Subject: Rev. Stanley Bullock
S: (tape in progress) ... I had done it, say Mission, dAy St. Francis of
Assisi and-those-previous, for three years. An-I-beame rector of
Trinity Church in St. Augustine when Charles Seymour called me to be
his assistant. Uniquely enough, the date of our arrival to take
that job to start work, was the first of April, 1964, which was the
same day that Mrs. Peabody arrived at the front door of Trinity Church)
which was obviously a big moment.
I: How did you, how did he happen to call you? Did he know you? He must
have known you.
S: Yes. I had grown up in the diocese. I was a product of the diocese.
I grew up here in Jacksonville. This is my home. I went to public
school here. I worked here for awhile before going into the service
and went on to the University of Florida where the Swanee and the
rL:;\- ,,, Diocese are. My first choice was Pensacola...
I: How did you...
S: He had known me since I was a child.
I: Really. Well, so there was, my next question was there any turmoil
when you arrived but I (laughter)) obviously there was a great deal.
S: Well, there was turmoil before I arrived. I, you know, as an aside
to the whole thing, on the day, on the first of April, my wife, Kay,
and I were driving from Pensacola to St. Augustinelmaking the move,
and we were about half way across the state somewhere around, oh I
guess half way up around Madison, when we heardAwhat was happening in
St. Augustine. And so I spoke to Kay and said Iou know sounds like
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it's getting hot down there. You really don't have to go. We can
go back to where we came from." She said no, that's the commitment
we made and we will go on." So, we weren't about to turn around
anyway, but the comment was made that maybe we ought not to go there.
I: Did Father Seymour, had he said anything about any problems when
you were considering the job?
S: That there were tensions there/but nof, I don't think anybody knew
to what degree they were going
I: Do you think that, did he mention any concerns within the church
S: Yes, I was aware that they were internal problems.
I: Would you care to elaborate on them?
S: Not greatly. Every clergymen has those persons in his congregation
that dona- think that he oh]ihry (-, .'n And I was aware that there
were some in that congregation that felt that way.
I: Would you care to talk about the make-up of the church. I jotted down
some pointsf-economically, racially, philosophically?
S: It's very hard for me to remember it, numbers specifically. But basically
the congregation As made up of upper-middle-class to upper class in
terms of the city of St. Augustine, socio-economic groups. It was an
all-white congregation as it probably still is today. I don't know the
breakdown but I suspect that it is. In terms of age, it was pretty
well distributed, representative of the community, yoa-know St. Augustine
is more given toward the older or retired age group than it is to the
very young. And so representative of the community, I think it was.
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Basically conservative. One or two more liberally-oriented lines
but primarily conservative in all outlooks. I would not say ultra-
conservative because I reserve that particular category for those
that are much further to the right. They are basically conservative,
politically, economically, religiously. Not terribly interested
in change. Not terribly interested in being disturbed. Really, that's
one of the facts about St. Augustine, I think in lots of other cities
like that, that people gradually move to those area where there is
going to be less disturbance of any aspect of life. And they settle
there because that is the case in tfe area. People who are looking
for change, I'm speaking of any kind of change, go to the metropolitan
areas, where there is a great deal activity, -8~egea-darl more tension.
So, it's not unusual that St. Augustine should be that k44id of
I: Were they old St. Augustinians? Had there been there for several
S: There were those. There were those that had been in St. Augustine
probably since the period of the, traced from the age from the period
of the British occupation there. Perhaps some who could trace it
back as early as the Spanish, came out of a particular congregation.
,Ii' But there were also people who were brand newf, Been there only a few
months or a couple or three yearso-,
,t? If you have only been in a city like St. Augustine for three, four
or five years, you are brand new.
I: Was there, was the vestry pretty representative of the congregation
in terms of economics, philosophy? Here's a list of the names that
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I guess signed that resolution.
S: Right. Yes. I would say so. As I look down it, I see one, two, three,
four, five, six, seven, I see seven business men. And of those seven
businessmen, one, two, three, four, four of them own their own businesses,
business owners. One of those persons is a civil service person working
for the county. Another one is an insurance salesman A'relatively
successful one. A third one is a representative of a large clothing
line, a very elite clothing line. So, they were representative of the
middle-class economy certainly. I see on here also a newspaper man
of some significance in this community. There is an officer in the
National Guard. I'm not sure if he was field-graded at that point
but he was rwer fng toward that direction. You have also, one or two
retired persons, represented here. And we have the man who was inde-
pendent in terms of his financial structure. I'd say pretty much so.
JS~-ear in terms of age also, it was relatively well distributed.
I: Was there any sense why you did arrive at the time things were really
beginning to, were beginning to get tense? Did you sense that there
was any of these problems would, I guess not you but did you hear of
anything from the congregation as a whole that they sensed that St.
Augustine was going to be a focus of these demonstrations?
S: Yes, this was, this was pretty much understood, all the way along
because St. Augustine was in the process of developing a new board
to celebrate it's four hundredth anniversary. And they knew at that
time that this was a natural focal point. So there was that coneown
of the city. There were some other things too that made St. Augustine
in my estimation,- the foc this whole thing. It responded as-in
the media Jhfey- I expect the media here is the kind
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that responds everytime. St. Augustine would do exactly the same thing
each time. You could depend on it, the response. So, if you were going
to stage a demonstration with the least potential damage to personal
property, generally speaking, St. Augustine would be a pretty good
place to do it. It was an enclosed city in terms of natural geographic
factors. There was the bay on the east which closed off into the
ocean itself which closed the natural boundary on the south. And there
was a creek that ran up the west side which was a long marshy creek,
a natural boundary on the western side of the city. And the access in
from the north of the city was bounded by highway which actually split
but there was only one basic highway. So, you had a peninsulaCsort
of situation with natural geographic boundaries on three sides and a
limited access at the top. So, you could keep your area well defined.
