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Eugene Sparrow, undated

 

Summary

This collection contains the papers of African American Unitarian minister and activist Eugene Sparrow. It includes personal documents, correspondence, work documents, and sermons. The collection dates from 1944-1978, with the bulk of materials dated between 1960-1970.

 

Biographical Note

Eugene Sparrow was a Unitarian minister, teacher and social activist. He was born in 1921 in Boston, MA, adopted, and raised in a Congregational church. He graduated from Boston Latin School and in 1942 enlisted in the army. Following World War II he attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with concentrations in Spanish and sociology. With his wife Donna, Sparrow rented a room in the Ann Arbor Unitarian Church parsonage. His friendship with the minister influenced his decision to become a Unitarian and study ministry at Harvard. The American Unitarian Association (AUA) Department of Ministry first interviewed Sparrow in 1946. He served as an assistant at a congregation in Somerville, Massachusetts from 1948-1949. Following his graduation from Harvard in 1949, when no Unitarian congregation could be found that would settle him, he took a position as the dean of men at Jarvis Christian College in Texas. Soon thereafter, the AUA granted him preliminary fellowship as a Unitarian minister. In 1950 he candidated at Detroit's Church of Our Father for the position of Director of Youth Activities, but was not brought on. Although he was ordained by the Ann Arbor Unitarian Church and was listed as minister-at-large, Sparrow was never settled in a Unitarian congregation. During the 50s and 60s Sparrow held an array of positions. He was acting director of the Urban League in Springfield, MA; director of Massachusetts’ Camp Atwater; director of a recreational center in Connecticut; the Human Relations Councils in Cincinnati, OH and Grand Rapids; and served the Western Unitarian Conference as Director of Field Services from 1960-1962. In 1968 Sparrow began teaching at Widener College in Chester, PA and remained a professor there until his death in 1978.

 

Browse the entire collection, or select a Series or Subseries

 

Series I Personal consists of personal documents, primarily legal and financial documents.

 

Series II Correspondence consists of correspondence divided into three subseries:

 

Series III Sermons consists of published sermons, manuscripts of sermons, sermon drafts, and research materials used in writing sermons.

 

Series IV Professional consists of documents and correspondence related Sparrow’s professional career that he filed separately from his correspondence.

 

Subjects

African American Unitarian Universalists -- Ohio -- Cincinnati -- 20th Century

Unitarian Universalist churches -- Clergy

Sparrow, Eugene -- Sermons

 

Finding Aid

Eugene Sparrow Papers



Questions about this collection? Contact: jleeker@meadville.edu

 
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