Title: Reverand Stanley Bullock [CRSTA 4]
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00005745/00001
 Material Information
Title: Reverand Stanley Bullock CRSTA 4
Series Title: Reverand Stanley Bullock CRSTA 4
Physical Description: Book
Publication Date: 1978
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00005745
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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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

CRSTA 4AB Page 2


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.

CTM Page 3

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



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

Page 4


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

Page 5


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

Page 6


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.' --

S: Right.

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.

I: Right.

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

Page 7


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.

Page 8


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

Page 9

CTM Page 10

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


(\ ('3i



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

Page 11


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

Page 12


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

Page 13


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?

Page 14


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

Page 15


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

Page 16


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

Page 17


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

Page 18


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


Page 19


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

Page 20


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

Page 21


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"

Page 22


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

Page 23


# 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

Page 24


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

Page 25


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,

Page 26


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

Page 27


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


Page 28


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?

I: Yes.

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

Page 29


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

Page 30


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

Page 31


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/

Page 32


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

Page 33


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

Page 34


of the people that didn't have that kind of situation

I: OK, thank you very much.

(end of tape)

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