It didn't spread out into a very large area. So, geographically, it
was desirable. As I said the response of the people and the law en-
forcement agencies and everything else was significant, so you might
note it. So, from that standpoint, it was the place that would be,
certainly if you were selecting various places where they would get the
best environment and response, St. Augustine was of that nature. And
we anticipated that there would be some difficulties.
I: I wantA to talk to you about that response in just a minute but
wouldn't, before that I'd like to talk to you about Father Sumo, what
sort of man did you find him to be? How would you characterize him?
S: Oh, my. I must tell you first that I' found the man! \ccl-j I've
known this man for years and years and I respect him, he was then and
is now, I suspect, a churchman of the older school that in this day in
time cannot be totally understood yet he was completely committed. And
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as I suspect, he still is, to that form of the church and that ex-
pression of worship of the Episcopal church that he had been trained
i ^ 5-t F I C- ,e \
in and was hisn b 'c o v He was under great tension both from the
congregation, members of the congregation, I should say, who were
putting pressure on him because of the stand he was taking as a .person-
of the church. And this was difficult for him to live with because
these were the peopleicharged to care for. On the other hand, there
were those outside of the St. Augustine situation who were viewing it
through the eyes of the press and the media generally and they too
were highly critical of what he was doing in some instances,and they
didn't help tremendously in supporting him. So here is a man who is
caught between both of these pressure points, who in each instance
was doing the very best he could as he sensed the situation upon the
ground upon which he stood. So he was a man that was trying very
hard ~t with real sincerity and I think and I did not
ever feel that he was being, you know, insincere in the things that
e stood for and stood for te-wite _. And yet, how
much can he was surely going to get lack
-.( -..,: ~,~, And this is a very debilitating kind of position
to be in. He was a good and strong man, I think, throughlall of the
situations that we encountered. And yet when the time came for him
to receive a call from another parish, which he did, he felt that he
couldn't take that call and relieve himself of rege ou ,J '--
here. He was not running from it but certainly when you have been
through as difficult a situation as he had existed through, there
comes a time when you can say,"I have done my job to the best of my
ability and I believe this __. a -_:__ a man
a good man
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I: Did he have a good rapor with the congregation before this occurred?
S: With individuals in the congregation, there had been some difficulty
in the past. The details of that, I do not know but I know that
there had been some difficulty within the group there.
I: How long hadyou been there before?
S: I'm not sure exactly when he came. I can find out from....
I: I can find out from him.' --
I: When-otr talk about the, one more thing about the church per se, then
we'll stick to the general community for awhile, you said something
about the vestry and I wanted to bring it up. I jotted it down at
the end here. But there was a characterization made of the vestries
in general of the community and the characterization was made by one
person that they were extremely conservative, very much active in
such groups as Kiwanis, Rotary/and also either active or behind-the-
scene supporters of the citizens council sort of thing which the
citizens council really doesn't emerge as a formal group until late/
but philosophically speaking, they were of this...
S: I would say that that would be the case. When we are speaking of
vestries in general, you are talking about the board of trustees of
any of the churches in the community.
S: Yeah, I would think generally speaking that was the case. And again1
looking over these people in this specific group here, out of the
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven,eight, nine, ten, eleven
twelve, out of those twelve men/ I would say half of them fall in the
category of being specifically being sympathetic to these' white
citizens council philosophy. The other six would have remained
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neutral by virtue of being \iL_ "'_ anyway or we have specifically
said no to that philosophy of the church. That particular group, I
would-fed- that way.
I: This gives some understanding at least to why their response may be
predictable, or the community's response might be predictable. But
there are some -futher' qualifications that emerge in my mind looking
at the St. Augustine list. There was a rather surprising amount of
residential integration. There was A move by the community itself,
while not substantial in size, a move to voluntarily integrate it's
schools. And there was also the heavy dependence on tourism, something
like 85 percent of the wealth in the community was dependent one way
or another, on the tourist industry. What makes in your mind, this
response predictable, given all of these sort of qualifications?
S: It's very hard to say because Atlanta, at about the same time, was
undergoing a similar pressure. But the business community in Atlanta,
recognized the fact that their business was going to be jeopardized/
and so very quickly during that period, Atlanta accommodated one way
or another, so that this was quickly leveled off. In St. Augustine,
again we de-mivea a very small town and we are dealing with persons
who are perhaps more independently-minded than those persons in a
more metropolitan area, who feel like a responsibility to and for the
people who are up and down the street. Or they feel like we are part
of a whole group and we have got to hang together Mnny of the people
in St. Augustine who are businessmen, were a3so independently-minded
and they were sufficiently committed to what they believed whether
it be right or wrong, to jeopardize their businessesif necessary in
order to win what they tc-ouht-woald-be-ao some significance to them.
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And therefore, rather than giving in to the pressures, they would
oppose on each occasion that they C '\- WJ c That's
why I say that it's predictable. That is one of the reasons that
I say it. And the predictability who oould be right because as the
summer wore on, and we moved on down into June and July, August
months, of course July was a watershed-time because by that time
the Supreme court had made a-kinrd-of decision concerning the issues
that were at stake in St. Augustine. But there was still an after-
wash of the response and the resentment to response. We had had the
first wave of the activities in the spring. By the time we got down
into the summer months, it was a slightly different kind of pressure
by that time. And the pressure was not so much 0 more-localized
people involved as it was the continued resurgence of people flowing
through the city. This sounds like an oversimplification and perhaps
it may be j-tht there was some degree a feeling that this is the year
tat all of us should be involved in some way in this And to take
our stand and show our position. And the way we could do it, is to
come to St. Augustine and do our thing.
I: Whatever side you were on.
S: Yes, certainly. Exactly right. And that is important to recognize.
