By Dennis C. Dickerson
In the course of many of the 20th century, Archibald J. Carey, Sr. (1868-1931) and Archibald J. Carey, Jr. (1908-1981), father and son, exemplified a mix of ministry and politics that many African American spiritual leaders pursued. Their sacred and secular matters merged in efforts to enhance the non secular and fabric health in their congregations. yet as political alliances grew to become worthwhile, either wrestled with ethical outcomes and sundry results. either have been ministers to Chicago's greatest African Methodist Episcopal Church congregations-- the senior Carey as a bishop, and the junior Carey as a pastor and an attorney.
Bishop Carey linked himself often with Chicago mayor William Hale Thompson, a Republican, whom he awarded to black citizens as an best friend. whilst the mayor appointed Carey to the city's civil carrier fee, Carey helped within the hiring and merchandising of neighborhood blacks. yet alleged impropriety for promoting jobs marred the bishop's tenure. The junior Carey, additionally a Republican and an alderman, turned head of the panel on anti-discrimination in employment for the Eisenhower management. He aided innumerable black federal staff. even supposing an influential benefactor of center and SCLC, Carey linked to infamous FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and compromised aid for Martin Luther King, Jr. either Careys believed politics provided clergy the easiest possibilities to empower the black inhabitants. Their imperfect alliances and combined effects, in spite of the fact that, proved the complexity of mixing the geographical regions of spirituality and politics.
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Extra info for African American Preachers and Politics: The Careys of Chicago
Carey Sr. as a driver. 6 Neither of those censuses noted that Jeﬀerson A. Carey Sr. had decided to be a preacher, but at some point he entered the AME ministry. He did not become an itinerant elder, a role that would have required pastoral assignments throughout the state. Instead, he was ordained as a local elder, attached to a speciﬁc congregation and subordinate to a local pastor. Although the name of Carey’s congregation is unknown, he was listed on the 1886 roll of local elders in the North Georgia Annual Conference, a jurisdiction that covered Atlanta and adjacent areas stretching north to the Tennessee border.
Cook, the popular pastor at Bethel, Carey faced renewed charges that he politicized relationships with other clergy. Although the two men had served together on the executive committee of Chicago’s AME ministerial alliance, serious rivalries arose between the two pastors. In the run-up to the 1920 General Conference, Carey sought to bolster his campaign for the episcopacy with a uniﬁed and supportive delegation from the Chicago Annual Conference. Because Cook seemed unsympathetic to Carey’s candidacy, Bishop Levi J.
Carey arrived in Chicago in 1898 familiar with politics and power players in both church and state. In this dynamic Midwest metropolis, however, he learned that although clergy had long been active in public aﬀairs, they had never possessed any “divine right” to leadership and inﬂuence among African Americans. Hence, Carey competed with a rising class of professional black politicians, rival ministers, female leaders, and others. These various African American leaders at times espoused diﬀerent racial ideologies, while at other times they shared similar views but clashed on matters of temperament and style.
African American Preachers and Politics: The Careys of Chicago by Dennis C. Dickerson