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Guide to the John Wilson Fleming papers, 1948-2005

Summary

Collection comprises sermons, teaching materials, writings, and other professional papers of John Wilson Fleming, Baptist pastor and professor of history, philosophy, and religion at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Handwritten drafts of sermons date from the 1950s to the 2000s, and make up almost half of the collection. Other papers include: drafts of speeches, articles, and an unpublished full-length novel, Girded with strength; church programs; lecture notes, syllabi, and a few student papers; Shaw University administrative papers; papers pertaining to politics and school districts in Raleigh, North Carolina, 1964; and some biographical materials, including a resumé and obituary. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11627
Title
John Wilson Fleming papers
Date
1948-2005
Creator
Fleming, John Wilson, 1916-2005
Extent
1.5 Linear Feet, 3 boxes
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Content Description

Collection comprises sermons, teaching materials, writings, and other professional papers of John Wilson Fleming, Baptist pastor, university administrator, and professor of history, philosophy, and religion at Shaw University. Handwritten drafts of sermons date from the 1950s to the 2000s, and make up almost half of the collection. Other papers include drafts of speeches, articles, and an unpublished full-length novel, Girded with strength; church programs; lecture notes, syllabi, and a few student papers; Shaw University administrative papers; papers pertaining to politics and school districts in Raleigh, North Carolina, 1964; and some biographical materials including a resumé and obituary.

The sermons and other writings by John W. Fleming, make up the bulk of the collection. There are only small amounts of correspondence. Topics of significance in the papers include: African American perspectives on religion and Christianity; study and teaching of religion, theology, history, and philosophy; African American educators and university administrators; and religious aspects of African American history, race relations, and the civil rights movement.

Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Arrangement

Arranged in the following series: Biographical/Professional; Church Programs and Related Materials; Politics/School Districts; Sermons; Shaw University; Teaching Materials; and Writings and Speeches.

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

warning Use & Permissions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], John Wilson Fleming papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Biographical/Professional, 1971-2005

1 folder

Includes a 1971 resumé, a few letters concerning professional appointments, a program from an alumni association "roast" in 2002, and John Wilson Fleming's obituary from February 16, 2005.

Box 1

2. Church Programs and Related Materials, 1964-2004

2 folders

Programs from churches where John Wilson Fleming was pastor, 1961-1989; a sheaf of notes for a Sunday School lesson; a few condolence letters upon the death of congregants; and various other related papers.

Box 1

3. Politics and School Districts, 1964, 1967

1 folder

Contains a handful of letters from 1964 relating to political campaigns based in Raleigh, N.C.; several drafts of meeting minutes from the Raleigh Citizens Society, 1964; and a few letters from 1967 written by John W. Fleming concerning the annexation of a Raleigh neighborhood and resulting changes in school districting.

Box 1

4. Sermons, 1960s-2000s

5 folders

This large series consists chiefly of handwritten drafts of sermons given by John Wilson Fleming during his service as pastor to several churches in North Carolina. Some of the later versions are computer print-outs. The sermons often offer insights into the religious aspects of African American life and history, the civil rights movement, and race relations.

Box 1

5. Sermons, 1960s-2000s

8 folders
Box 2

6. Shaw University, 1965-1997 and undated

1 folder

Small group of varied materials, chiefly concerning the executive administration of Shaw University. Includes mission statements and related materials; a hand-written draft of a program to inaugurate the East Campus complex; campus initiatives and related programs; and a list of board of trustees.

Box 2

7. Teaching Materials, 1957-1990

3 folders

Materials include a few syllabi; many hand-written lecture notes chiefly on Greek philosophy and African American history; and a few student papers, some from the 1960s.

Box 3

8. Writings and Speeches, 1948-2000s

7 folders

Large series chiefly consisting of hand-written drafts of lectures, speeches and tributes, articles, and opinion pieces. Also includes a draft of a 1948 student paper by John W. Fleming, as well as a college paper by his wife, Hortense Fleming, circa late 1950s, a psychological case study of a boy and stages of adolescence and independence. Rounding out the series is an over 800-page hand-written draft of a novel, Girded with strength.

Box 3

9. Oversize Materials, 1983, 1999

One paper by Fleming presented at a celebration of the Paul Robeson Project at Shaw University, "Deep river, my home is over Jordan," and a Presidential Citation, National Association for Equaliy in Higher Education, 1999

Oversize-folder 1
 

Historical Note

John Wilson Fleming (1912-2005), educator, pastor, writer, and university administrator, earned a BA from Shaw University, then a Masters in Theology from Oberlin College in 1951, and was appointed to the faculty at Shaw University in 1953, where he also served as an administrator. He also served as part-time pastor to several North Carolina Baptist churches from 1957-1969.


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Provenance

The John Wilson Fleming papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2018.

Processing Information

Processed and encoded by Paula Jeannet, June 2018.

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2018-0009.