It was not .ypur n rne -':c.. ..,i'.. '. And from one side however,
and I have no documentation to support this, I have rumor and comment
from people who I think knew what they were talking about by virtue
of the fact that they were involved to some degree. This was the same
time we were preparing persons to work in the Delta ministry. ,P6 you
recallthat activity in the lower Mississippi area. It was a time for
voter registration and things of that sort, which were highly resisted
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in the Mississippi area. And then -fromc r and other places in
the south east of that nature.
I: What, for a second, what was the Delta ministry/ yr I-
S: It was primarily a ministry of administering to the black community
in the agricultural and, it's very vague, I must be honest with you.
I don't remember the details. I remember the title. It was a thing
that was a concern at that time to both Ctky5. But young people
particularly who were going to be participating in this activity
in the Mississippi delta ministry, delta ministry project, some as
I understand it, and this may be rumor, so if you use this, you had
better trace it through that I'm giving you fact, not fiction. They
what was going to happen in terms of demonstrations. In other words,
if we go in to try to be seated in a white restaurant, a quote"white
restaurant', we are going to find this kind of response from the owner,
who would in turn do this andAturn, the police department would respond
in this way and we will go through this experience as we go through
the booking and through being charged, etc. etc., then we would be
released on bail. And bond is put up by someone else that we tnv r~a
'y hI-3V "to this other situation having already experienced the kind of
activity here, that we may well experience out here. So that we will
know how to deal with it here. Here, it is no control. Here and in
some other Ca! -<,\ because of various things that I talked about
-- 'earlier. So, in a sense, it was the
somebody has a sub-machine gun and starts shooting
at you. That was exactly the
kind of thing that some participating in some=other
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That may not be so. But the people who came
in the black interest i~ ,'".I.i;', *
(Tape is malfunctioning)
(Tape side 2)
S: ...regular students there for which might have possibly have been
other persons coming in ar residing at the college and giving the
impression of coming from the college in demonstration routes is
totally impossible for me to determine. So, I really can't say.
In terms of the older black community, I think there was a portion
of the older black community that were supportive to this though
they may not themselves have been specifically present. Indeed there
were some individuals that were there. And they were highly visible
and everybody could see them, everybody knew who they were. But
generally speaking, those were the same persons with you saw on each
occasion. In terms of the whole community, I could not say how many
really were there. Demonstration-wise, when there would be a gathering
of the bleek community at one of the black churches, the black community,
I suspect a great part of the black community was present at a gathering
such as this. If for no other reason then, that there was as much
pressure put upon an individual in the black community to participate
on the side of the black community as there would have been and was
on behalf of those in the white community to press for support to those
who were opposing the action. So, I imagine that there was some
participation by everybody but in terms of being in the front lines,
not as much as some think. That's an assumption. I do know that in
terms of efforts being made to reduce thehblack clergy particularly
noticeable in their effort to bring about some sort of reconciliation
within the communityand the ones with whom I had any contact with, were
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very concerned *with the community as a community there, not so much in
terms of it as a focal point of activity for a national group. But we
live here. We have people here. What can we do to, all of us together,
t .... r .... reconcile the situation
I: Was there any effort by King to contact the white churches to try to
get them to support the demonstration, protests, or try and bring
about a reconciliation?
S: Directly by King, I could not tell you. I had no contact with King
per se. Some of the other people who worked with the SCLC, I did
talk with, and I had difficulty remembering exactly who they were,
at this point. Of course, at the moment, I thought I would never
forget them. But at this point, they are gone from my mind. I'm sure
I would remember them if their names were brought up.
I: There was Shuttersworth and Jose Williams and C. T. Vivian and Andy
Young. Those were .....
S: Well, Andy Young, I had known from earlier contact because Andy had
also been involved to some degree with some christian education
literature which the Episcopal church had used. And I knew people
who knew Andy and I knew Andy through that kind of contact. There were
some others also. None of whom you have thus far mentioned, that were
really significant as they related to the Episcopal church.
I: I see.
S: I cannot remember their names. There was a clergyman. I believe he
was from Raw Aeng )-and his name goes out of my mind but his color and
facial contours were such that he could pass either way. And he did so
on several occasions. He was present on the occasion when Mr. Seymour
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saw to it that some --he- demonstrators were seated in the Episcopal
church. This particular man was with them. But, no) Po my knowledge,
to my knowledge, remember that I came late on the scene and there may
have been something occurring that I knew nothing, you know, about,
King per se, I may have been K"'i -, .... C-
I: Why were the, one of the things that strikes me about St. Augustine,
and I don't think this is atypical but I would like to hear your
response, what churches seemed reluctant to take a stance? Now whether
it was reluctance or it was just no real thought about taking a-
position I'm not sure of. But was it reluctance or was it....
S: Yeah, I think I understand what you are asking. You have to understand
the political structure of various denominations of values in order to
really grasp this. The Roman Catholic church is made up of members
of its congregation who are under the leadership of a priest, who is
under the direct guidance of the bishop. And the authority structure
of the Roman Catholic church is very intense in top. The bishop says,i
Rome says, the bishop says, the priest says and the people will respond,
or else. That's one polarity. The Roman Catholic church is changing
that kind of structure in present day) jut at that particular time,
that's the way it was. At the other end, you have the free churches
most epitomized I think by the Baptist church, generally in which the
authority structure is the congregation. And the congregation has the
power to manipulate their clergymen. It's a very strong power to do
so. If they don't like what he does, he is out. And they will get
another one, or they will raise one from their ranks. So, the Baptist
church is one polarity and the Roman Catholic church is the other
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polarity in terms of power structures. Then you have the Methodist
church, the Presbyterian churches and other churches of that sort
which really are very like the Baptist church in the sense that
congregational authority seems to be more intense. So you take the
major protestant churches in the community and you see that their
group response is going to be what the group feels. he group feeling
was resentment or being threatened Ten that congregation is going
to make their clergymen respond that way. If he responds otherwise,
they are going to get rid of them. So, he's tied in a sense. I think
that you can easily see'as a community, the white community was being
greatly threatened by these blacks in the church. It has nothing to
do with theology or ethics in that sense. But it has everything to
do with power of authority of the body. In the Episcopal church,
we have the congregation and we have the yestry which is made up of
persons who are ttP'n, but there is also sort of an
overlay of the Roman Catholic structure where we have the bishop and
the priest and the authority from on high as well as authority coming
from below. So, the clergymen)generally, t4, caught in the middle in
that sort of situation. But most clergy in the Episcopal church
operate with the general authority coming from the top not from the
bottom. So as I was saying the Episcopal clergy was more responsive
/ *"Vf< i1^-
to the authority of the diocese, the bishop, than he-was generally
to the congregation or to the yestry .
