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond 1849-1972. Taylor serves on the pastoral team at the historic Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland as the Church Historian. She also serves as the National Historian for the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. She was honored to serve as a guest Chaplain for the United States House of Representatives. Taylor has appeared in Who’s Who Among Black Americans, and is a former adjunct professor at the San Francisco Theological Seminary where she earned her Doctor of Minister degree. Taylor’s professional membership includes Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco Historical Society, American Academy of Religion, Charter member of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Taylor is a frequent speaker for professional organizations locally and nationally including South Africa. Taylor is dually ordained as an American Baptist Minister Presbyterian. Taylor is a long-time resident of Oakland whose parents were part of the Great Migration.

Her Book!

From Labor to Reward – Black Church Beginnings in San Francisco Oakland, Berkeley and Richmond – 1849-1972 is a pioneering, epic, and groundbreaking book that fills a huge void in American religious history, black religious history, and traditions of the black church.  Until now, no other book has chronicled the rich religious experiences of black church beginnings in the Bay Area. This book traces the growth of Black Churches in four Bay Area California cities; San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond. Using four timeframes, (1) Gold Rush era - 1848-1909, 2) First Migration -1910-1939), Second Great Migration-1940-1949 and the Civil Rights Era - 1950-1972. Readers will experience the joys, frustrations and unity of black people who sojourned from the Deep South to the Bay Area and built a strong religious community as they struggled against adversity of racism, housing discrimination, KKK threats of violence and death and other socio-political barriers. The research data is written from a "people’s" perspective, using local congregational records, oral interviews, newspaper clippings, history books, and other written sources. This one of a kind book is destined to be a classic and invaluable to persons interested in Church History with an emphasis on Black Church growth in the Bay Area chronicled in a single volume.