Dorothy Harvey

Dorothy Harvey

Interviewed by Leonard Monroe, Reta Cosby and Nancy Hiebert
July 26, 2006

For additional background on the Harvey family, read "Rebecca Brooks Harvey," by Edward S. Harvey.

LEONARD: Wednesday, the 26th of July, 2006. We're interviewing Mrs. Dorothy Harvey, on her growing up in St. Luke, how long she's been here, and we're just trying to get information about her knowledge of St. Luke AME Church.

Dorothy, what is your full name, including your maiden name, and what is your date of birth, and where were you born?

DOROTHY: My name is Dorothy Singleton Harvey. My date of birth is August 11, 1925. I was born in Kansas City, Kansas.

LEONARD: How long has your family lived in Lawrence? When and why did the first family members come here?

DOROTHY: My family did not live in Lawrence; I married into the Harvey family, who has lived in Lawrence since 1865.

LEONARD: That was Dean Harvey. Correct?


LEONARD: As a matter of fact, he was quite a guy himself. He was a county commission, also, wasn't he?

DOROTHY: No, he was a planning commissioner. He was on the Topeka area planning commission.

LEONARD: Outstanding!

RETA: You said his family came here in 1865. From where?

DOROTHY: His grandmother was brought up out of slavery, from Arkansas, by General Blunt.

RETA: Do you know her name?

DOROTHY: Rebecca Brooks Harvey.

LEONARD: What part of Lawrence did your family most closely identify with?

DOROTHY: They've always lived on the farm, south and east of Lawrence, in the area called Blue Mound.

LEONARD: Blue Mound is interesting, because it was a part of the Underground Railway back in the 1800s.

DOROTHY: I've always been told this.

LEONARD: I understand that at that time, all of these trees weren't out here then, and here, from St. Luke, you could see Blue Mound. It had signals, lanterns or whatever, telling them when it was safe to come into town.

DOROTHY: From Blue Mound, you could see over to Baldwin Hill, and they also signaled from there.

RETA: What church did your in-laws attend?

DOROTHY: My in-laws were Baptist. They attended the rural church, though.
I'm not sure it had a denomination when they were out there. But, as the children grew up and moved into Lawrence, they were Baptists. My husband eventually joined me here at St. Luke.

LEONARD: When did you first join St. Luke?

DOROTHY: I joined St. Luke in 1953. But I've been attending since 1943.

I grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, as an AME. I grew up in Trinity AME Church.

RETA: Who was the pastor when you joined?

DOROTHY: H. Hartford Bookings, who later became bishop.

LEONARD: He was another one of those pastors who came through St. Luke and went on to become a bishop.

RETA: How many pastors have been here since you've been a member?

DOROTHY: I'm not sure the answer to that one. There have been a lot of them.

LEONARD: Yeah, there's been quite a few.

DOROTHY: St. Luke was one of those smaller churches. Let me give you a little history. I came as a student. This church was a member of the Kansas Conference. I grew up in what was known as the Nebraska Conference. Therefore, when I came here, this area being in a separate conference, they were able to host conferences on their own. This church had a reputation for helping ministers move up the ladder. So, when they came, they did not expect to stay forever. They came with the intention of two or three years, and then moving on to a larger congregation.

RETA: How did the church help them to move on?

DOROTHY: By the things that we did as members, and the way that they presented themselves at conference: if we were able to pay all of our conference claims; meet all of our obligations.
We had young men who were coming out of Wilburforce, which is an AME school.

RETA: Out of where?

DOROTHY: Wilburforce, Ohio. Wilburforce is an AME school, and these young men came, some of them, shortly after graduation. Rev. Brookings came from St. Mark, Topeka. We were his second charge. Bishop Anderson came from Chanute, Kansas. We were his third charge. They were men who had a dream, and their dream was to become bishops of the AME Church.

They attended conferences in every area. They became known to the conferences, at the AME Connectional Church. That's what we are, Connectional. So, they went everywhere and everybody knew who they were. Their objective was to get ahead and become leaders in the AME Church.

Brookings stayed three years. He changed the pulpit from facing south, to facing east. We worshipped here in the basement while he was here, and then moved back upstairs.

There was one minister between him and Anderson. I think that was G.C. Hall. He wasn't here a full year. He was transferred. At that juncture, if the bishop told them to move, they moved. They could be moved overnight. We had a parsonage, and everything belonged to the church that was in the parsonage, except their personal things. If the bishop needed you to move—say there was a death, then there could be a series of moves. If they had a series of moves, then these young men would move on up. They would go to larger churches.

RETA: Where was your parsonage located?

DOROTHY: 818 New York.

LEONARD: Right down the street here.

NANCY: When Rev. & Mrs. Washington were here, they lived close to that. Was that the parsonage?

DOROTHY: Yes, they were in the parsonage. There was a lot of togetherness. When the pastors would move out, everybody would go down and clean up the parsonage and get it ready for the next family to move in. I can remember when the men would put the roofs on the parsonage and did all kinds of work around the church.