I: Can I get you to describe what happened, the turn of events within the
Episcopal church, within the Episcopals?
S: Within Trinity, at what point? How do you want me to pick it up?
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I: Picking it up from when Mrs. Peabody entered and I think it was on
the 31st, or the first of April and then on the 13th, the 12thAof
April, e'6x =-ae, five blacks attended Trinity Episcopals Father
Seymour says that the only thing that bothered people were all the
cameramen out front, the blacks came and just like everybody else,
took their seats, nobody paid any attention. Bishop Rusk ordered
all churches in the north Florida dioceses to admit anyone who wishes
to attend services.
S: This is so difficult for me to reconstruct and I've just been very
sure that I do what I do generally and Phat is embellished fact is
fiction. So if you find that please recognize it that way. And
incidentally, I want to take an opportunitNto say somethingAwhich
I w4h ~ you-wou-d pick up before you leave, and that is I have been
quoted in several articles, it was originally in Redbook article, which
was later picked up in tce writings/you have here, in which I made a
statement concerning the \~*.' blackrc,~a in St. Augustine
and the image of that. And that I was giving that particular
interview to this young lady\from Redbook and I don't remember her
name, I don't even remember the article but in the conversation, she
asked me about it and I said the image of the \eloved $lack man' ()
etc., when it was printed, the quotation marks were not there.
I: I see.
S: And it makes all the difference in the worldi how one understands it.
If you read it straight or if you see it with the quotation marks
because I was speaking on an imagery and noqusing this as a specific
title for a group of people or an individual. And each time that
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has been picked up, it .ah been picked up since -t-CA out of context.
I: j9, was that in '64 that article was published?
S: It was '64, 65, it'-w-s carried in several of these and I will indicate
it to you later on.
I: OK, I'll go through it with you.
S: But,-hur-y~s r back to what you are saying, let's go back first to the
day of Mrs. Peoptes arrival. I will tell the story to you as I under-
stand it, not necessarily as a fact that occurred. I was not there on the
scene so I do not know. But as I understand it, on that particular
day which was the first of April, 1964, Mrs. Peabody had been in town
for a day or two or three with other persons. And her presence was
quite notable. The national press was aware of it. She was a signi-
cant person and therefore kept alot of ASt -'o x And on that
CO N, ry-J ', -.
day which was a Wednesday, there was normally scheduled a neen service
at, I believe it was, about ) or 11 o'clock, I'll say 1O o'clock in the
morning. That was a normal service. It was in the chapel. Generally,
there might have been four, five, six people attending not a big thing,
but a regular week day service. Early on that daywhen CharlesSeymour
came to his office, he received a telephone call, I'm now out of sequence,
but you will get the elements. He received a telephone call from Cuf
t4kirit- was-New York, I think it was New York, wanting to know what
he was going to do when Mrs. Peabody integrated the church that morning.
He had no knowledge that anything was going to occur. He really didn't
know what he was going to dojif you will, at that particular instance.
This came totally out of the blue. At the same time roughly that he
was receiving that kind of phone call, the national news broadcaster
on tier radio, was announcing the fact that that day at a proposed hour
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of )- or if o'clock, Mrs. Peabody was going to integrate Trinity
Parish Church of St. Augustine. Lots can be said about that whole
(t, vCCi ot ------ -
activity and the statement and everything else/because prior to that
time there had been good communication or communication, good or bad,
there had been some movement back and forth between the black commun-
ity and Trinity Parish So the people of the
community had had comfortable interaction but now she was going to do
this and it was going be blown into a biracial thing. This was heard
in the city by certain members of the parish and the community who
all rose up in resentment to Mrs. Peabody's coming down and she is
going to do this. So tension began to mount and telephone calls began
to be received by Charles Seymour. And what are you going to do sort
of thing. I don't know what his responses were to these phone calls
and that's really not material. But it is my understanding\at some
point, Cbecauseof regular hour of service, there was a group of black
young people moving east on King Street coming from the direction of
the college; whether their intention was to go to the church or
to go shopping in the drug store, whatever the case, totally immaterial,
it's my understanding that there was a group moving east on King Street.
There was a group of white young people, youths, whatever you want to
call them, who had gathered in the park across the street from Trinity
Parish and there were some individuals who had heard the radio broadcast
and were concerned was sort of around the front of the church to sort
of protect the church from anything that might occur. It is my under-
standingtbefore the hour of service, either the sheriff or the chief of
police and now I have forgotten which individual was involved, but some-
one representing the civil authority of the city, came around and said
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to Mr. Seymour that we have this group coming down King Street, we
have this group in the park and this situation seems to be drawing
toward a confrontation. Do you absolutely have to have the service
today at that particular hour, given these elements. It was my under-
standing that Charlie saidc\no, under these circumstances, we don't have
to have one. If there was going to be some sort of confrontation,
it would be wiser not to." That was the decision he made. The member
of the Vestry at that time locked the doors of the church to keep
people out so that they would not come in.
