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Rufus K. Young papers

Rufus K. Young Papers

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Finding aid for the Rufus K. Young Papers


Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700

Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Young, Rufus King, 1911-2004
Title: Rufus K. Young Papers
Dates: 1921-2002
Quantity: 16.5 Linear feet
Abstract:The collection includes family documents, correspondence, photographs, school and church related materials including sermons, programs, and ministerial association minutes.
Identification: MSS.11.65
Language: English


The collection is arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Contents

The collection includes family documents, correspondence, photographs, school and church related materials including sermons, programs, and ministerial association minutes.

Biographical Note

Rufus King Young was born May 13, 1911, on his grandfather's farm in Bayou Bartholomew, Drew County, Arkansas, to Robert and Laura Scott Young. He received his early religious training at Young's Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, founded and built on land donated by his grandfather, Allen Young. Young began school at Young's Chapel, and graduated from Chicot County Training School in Dermott in 1933. He graduated from Shorter College in North Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1937 and from Payne Theological Seminary at Wilberforce, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Divinity in 1940. He pursued advanced studies at Chicago University and received several honorary doctorate degrees. He married Essie Mae Adams of Jackson, Mississippi, on September 10, 1941. The couple had five children: Essie Mae, Rufus King Jr., James Robert, Ellen Ameatha, and Allena Ann Young. Young was licensed to preach in 1924 and became an ordained traveling minister in 1934. He pastored ten churches during his career in the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and several in Arkansas (including radio ministries) prior to his assignment to Bethel A.M.E. in Little Rock in June 1953. He was a leader in The Twelfth Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church, comprised of Arkansas and Oklahoma. In Little Rock, he was a member of ministerial alliance associations that were involved in the civil rights movement of the late 1950s. Young served as president of the Christian Ministers Alliance of Greater Little Rock and was the first African American president of the Greater Little Rock Ministerial Association. Three of the Little Rock Nine students, Ernest Green, Gloria Ray and Melba Patillo, were members of his church. He was also a friend to Daisy Bates who had been a member of Bethel, before joining her husband at Union A.M.E. Young was also a participant in the March on Washington in 1963. He served as dean of Edward W. Lampton School of Religion at Cambell College in Jackson, Mississippi, from 1940 to 1944, president of Daniel Payne College in Birmingham, Alabama, from 1948 to 1950, teacher and dean at Jackson Seminary, Shorter College in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Young retired from the ministry in 1986, after serving thirty-three years as pastor of Bethel and married Yvonne Smith Bruner, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2002, Connor's Chapel A.M.E. of Little Rock was renamed in his honor. Reverend Rufus King Young died on August 29, 2004 at the age of 93.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

African Americans -- Arkansas -- Religion.
African Methodist Episcopal Church -- Clergy.
African Methodist Episcopal Church.
African Methodist Episcopal Church. 12th Episcopal District.
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Birmingham (Ala.)
Civil rights movements -- Arkansas -- History -- 20th century.
Jackson (Miss.)
Little Rock (Ark.)
North Little Rock (Ark.)
Young, Allena Ann
Young, Ellen Ameatha
Young, Essie Mae Adams, 1920-1983
Young, Essie Mae Laura Elizabeth, 1942-
Young, James Robert
Young, Rufus King, 1911-2004
Young, Rufus King, 1943-2002


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating, in-house use only.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Rufus K. Young Papers, MSS 11-65, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Donated by Ellen Fizer, March 19, 2011

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