RETA: Do you still have that parsonage?

DOROTHY: No. It was sold. We no longer have a parsonage per se. But that was the way it was in those days. Those men moved on. When the church began to grow, it was so full that you couldn't find a seat, if you weren't here on time. There was something for everybody to do. The main objective with those young men was to keep the people, their congregation, active. They were active and they kept their congregation active.

RETA: Do you remember some of the activities?

DOROTHY: There were all kinds of organizations.

RETA: Mainly the ones that you were involved in, for women?

DOROTHY: Cecilia Gregg Missionary Society. It was named after the wife of a bishop. He had attended here when he was younger, and they named the Society after his wife. Then, Sunday School. When you had children, you were involved with the Young People's Department. Being connectional, we had an order and everything was in an order. You have bishops, presiding elders, pastors. In the local church, you have stewards, trustees, and then presidents of the organizations. On Friday nights, we had something going for the youth at all times. As parents, you took the night to sponsor. Furnished refreshments, the children played and had all kinds of games but were kept busy in the church.

LEONARD: We had very active usher boards and big choirs. Back then, I remember, they had different instruments in the choirs. They had a big bass, violins, they had trumpets and trombones. I remember some of those choirs, especially when the choir was set up on the south side of the church.

DOROTHY: That was before I came. I can remember somebody playing violin, and I can't remember what the other instrument was.

LEONARD: When I joined the church, I was fourteen, and that's when everything was on the south side. I was in the Air Force when Brookings changed everything from the south to the east. When I came back, I was so surprised to see how it had changed.

DOROTHY: But no pastor did any changing without the consent of its congregation. The church belongs to the congregation and they are totally responsible. The church building, itself, belongs to the conference. Therefore, everything has to go through proper channels before anything is supposed to be done.

RETA: I think from the Kimball interview, they mentioned you as one of the teachers?

LEONARD: I remember when she was Sunday School superintendent.

DOROTHY: I've been involved in the Sunday School. I was involved at home. Because you didn't just come up in the AME Church, you came up through channels or steps. I became a junior teacher in the Sunday School at the age of eleven, which meant that I always had a senior member there to help. But I could bring the lesson. As you got older, then you went on to another group of young people. You were junior stewards, junior ushers, junior trustee—which meant somebody was always constantly there to guide you. By the time I came here, I had just turned eighteen. The woman I was living with, Mrs. Arnita Brown, was a member here. Knowing that I was AME, she brought me. She and Mabel. Mabel Simpson married and became Mabel Staton. But they were the ones who encouraged us to come on to St. Luke.

When I left home, the last thing our pastor said to us was, "Go find the AME Church and get involved." That was the way it was done back in those days. When I came in, they wanted to know, "What have you done in your home church?" Whatever you'd been involved in, they got you immediately involved in that. I got involved in the Sunday School right away, and then I started teaching after I married. I married in '45. I kept my membership at home for quite a while. Then, one day, I woke up and realized, "I can't rear my children in Trinity. I'm going to have to join the local church."

RETA: So, you were basically here under Watchcare until you joined as a member?

DOROTHY: Yes. That's the way it goes.

LEONARD: She's a very sharp lady, I'll tell you that. As a matter of fact, I learned quite a bit from her myself, especially from the Bible. She knows a lot of that stuff. I remember, one day, we were in a Bible study class, and Cherubim and Seraphim was what it said. I didn't know what that meant. But Dorothy explained it to me. She knows her Bible real well.

DOROTHY: Thank you, Leonard.

RETA: I remember Dorthy Pennington talking about a club, La Entre Nous, or something similar to that. Do you remember that women's club?

DOROTHY: You threw me when you pronounced it. Yes. It was a group of younger women that we had.

RETA: Were you a part of that group?

DOROTHY: No. The group that I belonged to was Les Amis Petite. I have a picture of it. There was always something to belong to. There was a Men's Guild, there was Women's Guild, there was the Pastor's Aide Society.

The way it was set up under earlier ministers, when they came in, they had to bring the budget. The budget had to be voted on. After the budget was voted on, then each organization was given a portion to raise. So, there was constantly something going on, because everybody was trying to raise their apportionment to keep the church moving.

You might belong to two or three organizations, and every organization had to raise their fair share of money. Therefore, we were constantly doing something. We would have all kinds of teas. Sometimes they were birthday teas, which meant that whatever month your birthday was in, that group got together. Sometime, they were seasonal teas.

I can remember when we had progressive dinners. You would start at one person's house and eat hors d'oeuvres. Then we'd go to the next person's house and you would have the main course, and you'd end up at the third person's house for desert. And it was a lot of fun.

People would be interested in what we were doing. So, they would come. Now, we weren't supposed to have drawings or lotteries or anything like that. But, every now and then (laughter), we'd do a little something.

