Bishop Archibald J. Carey Sr. (1868–1931) was an “evangelical preacher” who believed in politics as a means for clergy to advance the social and economic interests of their congregations and communities. His son, Archibald J. Carey Jr. (1908–1981), showed the same commitment to ministry and politics. Both Careys, who were ministers to Chicago’s largest African Methodist Episcopal Church congregations, also used the Social Gospel to enhance their public ministry. This book examines how the Careys’ dual pursuits in ministry and politics mattered to the well-being of their congregational and community constituencies. It also looks at the crucial role of black preachers and black congregations in the struggle for civil rights, and their influence on public policy. The book explores how black clergy from Richard Allen and Absalom Jones to Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton, among others, pushed their religiously based activism to the forefront of the black freedom struggle, condemning slavery and segregation while arguing for the humanity of African Americans on both biblical and constitutional grounds.
Keywords: politics, Archibald J. Carey, Methodist Episcopal Church, black preachers, ministry, civil rights, black clergy, activism, African Americans