Were you able to do anything else?
No, no. Not at this particular moment. Honestly, I don't know that.
It was not done by the direction of the It was done sort
of spontaneously by this person thinking that this was the better way
to handle that situation. When Mrs. Peabody arrived to attend the
weekly service, the church was locked. The mEaa immediately picked
this up and it was broadcast around that Mrs. Peabody had been rp-Ly
locked out of church. So, this is the way things built around that
pasSacar event, which became quite a significant event as I look at
it from the inside as being part of the staff that was there and later
there, I can more easily understand k given all the elements that the
man who made the decision had made what he felt was the best decision
in that particular situation. From the outside, it would seem as a
capitulation and going along with and not standing up, etc., etc..
And it was as a result of that that _
just floods of them. And women went back there and speaking
of him as less than a priest of the church, and just really biting
Only one or two or three in support of him to the degree
of saying'Charlie, we don't know really what is going on'but we are
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concerned for you and are praying for you and we hope that you will
be able to handle what ever is going on. Those were helpful letters.
Most of them were just very bad. Now after that time, for a period
of time and again my memory does not serve me well, for a period of
time, perhaps days or weeks, Sunday's particularly, we would have
groups come, I say groups, I mean more than two or three, usually
less than, the groups of specifically black persons coming seeking
entrance to Trinity Church. They would ble--i each instance be turned
away by the persons who at the door were ushers. Those persons were
almost invaribly members of the Vestry. Because they had determined
that they were not going to receive into the church persons that were
specifically there for the purpose of demonstration. Then at some
point, again I,,,
I: Was the clergy aware of that, that was going on? That the vestry was
S: No.f not always,-because, this is something that is very hard for us
to relaylto other people that we were not always, we wer-e-not-always
at the door, we were in other places. And when the persons to coming
seeking admissionwe weren't there. And so recognizing this, we decided
and determined that at a given time we -watkd be there. So that when
people did come in, we would know. At about the same time that this
decision was made, this priest lith whom I spoke -Iap, e earlierAC,
who was a black priest,.....
I: I think I know who you mean. I have forgotten his name as well. I've
seen that priest.
S: Well, he came to the parish a day or so early, in fact on Friday
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perhaps, and he said /I am being requested to lead a group here. And
so, we tried to negotiate and the negotiation was orally to bring a
group and you will be leading it and you are a priest of the Episcopal
church. The second thing is to make sure that the persons whom you
bring W' with you are Episcopalians. Don't bring people of other
persuasions but make sure they are Episcopalians. Thirdly, don't
bring so large a group that the church feels integrated but a group
yes/ but not so big a group that we can't feel that we can control
the situation. And bring them to the early celebration of 0-c cvJ'ori,5
not to the later service. We hb3% three services. And I think the
hours were 7, 9:15 and 11', it may have been 8, 9:15 and 11. They
were roughly spaced like that. In the earlier service, there would
be fewer people present. But the request was that they bring them
to that service. So at that time, he said,-E, I'll work it that way.
So, he said, OK, you'll be at the door to see that you get in/' And
that Sunday morning we were at the door and everybody knew/ hat or
something was going to happen and they didn't show up. This didn't
help us at all. Later in the morning, we gotAa call from the same
man, who said=e=as really sorry that I did you that way butp\the
people down here won't go along with your control of the situation.
Ye-e&r-e in control and 4 we-denr-t do it the way we want to do it and
you don't tell us how to do it. We are going to be there at 11 o'
clock./ Well, I wasn't terribly pleasedibecause I thought that we
had stuck our necks on the line and we didn't feel that we had
gotten a decent response) By the eleven o'clock service time, I think
it was the eleven o'clock service, it may have been 9:15, it was very
obvious that something was about to happen because not only were we
at the front door but so were the television coverage shet which were
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parked right across the street from the front door/ of the church and
that's not much distance. And the cameras were out and the news people
were all ab=tnt and there was much todo. The Jestry were-the e*=
front of the church to protect it. And at about service time, just
as we .e .. ab to service, this man and his persons, followers, did
arrive. They were stopped at the sidewalk door under the steps, I
should say, the sidewalk door, by members of the jestry. Mr. Seymour
and I were standing in the lobby/;t the right of the entrance way of
the church and back, set back somewhat, so we could see what was going
on. But as soon as we saw them arrive, we went out to see what could
be done. Father Seymour went over to the gate to speak to theestry
and asked me to go to speak to the television people. So I did that;
I went over and spoke to one or two of the cameramen and said, gentle-
men, we have a very difficult situation here and you are exposing this
and making a big thing out of it and it really compounds the difficulty
_tafe--we have and we would appreciate it if you would move off of the
situation so we can handle it and do what we can with it./ But I rem-
ember specifically that one of the cameramen turned to me and help up
his camera and said tat we -w-you to know that I have- the most
important, valuable footage I have ever taken in St. Augustine in this
thing right now and I'm not about to put this camera away, which didn't
help a thing. That was )Slt<- So at this point, I walked
back over and joined Mr. Seymour who was at the gate and he was still
trying to persuade and he finally decided
simply push through and move the blacks into the church, which was what
was done. When we did this, some of the/Vestrymen who were there as
ushers, threw their bulletins on the ground and walked off. And the
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blacks were taken into the church and seated themselves at a back pew,
the first one they came to when they got inside of the church and they
continued to be present there through the service with no difficulty.
I say no difficulty, and I'm not sure if they had difficulty at that
time = a. because at some .... (end of tape side 2)
(Tape B side 1)
I recall that at some point, some black persons who came to Trinity
Church to worship during that period were egged as they left the
church and walked the rest of the way down 10th Street. Whether
they were egged as a result of having been at Trinity Church or
whether they were egged simply because they were black walking down
the street, is something that I'm not knowledgable of but I know that
that incident occurred so that I'm reluctant to tie it in but in some
way my memory says that there was something to that.