LEONARD: (Laughter).

DOROTHY: The younger kids, especially. Not being able to go out and sell and do anything. At that time, we didn't let the kids go from house to house. We just had some tickets for a ham, or something of that type, but we didn't draw for that winner inside. We had to be outdoors to draw. We would draw the winning ticket outside on the sidewalk. That way we were not violating the church itself. This was an easy\ way to make money.

There was always something constantly going on. With my Sunday School class, we would be preparing for the Christmas play or for Easter. After they had rehearsed two or three times, for the final rehearsal they would go out to the farm. They would get to see the animals, watch the milking, and then feed them. The parents would come out and get them. It was a lot of fun.

RETA: No wonder you're such a memorable person.

DOROTHY: I occasionally run into young people and I've heard them say, "Well, Mrs. Harvey, I don't belong to the AME Church any more, but I'm still in church." I appreciate that, because we're not trying to promote the AME Church per se, we're promoting the fact that they serve a risen Savior. Wherever they go, they should know how to act and how to present themselves. I'm always glad that they're still in somebody's church.

LEONARD: Get the grace of God instilled into them when they're young, and they'll keep that the rest of their life. I remember some of those programs you were talking about, on Easter and Christmas. We used to have the plays, programs, and Easter egg hunts.

DOROTHY: They'd make their own props, and the fathers would help them. They talk about the living manger scenes. Somebody had a baby (laughter). There was always a baby in the congregation. So, you'd get that baby for that particular night, put in the manger, and parents would make costumes and be present to help when needed.

Then, we would have the little weddings. I can't think of what we called them.

LEONARD: Okay, I know what those were. I was in one. I was in what they called a Tom Thumb Wedding.

DOROTHY: Right, that's what we called it, Tom Thumb Wedding. I have a picture of a Tom Thumb wedding.

LEONARD: I never will forget that as long as I live.

RETA: What would that involve?

DOROTHY: Usually the youngest little girl in the church, who was able to talk or to say, "I do." That's all she really had to do. And a little older boy for the groom. Then an older child, who would be the minister, and then you'd have the other kids as bridesmaids and the regular wedding parts.

LEONARD: When I was in that Tom Thumb Wedding, the first thing I asked you, "I won't have to kiss her, do I?" (laughter).

RETA: How old were you, Leonard?

LEONARD: I really can't remember, but I was six- eight.

DOROTHY: If you were the groom, that's probably where you were. I remember when Debra, my youngest daughter, was the bride. We had a lot of fun getting the outfit together.

LEONARD: Oh, it was really fun. We were all dressed up.

RETA: What was the purpose of it?

DOROTHY: Just to raise money. Keep the kids involved.
Then we used to have womanless weddings. The men played all the parts.

LEONARD: Many things used to go on in church. It was so much fun. So many programs, so many things to do.

Dorothy, can you give me any idea why things have changed so much now? We just don't seem to have that rapport that we used to have, in any church anymore?

DOROTHY: I can't give you an honest answer. My personal feeling is that we don't keep the kids involved and, without the young people, we aren't going to ever be able to do anything.

LEONARD: That's very true. Just this past Sunday, we always got the little kids in our choir because their parents are in the choir, and they wanted to sing this song that we were singing Sunday. We handed the mic back to them and they really sang it, too. They've done that before. They've sang even their own song before. They are, more or less, active with us now. But, the only ones that are here, though, are those particular young kids. It's not like it was when we were going to Sunday School and church.

DOROTHY: First of all, our parents didn't just send us, Leonard.

LEONARD: They took us.


LEONARD: I never will forget years ago, someone said, "Don't send your child to church, take the child to church."

DOROTHY: They were involved in whatever we did. At least, my parents were.

LEONARD: Right. Mine were, too, when I was growing up, right here at St. Luke.

RETA: You talk about the activities that were available for children to be involved in. Do you find that now there are just too many other outside activities?

DOROTHY: I assume that's what it is. We would have board games and the men had painted some shuffleboard things on the floor down here.

LEONARD: Shuffleboard.

DOROTHY: They could play that. But, when I grew up, we had a basketball court in our basement. So, the kids could just come in and play.

But, today, it's like parents don't come. So, if you don't have the parents, you're not going to have the kids.

RETA: Would you suggest putting video games in the church?

DOROTHY: No. I think they sit too much time. I really think that's what it is, video games.

LEONARD: That's why they're not here now. Between television and everything else going on, I think that's one of the biggest reasons why the kids are not here today.

I've been offered football tickets to the Chiefs, baseball tickets to the Royals. But I'd always have to turn them down, because it's always during church time. And there are very few things that'll make me miss church.

RETA: I get so disappointed when I look in the football stadiums, and see people who can hardly walk or hardly breathe, making it to the football games. But, if you ask them to go to church, "Oh, I can't go to church. I'm too sick. I'm on oxygen. I can't walk."

