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William Holmes Borders

@ New Georgia Encyclopedia

Hatfield, Edward A


Encyclopedia article about the Reverend William Holmes Borders, who between 1937 and 1988 served as pastor of Wheat Street Baptist Church in Atlanta, where he campaigned for civil rights and distinguished himself as a spokesperson for the city's poor and dispossessed. Born in Macon, Borders graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta and then attended Garrett Theological Seminary at Northwestern University where he received his bachelor of divinity degree in 1932 and subsequently accepted the pastorate of the Second Baptist Church in Evanston, Illinois. In 1936, he earned a master's degree from Northwestern. Borders was instrumental in the hiring of Atlanta's first black police officers in the 1940s, led the campaign to desegregate the city's public transportation in the 1950s, and established the nation's first federally subsidized, church-operated rental housing project in the 1960s. Thereafter, he continued to support a variety of philanthropic causes and remained an influential public figure in Atlanta until his death in 1993.The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the aggregation and enhancement of partner metadata.

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New Georgia Encyclopedia

Record Harvested From

Digital Library of Georgia


  1. African American Churches
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  19. Borders, William Holmes, 1905 1993. Seven Minutes At The Mike In The Deep South
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  94. Wheat Street Baptist Church (Atlanta, Ga.)
  95. Wheat Street Baptist Church Credit Union (Atlanta, Ga.)
  96. Wheat Street Towers (Atlanta, Ga.)

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