I: Did the .testry start meeting then privately or did they....
S: No, the yestry did not meet per se privately. Right after that, Mr.
Seymour came to Jacksonville and stayed for a few days with the bishop.
I stayed in St. Augustine. Theestry met but I was present at the
I: Did the bishop, was he totally supportive of Father Seymour?
S: Yes he was, totally. And there is a letter which I think you have
access to which was from the bishop to theVestry. TheVestry finally
called upon the bishop'sAoffice which is a term from canVon law which
says that if there is a difference of opinion between a ,vestry and a
congregation and or the Vestry, it seems to be unable to be solved,
then the Yestry or the Rector may call upon the bishop's good offices
to work it out. So, they choose to 'call upon the bishop's good office"
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unquote. And Bishop West came to St. Augustine and brought with him
that letter, which he had intended to mail. But he brought it with him
to the Vestry meeting and personally read it to theViestry as they were
gathered there at the /estry meeting. It was a stunning letter because
it contained certain phraseology that had not been heard in quite some
time, certainly none of these men had expected to hear it and that was
the statement that in the event things did not change there was a very
good chance of-excommmuncation.- That was something that they had not
figured. So, there was much discussion at that point concerning what
had occurred, why they were distressed, all of the things that surrounded
it. And Bishop West still held his ground. And finally, at a later
point of theAfestry meeting, some people suggested that perhaps it would
be best if they simply resigned from the ;Vestry. And Bishop indicated y-,
that i0^ >.c accepted 4, that he would accept anyone's resignation
who wished to make it. There upon, three men immediately resigned. And
since it seemed to be snowballing.....
I: Do you remember who resigned? I realize t'tiswas. -_ b __i _ oo ---''" (,
S: No, I don't remember exactly.
(tape cut out for some time)
I: Basically what I want to ask is you took over and you had participated Xt
the side of Father Seymour and you had pushed or physically pushed past
the Yestry to open the gates so that Styles, I believe it was, and
the people with him could enter the church and partake in the service.
What happened? What was the situation like to you?
S: Well, again that's hard for me to remember. I remember considerable
hostility and yet between myself and Charles Seymourbecause I was new and
he had been there for a long while. Iie had accumulated a certain amount
of hostility on the part of some people. I guess I was the least o_ -,_a
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# bad things. And so I was able to continue and administer the affairs
of the parish when he was not present, at least when he continued to be
rector and obviously I continued to minister my to
support him. '.
I: When was that approximately? When did he leave?
S: It seems to me that he left to go to New Orleans either in October or
November. We had a terrific hurricane come through New Orleans and did
great damage to the city, \ t-tr \ I think it was in November
But he had just gone to New Orleans when that occurred.
So I remember that distinctly. So it was rather early in the fall. But
he definitely called in the late summer cQ _o I knew
iK the ate summer that he was going to go. The question then was how
was Trinity Parish to be administered. The best thing always was for,tie
assistant to also leave when the rector \c'-s in order
that the may be changed for the next time
This particular case, though, I was there and they were
accepting me. The~ iew they were accepting me for the reason that was
sent to me by a clergyman in the diocese who is still here. And I trust
he said it in jest but yet at the same time I knew enough about the situation
to believe that maybe he was right. They were considering calling me later
on to be rector. And this clergyman said, "Stanley, those people really
don't want a priest and you are the closest thing to nothing they could
find". And he may have been right. (laughter) But what ever the case,
during the period from Charles Seymour going to New Orleans until the
following March or April, during that interim period, the director of the
church was the)ishop of the diocese I was simply there as the priest-in-
charge. And Bishop West asked me to stay there in that capacity. His
specific words( as I recall the best I can were, "Stanley, they have
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allowed you to live with them this long. See if they will let you live with
them a little longer." And so I continued to take services and shared the
/estry but only as priest-in-charge and not as rector. And a began picking
up pieces. In the spring, they called me to be rector. To be very
honest with you and I am being honest, I did not want the job. I had come
from 6~\P Lt-r.rc to be an assistant because I really didn't want to be
the 4- I wanted somebody else to make the decisions and to take
care of angers that would come out of it. I really didn't want it. And
when they offered me the job, I still didn't. I was insecure and I continued
to be insecure even until this day. I really just didn't want that kind of
responsibility. And so Bishop West came down to-St. Augustine and said,
"Stanley, they let you live for a year here and you are of the people,
they know^ you lived here in south Jacksonville and you are just as cracker
as they are -, ., _k 41 ,- and you are for the same kind of
prejudices that they have'which I will speak to you in a few minutes, I
think may be helpful.\ But they knew this. I :.-- So, if they
wanted me to be rector, Bishop West thought it wouId be a good idea. And so
I accepted 1 My full tenure there was seven years. During
the early days, when I was still, before I was, no it was after I was rector,
no I beg your pardon, during the early days, when I was still priest-in-charge
and Fa IS Seymour was still there and we were having all the difficulties,
we were having, the tensions were very high. And on more than one occasion,
both Charles Seymour and I received verbal threats by telephone to our
households or to ourselves personally. And as I look back on it now,
-r - &^Cr-rtp >, 1. I really didn't think of it as anything
because of in the instances that I recall, I knew the people who were calling.
And on one occasion, I received a call that said, this was right after the
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blacks had been let into the church that on the occasion that you all let
the blacks into the church, it was so and so and so and so and his jI_ _.
