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Oregon Historical Society Nominated Oral Histories United States Series
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Oral history interview with LeRoy Haynes, Jr.

This oral history interview with the Rev. Dr. LeRoy Haynes, Jr., was conducted by Jan Dilg at Haynes' office in Portland, Oregon, from October 8 to December 5, 2018. Haynes was nominated by Oregonians to be interviewed as part of a program by the Oregon Historical Society Research Library to enhance and expand the range of voices in the library's collections. Interviewees are selected from the pool of nominees by a staff committee appointed by the historical society's executive director. The interview was conducted in three sessions.

In the first interview session, conducted on October 8, 2018, Haynes discusses his family background and early life in Beaumont, Texas, including his experiences with racism and segregation as a black person. He talks about the black community in Beaumont, his early education, and his early involvement with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He discusses his involvement in the civil rights movement, including his training for and participation in non-violent protests. He then talks about his involvement in the Black Power Movement and the Black Consciousness Movement. He discusses his role in the development of the Black Panther Party; talks about the history of the struggle for freedom for black people; and discusses his experience in college while organizing for civil rights. He talks about his journey in becoming a Methodist Episcopal pastor and briefly discusses his experience at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

In the second interview session, conducted on October 29, 2018, Haynes continues discussing his journey in becoming a Methodist Episcopal pastor and his experience at the Perkins School of Theology. He also talks about the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He discusses his career as a pastor in Texas; talks about navigating the conservative attitudes in Dallas to accomplish his goals; and describes his accomplishments. He goes on to speak about his involvement with the Albina Ministerial Alliance in Portland, Oregon. He discusses his work, in both Oregon and Texas, for programs regarding AIDS and HIV, as well as addiction. He then briefly talks about serving as president of the North Portland Bible College. He discusses his love of education and talks about earning his doctorate of ministry from Brite Theological Seminary and doing post-doctoral work at the Boston University. He describes being recruited to serve as pastor of Allen Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Portland, and as presiding elder of the Alaska & Oregon/Washington Districts and in the Alaska-Pacific Region of the 9th Episcopal District. He shares his first impression of Portland and describes his congregation and the church building. He revisits the topic of his involvement in the Albina Ministerial Alliance and talks about his work toward police reform.

In the third interview session, conducted on December 5, 2018, Haynes discusses serving as president of the North Portland Bible College. He talks about his involvement with the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and his continued activism. He reflects on the challenges he faced as a civil rights activist, and how he applied the lessons he learned during that time to his community activism in Portland. He also talks about the different forms that racism takes, particularly describing the difference between his experiences in Texas and Oregon. He discusses his book, "God's Prophet in Non-Violence: The Theology and Philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," and talks about what he hopes readers take from it. He closes the interview by talking about his work with the Allen Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church at the time of the interview, awards he's received, and his hopes for the future.

Haynes, LeRoy, Jr., 1949-