The Author, Rev. Dr. Martha Taylor has developed in my impression a very significant book in chronicling a much needed history of the development of African American Churches in the Bay area during the period from 1848-1972. In her own words, “This study illustrates the context of the social phenomenon that impacted the human condition of Black people in the Bay area who struggled to survive and build a strong religious community in the face of adversity.” The author’s understanding of the development of religious communities in Diaspora is impressive, realistic and informative and deserves our attention.
Dr. Paul M. Martin
Professor of Pastoral Theology
American Baptist Seminary of the West
Taylor’s passionate, probing perspective unveils the rich history of Black Church beginnings in the San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Richmond cites. Through meticulous research, she brings to light the struggles, strengths and triumphs of everyday people who built strong religious communities in the face of adversity, racism and political oppressions. Scholars, clergy and lay people will be intrigued and stimulated by this one-of-a-kind history book.
United States Representative, California 13th Congressional District
This detailed history of the African-American Church in the Bay Area is a monumental contribution to the rich history of the Black Church in America in general. We all owe Dr. Taylor a debt of gratitude.
Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc.
This book by the Reverend Doctor Taylor is the work of months of meticulous historical research from many reliable data gathering resources, countless interviews, long and lonely hours of careful writing to narrate the faith struggle and sacrifices of our African American pioneers and institution builders. May this book be placed on the shelves of our libraries in our homes, churches, and schools. May this book become one of the text books in the American religious history courses that are taught in seminaries.
J. ALFRED SMITH
Sr. Pastor Emeritus, Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland CA
Professor Emeritus, American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley CA