Next Sunday, it's going to be so and so and so and so and his boys and it's
not going to be the same. And that telephone call came to me in the
evening. I was rash in thinking t~t what I was doing; skoo5 t ft.j ri. A- f,
\- IL Ou\l'A ? \\W bL r r, And so I told the caller that he had better bring
his boys with him because up until that time, he had been dealing with
clergy who were committed to non-violence but I was not committed to
non-violence. He had better have someone with him if he came on this
particular occasion. And I thought that was _dr s,,-..,d ___
But as a matter of fact, on that particular Sunday, they did arrive. They
were standing in front of the church and the shop was aware of this,
aware that this was the kind of tension that we were faced with and so
he had instructed us not to go in the front door of the church. We had
our normal procession in the front door. But to enter the sanctuary from
the side door to avoid a confrontation at the front door of the church,
in case there was physical violence.
I: Were these black demonstrators or white'dfemieatoas?
S: These were white. They were reacting to what happened the Sunday before.
But as the hour for service grew near, Father Seymour and I knew that we
weren't about to go in the side door. This was just not going to be our
way of doing things. So, we went in the front door. We walked through
the group and At was people _. The only grateful
thing, the only gracious thing, good thing was that on that particular
Sunday, no black demonstrators were at the front door. Had they done so,
CRSTA 4AB CIM
we would have had a problem because we weren't going to be intimidated
by that kind of '-c .' But there were instances like
that they passed.
That went on generally through the summerV k o 9,o_ -.
'4W What I wanted to say to you about things learnedand being
of the people, perhaps their friends, is that I think I discovered some-
thing that apparently lots of other people already know and that is that
when you have someone who is confronted with an issue such as demanding
your relationship with the person with whom you --, b- \
it's very hard for you to make that kind of transition immediately. So,
what I did was to not force anybody and if I knew anybody who had strong
feelings, anti-black, I didn't go out and say, you are not a christian
and damned to hell" that sort of stuff. and I love you
and I do. I have a great warm feeling for a great many of those people
who even today are obstinate, they are absolutely holding their position
that is, not to lcQ. But by approaching them with that position, they
didn't have to defend themselves. I was not someone who was constantly
thought of as a damning figure but rather someone accepting them even as
they were. They knew my position and they knew that I didn't agree with
tem but I didn't destroy them if I had a disagreement with their position.
This allowed some of the people, the opportunity in later years to move
from one position to another without having me say ha ha, I told you you
would eventually or feeling anything at all except that they were able
to make that on their own. When they made it, it didn't change their
relationship with me notiibly. They were still the same friend that I
had before. And I was there. But they could now take a new posture without
any kind of external agitation, would you say. And that happened on a great
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many occasions and it was tremendously gratifying to me to see this occur.
I remember one specific day when I don't think I will ever forget, one of
the men whose name is not mentioned in any of these papers but he was
extremely racist, just absolutely, my God, no blacks A,. o-r-.
But he was also equally, irrationally Episcopaloan. And if you are an
Episcopalgan, it didn't make any difference if you came from Mars, you are
Episcopalian. And one Easter, some of the members of the black
Mission, came to Easter services at Trinity, two, three, four years after
all this in '64. And suddenly here was this man ekneling at the alter of
the Trinity Church along side one of the most notable leaders of the black
community who would have been most undesirable as far as he was concerned.
And the bread was given to everybody and the chalise came by and I watched
this guy receive the common chalise and pass it on to this black person
next to him and he never moved and didn't get up and I'm sure he must have
been feeling all kinds of things,but he made it. He survived it. He made
it. And to me, that was a tremendous experience. I could see this happen'
to people. But this is not the kind of thing that you can very well
___. And it's not the kind of thing that happens under
the pressure, it may happen as a reaction to the pressure. But only after
you have let down your wall, stopped fighting, stopped all of your defense
mechanisms and let yourself be open to a new position which is part of
I: Was there any time when you could reach out to the black community, you
said there was some sort of overtures being made prior to the racial
crisis. Was there any, could you pick up those threads later on and
CRSTA 4AB CM
S: Yeah, during the entire summer of '64, there were meetings periodically,
sometimes weekly, sometimes more often, between some white clergy and
some black clergy. And gradually we included some lay persons in these
conversations. The goal of -As being to-a=ta we in the community.-
-f~\ 4 __ in this situation. The white
clergy that participated, whthe Episcopal clergy Prestarian
clergymen who was open and easy to deal with this and one or two of the
Methodist clergy: the Baptist were practically non-existent;
I: (the interviewer asked something) HAoc L, J i,- < 'c- -A Ll,,:- V
S: Not at th6 time. I think it needs to be noted however/that John Burns/
who/fsio oylin Asia was the monsenior of the cathedral at that particular
time. And Archbishop Hurley was the archbishop of the diocese of St.
Augustine. Archbishop Hurley specifically directed John Burns to make
communication with the clergy of Trinity Parish and offer them support.
I: Michael Gannon czs r-m
S: I knew Mike extremely well.
I: Did you.
S: I am very fond of Mike.
I: You were friends?
S: I am extremely fond of him. Do you see him regularly?
S: Tell him hello for me.
I: I will.
S: I am extremely fond of him. Mike's a great person. I'm sorry that the
church isn't using him right now, the way I think they ought to be able
to but he has an awful lot A u ,-- Wefq there were these persons who
were in communication at that point. Out of that kind of communication
also grew a learning that I think is significant. And that was that we
were all very sensitive to each other and we had new concerns that we
had not necessarily had before. And it was hard to communicate because
of these Hightened sensitivities. You didn't dare do anything or say
anything for fear of offending somebody else. So finally, one of the
black clergy, I'll never forget this, finally just put his hands on top
of the table and said we ain't going t1 done,-At0 you can call me a nigger
if you want to because that's what you usually call me and I can call
you a powder face because that's what I usually call you,'and he said(
\'neither one of us is going to get upset by this. And once we get around
this, we can start talking to each other and getting down to the things
that we need to get to. And that was to me very refreshing because
we were being so careful with each other, not to offendf(tht we weren't
really dealing. So once we all said OK, don't worry about what I say,
try to hear what I intend you to hear, we began to make some movement
forward. I was ref ~ed by that. Later, and I don't know how long this
continued, but later, we were able to involve some of the major leadership
persons of the community in by and large with black and white persons
and others' basically they were involved for t-her--ife e; And they
were manipulated to bring about those things that they thought were going
to be in their favor But at least, it was
I: Who were some of those representatives from other churches? Do you
remember the names of the people from the black churches or the white
S: I do not remember their names, I'm sorry. There was a Dr. Lee who was
ri \--- .-r the Methodist church representative was quickly
transferred out because they didn't reflect the wishes of the people
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in the congregation. They were very committed men when I got there in
1964. The two Methodist clergymen in the city of St. Augustine in the
spring of 1964 were very committed to helping deal with the racial issue
I: Were you able to bring in blacks to the Episcopal church in St. Augustine
during your tenure?