DOROTHY: We always had Bible games for the kids. There were always questions being asked. My parents wanted to know what I learned in Sunday School class, and you'd better be able to give them some kind of answer. But parents today don't even bring them, much less send them. Therefore, you can't teach them if they don't come.

LEONARD: Our folks used to even ask us later on, "What did you learn in church today?

DOROTHY: "What did the pastor say?"

LEONARD: "What did he preach on?"

RETA: What are some of your most memorable sermons, or one of your most memorable sermons?

LEONARD: Dorothy, I'll tell you mine. When Rev. Washington was here, you were talking about teas a while ago. Remember that tea that Rev. Washington had down here, where everybody dressed up in formals. It was wonderful! But one of my favorite sermons that he preached was "Call Me by My Name." You remember that sermon?


LEONARD: To me, it was something so special, because, it says Jesus knows your name, that's what he spoke on. Be proud of your name and, so, call me by my name. I never will forget that sermon. The way he did it was just magnificent.

DOROTHY: I think, one of the sermons that I remember was about Job. I told Reverend, Sunday before, how much I appreciated him going to the Book of Job, and discussing how Job lost everything and he was still able to tell everybody that he still believed in God. He did not curse God and die, as his wife suggested.

There have been many sermons in my estimation. This one is probably not what you're looking for. But, it was so cold and it was below zero. Probably three families came to church.

LEONARD: I remember that Sunday.

DOROTHY: And Rev. Anderson was here.

LEONARD: It wasn't but about three our four of us here?

DOROTHY: My family and two or three others. He got up in the pulpit and he went through the order of service. We have an order of service that they have to go through, which takes approximately one-half an hour if they go through it. When he got up, he said, "I don't know what we're doing here, but Jesus said 'Follow me,'" and out the door we went (laughter).

LEONARD: (Laughter).

DOROTHY: I've had some wonderful ministers.

LEONARD: I remember Rev. Anderson quite well for one of the particular things that he did. On First Sundays, he'd preach what he called a "sermonette."


LEONARD: It wouldn't be a real long sermon, it would be a "sermonette" because they had communion to do that day.

DOROTHY: And it took a long time to do communion in those days because there were so many of us, and we had to go to the altar.


DOROTHY: He was a stickler about how many went to the altar. So, as ushers, we had to count twenty people, and when twenty people were at the altar, then we had to hold the rest of the people back until those twenty were served. Once they were served, then they moved off the scene, and the next twenty were allowed to move up.

RETA: What about members?

LEONARD: What do you mean?

RETA: Some of the members that have now passed on?

DOROTHY: There are a lot of those older members. Mrs. Gertrude Clark, who was Judge Clark's widow, was here on a regular basis, and she had her own seat.

LEONARD: That's one thing; you had to be particular where you sat at. You better not be in one of those old timers' seats, I'll tell you that.

DOROTHY: They would ask you, "Please move," that was their seat. But most of us who knew, we didn't even go try to sit there. But Mrs. Price, Mother Price as we called her, Fairy Hill, and Marguerite Hill, the Hill families. There were two sets of Hills.

RETA: What was the first name of the Hills?

DOROTHY: There were Pearl and Charles Hill, and Marguerite and Tom Hill. Those were the two, and there are still two of Tom's daughters that belong here. We called her Pearl "Fairy" Hill. None of her children are here.

LEONARD: None of them live here anymore. As a matter of fact, there's only one alive now, I believe, and that's Anita and she's in Wichita.

DOROTHY: There was the Kimball family. When I first came, the Kimballs were very active. Mr. Kimball sang in the choir. Mrs. Kimball, as I remember, worked at one of the churches in the nursery. One of the other churches. So, she wasn't here too often on a Sunday morning, but if there was anything in the afternoon or the evening, she was definitely here. She was very gentle with children, and when we would have Vacation Bible School, she would be here to help serve, because we served them refreshments. Vacation Bible School was very important. It went two weeks. We would have a music division, and you'd have teachers for every age group.

RETA: How long were you Sunday school superintendent?

DOROTHY: Probably six years or so.

RETA: Who was superintendent before you?

DOROTHY: Pearl Hill. Mrs. Mathis was superintendent when I first came. We didn't have too many superintendents, because you normally just stayed in those positions, as long as you're doing your job and things were active.

I've always just taught and I've always enjoyed teenage kids, because when you get their attention, they'll tell you a lot of things. Things you may not want to hear, but they'll tell, and you'd be surprised at what you can learn. They're very keen about asking questions, too. I learned early: don't try to fool them. If you don't know, just tell them, "I'll go home and look it up." Because, otherwise, you're going to find you're in a world of trouble. Because they want to know now.

RETA: And they will come back and tell you what you said (laughter).

DOROTHY: Yes, Ma'am, that they will.

LEONARD: The men had an organization, too, but I can't think of what it was.

DOROTHY: The Men's Guild.

LEONARD: Yeah, the Men's Guild.

