Paul McDaniel’s legacy was an extended, efficient pastorate however a lot extra in civil rights development

Aug 23 – For nearly 50 years, from 1966 to 2014, Rev. Paul McDaniel – who died Sunday at the age of 91 – pastored the growing and influential Second Missionary Baptist Church in Chattanooga.

That was a lot, a lot for most of them. But not for the native of South Carolina, who came to Chattanooga a few years after the integration of the snack bars and the extensive abolition of the Jim Crow laws.

There was more work to be done in the area of ​​civil rights for the Black Chattanoogans, and McDaniel would be part of much of it.

Among other things, he helped found the Unity Group, which helped shape the election of John P. Franklin as the first black city commissioner, served as the first black president of the Greater Chattanooga Clergy, and was a plaintiff in a lawsuit before the United States Supreme Court, who allowed clergy to be elected to office.

In 1978, with the Supreme Court victory, he sought a seat on the Hamilton County Commission and served five terms, including five terms as chairman and four as vice-chairman.

McDaniel also helped establish the Clergy Koinonia Federal Credit Union, was chairman of the Westside Community Development Corporation, was a member of the state human rights commission, and was awarded the Jocelyn D. Wurzburg Civil Rights Legacy Award by that organization.

He once said in a polite, open and friendly manner that his goal was only to speak for people who cannot speak for themselves.

“I wanted people to know that someone was speaking for them,” he said in 2006. “I did it outrageously and with no apology.”

The city will miss his direct but collegial leadership.

Comments are closed.