S: No, there were no black communities brought into Trinity Church. We have
now still, and had then, a black mission not too far away from Trinity
Church that had been there for many, many, many years.
I: Where was this?
S: On Citrus. And at this particular time, the Episcopal church also had
a mission, a black mission, in Fernadino which was on the opposite end
of the block at St. Peters 4 And the NAACP and
others put pressure on the diocese of Florida to close that church and
to bring the black congregation into the white congregation in our
neighborhood which was white. Successfully or not so successfully, I'm
not so sure. If you went down .
And the same suggestion was made to St. Sipians p?). The
people at St. (ipians said that they didfE want it. And this is not
a racist view I don't think \ i c ut they knew that the
people of Trinity didn't want The second thing they knew
was that if they went to Trinity parish, not only would they feel not
welcome but they would loose any political powers they had within their
own structure in the community. The church would have killed the congre-
gational structure. And they really didn't want that. So they '
the Bishop not to close them. And he did not close them. And they
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continued on and still continue until this day.
I: Who serves in the missionary? Is there a priest?
S: There is a priest that goes there. Now when they had a black priest, they
operated autonomously. WhH1 I was in St. Augustine and they did not
have a black priest and I showed up in St. Augustine, I took the services
there regularly, Eucharist and regular prayers, every other Sunday, I
think I had used this building, confirmation classes, church school
teaching and different things. So, I carried them both in interim periods
when we didn't have black ministry. We now have a black priest who
works there. After '64, I can't remember whether it was '65, '66, but
at the same time, somewhere down the line, the people of St. Sipgans
began again to come to services at Trinity when they felt like it. When
we had speakers of significance who they wished to be present for, they
felt comfortable in coming. On some occasions, some would come to weekly
service -in chapel for Eucharist. And we had two or three or four who were
quite accustomed to receiving Eucharist weekly and they had not been
there weekly for awhile simply because
because again you reach the point where people from the town knew
each other. (End of tape 2 side A)
....I can't remember.
I: I guess I have used up alot of your time but let me just ask one last
question. From your perspective, what impact did the racial crisis have
on the community? What sort of shape did it leave the community in after
King left? After Reverend Codding Lynch and Stoner left?
S: That's the same question that my friend got me with. The community was
a unity of persons who found it difficult to trust one another whether
it be in the white community or the black or between whites and whites/
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whites and blacks, there had been so many things opened that you weren't
sure you couldAtrust the guy down the street because he may have been
involved in the white citizens council sort of thing or he may not have
been. He didn't know whether you were or whether you were more liberally-
oriented and therefore, so there was, in terms of interpersonal relations
such as racial concerns, a destruction of -ti trust. You really couldn't
tell where anybody ~s. In terms of what was going on between the white
community and the black community per se, the white community __
to the pressures. Restaurants were opened, public facilities were
opened, accesswas\generally)opened, hiring and firing was done more
in a manner, people were taking on token blacks because the-6were-ti-gs-
that they had to do. But nobody was doing what was really good, open,
rejoicing, feeling good. Generally for the entire
it was that kind of thing. You did what you gotta do but it was not
what you wanted. I suspect maybe some changes had taken place but I
doubt that they had really changed. The reason I say that is because
of the congregation I have here Their
attitudes have not changed that much, at this point. The reason I
don't begin the intense pressure of St. Augustine.
I: Did you feel the intense pressure left than I guess it did
leave more in St. Augustine? Do you think, I keep asking questions
after I said that would be the last one, do you think St. Augustine
could have moved as far as it did without the crisis of '63 and '64?
Would it have moved further?
S: Very hard. It's very hard to say. That is such an _A_4_JA question.
Honestly, I could not tell you. I would like to say, I thought it
would because they did an exceptional job at the very outset of dealing
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with the school situation. They really did. They ran into problems
some years after I left with their seventh grade centers and that
sort of thing that really became problematical because they had to
had to put a certain number of whites in the black community school.
But when they first started out dealing with the quote integration
problem, what they did was to open the schools and say that anybody
can go to any school that they want to. And a goodly number of black
children immediately came into the white structures. And that worked
relatively well. Many of the black children stayed in the black schools.
There was one school over on the island that was predominately white,
some black children but predominately white. But then the schools that
were in the area between the two, where there could be freedom of
movement to and from, worked relatively well. And everybody seemed
to be pulling it up. It was only when further restrictions or guide-
lines by the Federal government said that you have to do this, that
they really began to get into problems. They might have done alight
left on their own, given things that had been going on in the whole
national structure. It might have been al ight because it was still a
small town as it is now and everybody knew everybody. And maybe certain
whites would want to suppress certain blacks a a -
not much different really than whites-t ~t suppress whites aAd the
black people who suppress blacks. I think we have that same So- ______
whether it becomes more heightened an image or becomes more undesirable
for those who are making any kind of evaluation on white behavior or
black. But I think that probably, as any other city of that size in
the south east, given the mentality, the psychology, the attitudes
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of the people that didn't have that kind of situation
I: OK, thank you very much.
(end of tape)