DOROTHY: There was a Men's Guild, there was a Women's Guild, there was Mr. & Mrs. Club. The La Entre Nous is what we were. That was a group of the younger women who met and did things around the church. The pastor's aide's responsibility was to tell us what was needed at the parsonage and what the pastor needed, and they would spearhead projects to be sure that the parsonage was kept up.

LEONARD: I also remember back then they had trustee meetings, steward meetings, congress and board meetings, which is almost nil now.

DOROTHY: Right. When we were trying to get somebody to go as a delegate to conference, you really almost had to go out and campaign to go as a delegate, because that was something everybody was anxious to do.

LEONARD: I remember you as being one of the best delegates I'll ever remember.

DOROTHY: Thank you. I was delegate for many years.

LEONARD: I know.

DOROTHY: I was fortunate.

LEONARD: I remember when they wanted to start making me a delegate, the first thing I did was go ask you a bunch of questions (laughter). I said, "What am I supposed to be doing down there?"

RETA: What did you do as a delegate?

DOROTHY: First of all, back in those days, you had to take a report of what the church had done for the year. You stood up and reported at the conference what was being done, to the bishop. Then you were put on a committee and you were responsible for meeting with that committee, getting your report ready, and that report was read at the conference. St. Luke, at that point, was a large enough church for the Kansas Conference to come and have conferences here. One of the first things after I joined was we had a conference and we worked hard at those conferences. But I had worked hard all the time at Trinity. So, we just knew what to do automatically.

RETA: Did you have any reports about events that the church had participated in with the city?

DOROTHY: The community.

LEONARD: That was one of your main things.

RETA: Can you remember some of them? What about the NAACP?

DOROTHY: The NAACP, I think, started to meeting here.

DOROTHY: They began to become active in Lawrence. They were active and they marched.

RETA: Do you remember about what year, and what they were marching for?

DOROTHY: If they started in Lawrence, this would have been in the '50s.

RETA: What were they marching for?

DOROTHY: When they marched, it was for fair housing. It had to have been in the '60s, because Brother McMillan was here.

LEONARD: And, also, for being able to eat downtown and so forth

DOROTHY: Yeah, they opened the restaurants at that time. Also, I was President of Church Women United. (The United Church Women changed its name to Church Women United to place emphasis on the word "United.") Because I had been active a long time with them, representing St. Luke through the Missionary Society as president of the Missionary Society, you automatically became a member of the Church United. We were also part of the Ministerial Alliance. Your ministers were in the alliance, and the alliance was very active in those days in the community.

RETA: Ecumenical ministers?

DOROTHY: Yes. All the churches were active. Then, Church Women United. As some of the churches quit having women's' units, then they began to pull out, and eventually that became a dormant organization here in Lawrence. It's still a very active organization, but it became dormant here in Lawrence.

RETA: What about the Boy Scouts? How long have they been associated with the church?

DOROTHY: Off and on for a long time. You would have groups and then they would sort of go away. Was it under Henning that we began to have Boy Scouts?

LEONARD: I don't know. I know that my brother, Bud, had a Boy Scout troop here back in the 1940s or early '50s. Then in the early '80s, we had a Boy Scout troop here.

DOROTHY: That's what I said, you would have groups and they would die out, and then they would start again, just like Girl Scout troops.

LEONARD: We don't have a Boy Scout troop here for us, but there is a Boy Scout troop that uses this church.

Dorothy: St. Luke sponsors the Boy Scout troop. We don't have any of our own members participating at this time. As far as I know, it is a mixed-race troop.

RETA: There used to be something right here on this wall.

LEONARD: That was all the Boy Scout stuff that they had on there. Now, all the stuff that we had, we only had our troop for a couple of years, but it's in this display window back here. Just for that short time, we won about everything you could win in the Boy Scout troop. Those kids were really sharp and we had good scout masters and leaders. I was a part of it.

RETA: Do you remember any names of the leaders?

LEONARD: It was Clarence Reynolds, Bob Holt. You remember the Holts used to be here, myself, Michael Hamm. We just had some good scout leaders here and young troops, and they really did their thing.

RETA: They had to be young, because Reynolds is not that old.

LEONARD: He's probably up there now, but this was in the 1980s—'81— '83, I think, is when we had our troop here.

RETA: Clarence Reynolds?

DOROTHY: Yes, he was a member here at that time. Mr. Holt and those men had young boys themselves, and they became leaders.

RETA: Were they attending KU?

DOROTHY: No. They were families.

LEONARD: No. We lived here. Just like my son, Mike, was one of them.

DOROTHY: When parents are involved, you can keep kids involved. But as those children grow up and those parents move off the scene, unless another parent is willing to come in or has a child who's interested, then we just don't have it.

RETA: Is Michael Hamm Harriet Baskerville's son?

DOROTHY: Yes, but he's deceased.

RETA: He belonged to St. Luke?

