Indianapolis Recorder: NAACP First White Member – Transcript

“NAACP Gets its first white member.” Indianapolis Recorder, February 16, 1957, p. 1 – Transcript || Annotation || Archive || Back

The first NAACP life membership by a white person in Indianapolis and probably in Indiana, according to the memory of a veteran leaders of the organization, was taken out Monday.

Rev. James W. Jones, young pastor of the People’s Temple, a crusading interracial church at 1502 N. New Jersey, took out the life membership at an NAACP board meeting at the Senate Avenue YMCA.

Rev. Jones also volunteered to head a local drive for life memberships under a new “installment plan” whereby an applicant can pay $50 a year for 10 years instead of $500 in a lump sum as was the former requirement.

The national NAACP is seeking 25,000 life members this year in order to make up for loss of financial support caused by banning of the freedom organization in Alabama and other Southern states.

Gloster B. Current, national director of branches, explained details of the new plan and urged Hoosier NAACP leaders to put their shoulders to the wheel at a conference held here recently.

Rev. Jones’ nondenominational has attracted wide attention because of its [indistinguishable] integration program. Not only the congregation but the church is mixed as to race at all levels.

A television program over Station WISH-TV at 9:30 Sunday morning and the People’s Temple Nursing Home, 2354 N. College Ave., also are operated by the church and its pastor along entirely interracial lines.

Rev. Jones was named The Recorder’s Human Relations Honor roll for 1956 last month.