DOROTHY: No, he was at Ninth Street.

LEONARD: He was just here for the Boy Scouts. I remember also, Dorothy, there were a lot of pictures taken back in those days. We had one lady, she passed with cancer, Mrs. Arthur Pitcher's daughter. She was a nurse.

DOROTHY: Maxine Brown.

LEONARD: Maxine Brown took a lot of pictures and, when I was researching something for St. Luke up at the Watkins Museum, when Steve Jensen was in charge then, he took me back there because I told him what I was looking for, and I saw so many pictures of different things and organizations here at St. Luke, it was just amazing. I was just surprised it was there. But we don't do that any more.

That one picture over there, that's a choir. There are Baptists and Methodists in that choir. I don't know what the occasion was, but I think they did get together every now and then back then. I noticed that my sister was in that choir when she was Baptist and, of course, some of our members are in that choir, so I know it was a mixed choir.

RETA: What was you sister's name?

LEONARD: We called her Tiny, her name was Edna. I just noticed that picture there. I wish I could get some of those pictures out of that museum we could put down here. Because those organizations like the choir, especially with Mrs. Fishback and all those people who were in the choir and different things like that and some of them other oldtimers that were in the choirs.

DOROTHY: Ruth Jeltz, Josie Howard, and all of that group.

RETA: Do have pictures of when you were a superintendent?

DOROTHY: I'm not sure.

LEONARD: It might be up in the museum (laughter).

DOROTHY: I don't know about that. There were probably more pictures made when Fairy was superintendent and I was assistant superintendent under her. We had a lot of pictures made. When we would hold conferences, pastors would have pictures made of every organization for a booklet that was being put out for conference.

LEONARD: The last time I saw Vincent, who was Maxine's son, I asked him about some of those pictures. He said the next time he came, he would try to remember to bring some of those old pictures.

DOROTHY: He told me that he had a lot of them that he wanted us to go through, because he doesn't remember those people.

LEONARD: I haven't seen him since I told him that. He does come here every once in a blue moon.

RETA: Who is that?

LEONARD: Vincent Brown. It's Maxine's son. I don't even know where he lives, because I don't ever see him.

DOROTHY: He's here. I see him every now and then.

LEONARD: The next time you see him, ask him if he remembered about those pictures (laughter).

DOROTHY: Okay. St. Luke was a very active church when I first came here, very active. And, again as I said, it depended on the pastors. You'd have up days or years, and then you'd have down periods. When you have these active ministers, they keep their congregations active.

I can remember one of the men who is now a retired bishop. But he said, "A church that's not active is a dead church," as far as he was concerned. His objective was to just keep his members busy and he had something going for every age group. The babies didn't bother him. The babies were just crying, somebody would go over and pick that baby up and calm it down, and keep right on with whatever was going on. The kids could play.

We ran into a group of people who said, "Oh, the children were destructive." I think one of the boys broke a light or something, and, oh, they just had a fit. You would have thought it was a crime. I can remember one of the fathers saying, "Ah, we'll replace that light for Sunday," and they would. Because most of the men were either on the trustee board or the stewards of the church.

RETA: All of your kids were raised here in St. Luke?

DOROTHY: Yes. My first two were baptized in Trinity, which was my home church. Debra, my youngest, was baptized under Bishop Brookings and has been here ever since. They were just active.

RETA: Is she still a member here.

DOROTHY: No, Ma'am. She's a member of the Indian United Methodist Church. She's still Methodist, but she's a member there.

I can remember when my husband drove the tractor in here and brought our grandsons, and they dug all around the side of the building because we were getting water in that northeast corner. Those were the kinds of things that they did. They didn't go out and have to have somebody come in and do everything. They did the work themselves.

LEONARD: Yeah, they did it themselves. There's a stone wall behind that petition over there. There's a room back there. I remember when my dad and brothers redid that wall because it was leaking so bad.

DOROTHY: That's right. Whoever was available came down and may not have but half an hour on their lunch hour, but they came and they worked. The women would bring dinner down.

LEONARD: I remember that Dean Harvey and Mr. Hill, my dad, Mr. Kimball, they'd all come down here. If there was work to be done, they'd come down here and do it when they'd have a chance to do it.

DOROTHY: They put a roof on the parsonage a couple of times that I remember.

NANCY: And expanding the basement.

DOROTHY: That was done under Rev. Fant. We remodeled it under Rev. Brown when we, again, came down to worship down here. But Rev. Fant had a group of the men come down and dig out this portion. When I came, the restrooms were upstairs. I don't remember any basement at all. Then, when they dug it out, they put those front steps, so we could come down and use this.

LEONARD: I think it was just a hole here. Right there is where the wall was, I believe. The one you're talking about is when they went from here on back, I believe.

RETA: You always had inside restrooms in the church?

DOROTHY: Ever since I've been here we've had. I'm sure that they didn't earlier.

LEONARD: Not when it was over there. This building was built in 1910. But the first building was across the alley, right over there.

DOROTHY: Yes, that's the old picture we have.

LEONARD: That picture is in a frame right there. That white building there.

DOROTHY: But it was always people coming together to do the work. We used to have banquets. I remember when there were tables. Of course, we didn't have all of these posts up here, but they would have the banquet tables, and big banquets. Everybody would cook, and whatever your specialty was, that's what you did. You came down and you helped. Talking about working with other churches, my sister-in-law, Joyce Harvey, was a member at Ninth Street. But, when Dean was chairperson, who was in the kitchen? She was. She wasn't going to let him falter in any way, so she was here.

LEONARD: Right. I remember those days.

DOROTHY: It didn't matter, it was a family effort. If you were working as a family, then everybody worked. The kids learned how to serve tables, which direction you serve from, and keep the water glasses filled. So, our young girls were always constantly doing that. The boys were bus boys. They would come and take the plates and keep it going. Of course, in those days they didn't use paper plates. So, we had efforts to raise china, so we could have china.

I can remember when we'd go to the store and you'd have coupons for silverware. You take your coupons and get that particular silverware, whatever it was that was on for that week, and it became a part of the church's silverware.

LEONARD: Also, Dorothy, I don't know what you call it, if they needed tea towels or something. What did you use to call those programs we had where people would bring stuff?

DOROTHY: We had a kitchen shower.

LEONARD: And, if they needed something, then that's what people would bring.

DOROTHY: The women made a list and said, "We need so many towels, we need so many of this and so many of this." I can remember when they worked hard. I think it was La Entre Nous that bought the china plates. Remember we had a whole set of china? There was always somebody constantly washing dishes.

LEONARD: I remember, when we started having dinners down here, especially the men's banquet, your daughter told me, "Leonard, we need some glasses." I remember that just as clear as a bell. I don't know how many glasses I did end up buying. We worked together in the church. If we needed something, somebody usually got it.

DOROTHY: All you had to do was say, "We need." But it was our system that worked, I think. Because you just didn't say, "Well, I'm going to do this," and just do it. It had to come through proper channels, and the proper channel was you brought it to a church meeting and said, "I represent [such and such] a group and we want to do [this] or do [that]," such as when we bought that silver pitcher and goblets and tray. All of that came through proper channels. You knew what you were expected to do.

LEONARD: And no one was offended by anything, as far as I was concerned anyway. If anybody was offended, like me when she told me to get them glasses, I'd say, "Why is she trying to tell me what to do?" But we did it, and everybody seemed to just work together. It was really great.

DOROTHY: We have to remember now that when I came here, a lot of the people were in the sorority or fraternity houses. Those women were accustomed to cooking large amounts. You would say, "Well, we're going to have a banquet [such and such] a time. We're going to have turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes." Whatever you could do, they did it, and you would have people who would cook in their homes and they'd say, "Come by at [such and such] a time."

LEONARD: I remember Mr. Cheeks used to cook those beautiful turkeys and beautiful roasts.

DOROTHY: Right. Because Mr. Cheeks was a cook. I don't remember where he cooked.

LEONARD: He was at one of the fraternities.

DOROTHY: I can't think of the name of the lady who lived across the street from the parsonage, but her mother had been a member here. She did not belong here, but every time she heard we were having a banquet, she would say, "I will furnish the rolls."

LEONARD: Was her name Winborn, or was she just related to the Winborns?

DOROTHY: No, that's not the family I'm referring to.

LEONARD: Are you talking about down here in the 800 block on the west side?

DOROTHY: Uh-huh.

LEONARD: I know exactly who you're talking about; I just can't call her name now.

DOROTHY: I can't either, because she didn't belong to the church.
We had musicians who cared about the children. They would say, "Bring your children at [such and such] a time and I'll give them lessons." Now days, we don't want them to touch the piano; we don't want them on it. They don't know this, and they probably want to learn. Let them.

RETA: Do you remember some of the musicians?

LEONARD: Ruth Jeltz, or Ruth Richardson, whatever you want to call her now. She was the pianist here for years and, I mean, that woman knew what she was doing.

DOROTHY: She taught my youngest daughter, Debra, and Debra joined her when she was old enough to play. Mrs. Jeltz played the organ, and Debra played the piano for a long time.

We had students who came. When you left your home church, that was the first thing they would remind you, "Find the AME Church and get involved," and they would find something. If you were a musician, so you only played one song on Sunday. But there was a Sunday for the children, there was a Sunday for the men, there was a Sunday for the women. The First Sunday was always the combined groups.

LEONARD: The Third Sunday, I think, was the kids' Sunday.

DOROTHY: They practiced those children. Mrs. Jeltz was one of these who said, "Now, if you didn't come to practice, don't come prepared to sing." You were not going up and mess up in her choir. And don't come late. If you were supposed to be there to march in and be in the choir loft at 11:00, don't come sneaking in two minutes after eleven, or you were going to get embarrassed.

LEONARD: If you were at practice and you messed up on a note or whatever you were doing, she didn't have to chew you out. All she had to do was look at you with those eyes, and you knew that you'd better get it right the next time (laughter).

RETA: How long was she the musician?

LEONARD: She was here for years.

DOROTHY: Oh, my goodness, I don't know, for years. Her father had been an AME minister, so that was just her calling.

RETA: A minister here or just an AME minister?

DOROTHY: I believe he was at St. James.

LEONARD: He wasn't at St. Luke, I don't think.

DOROTHY: It used to be, as I understood it, that when a minister moved on, his family would not remain in that church. They moved on to another church, so that they did not cause conflicts by saying, "My daddy did it this way, or my husband." That was the way they normally did it. So, her mother, as a widow, moved over here and, of course, she came with her mother and played.

They really taught the young people. We would have recitals for the children. They had certain days, and each child was allowed to have a recital or a special night.

LEONARD: Just like now, sometimes we got these little kids up in the choir now on Sundays, and sometimes I get a little discouraged with them personally. They don't have the attention span yet. They'll be good for a while, then they start making noise and talking, and I'm trying to, "Sh, sh." But I'm not going to jump on them; I'm not going to holler at them, because at least they are here.

DOROTHY: Are here, right.

LEONARD: I sure don't want to run those kids off.

DOROTHY: And their parents are here. That's why they're in the choir.

LEONARD: That's why they're in the choir, because their parents are in the choir, too. So, you don't want to ever try to start something like that.

DOROTHY: Back in my day, you could be corrected by somebody else.

LEONARD: Anyone else.

DOROTHY: Nobody was going to roll their eyes at you and tell you to leave my child alone. Because, if your child was acting up, that child was corrected right then and there. I can remember only once having to be corrected, and when I got home, I got the second correction.

LEONARD: Right. I corrected these kids one Sunday up in the choir, and he was trying to get close to his mom. She said, "Now, you listen to Mr. Monroe." So, that part is still going on, where another person can correct your child. But it's not hollering at them or squeezing them or pinching them.

DOROTHY: When we started them as ushers, they came in and they worked under the Senior Board and, then, as they progressed to the point where they could do it on their own, then they became a member of the Senior Board. Then you helped the next group to progress. The same way with teachers. We held teachers' meetings for Sunday School. We didn't just come in and teach. We had to come and go over the lesson yourself and be ready.

LEONARD: Dorothy, all these things we've talked about and all the changes that have been made, now that we're on the National Historic Record, all this has to be changed back to its original form.

DOROTHY: Yeah, that's what I understand. The ceiling is going to have come out.

LEONARD: And that's going to be quite a job, because we got a dropped ceiling upstairs in the main sanctuary. But that's got to go back now to its original, high-pitched ceiling with the tin and everything on it. Because, once you come on the National Historic Record, you've got to go back to your original formation, the way it was.

DOROTHY: I can remember when we dropped that ceiling under Rev. Brown, when we did all that remodeling. We had voted a $10,000 improvement. When they got into it, they found out it was going to cost more. We ended up with over $20,000 worth of work being done. It had to paid, and I can remember that each organization took a Sunday and came down here to serve dinners. That meant that you were no longer upstairs at that particular time. So, there would be Sundays when you'd be downstairs working, and the rest of them would be upstairs.

LEONARD: Right. But you sure smelled that food. By the time our church got out, the basement was full of people already down here buying dinners. It was really something.

DOROTHY: That was how we paid for it. Everybody had to work together. We would assess ourselves, but everybody didn't have the same amount of money.

RETA: How were the assessments made?

DOROTHY: Through the church conference. We would say, "We will ask the members for so much money," fifty dollars maybe, and they could pay it over a period of time. They would do that, and how you raised your money was your own business. Then each organization would be assessed. They might have been assessed $150 per organization, and they would raise their money.

All the time that was going on, we still had what we called conference assessment. The conference assessment means that we're connectional. So, we'd have to go to conference once a year. When you get to that conference, that church makes a report, and the report is whatever has been assessed. I'm going back to when I was the delegate and I'll just round off the figure. It would be $2,000 assessment. That's a lot of money back in those days, and these people have worked hard.

There were people who would walk. I can remember when Mrs. McKissick would walk across the river to save her money, instead of riding the bus, and that would be the way she would pay her assessment. We would look at those people and think, "If she can do that, surely we can figure out some way to pay our assessment." When we'd get to conference, you still would have to make that assessment. The pastor and the delegate would have to put in offerings, and it wasn't that they just called on the pastor, they called the delegate's name, too. The delegate was equally responsible for paying. You were not responsible out of your own pocket; it was the church's obligation. But a lot of times the church didn't have the money, so you did pay your own obligation.

DOROTHY: Insert added at transcript review for clarification: I believe that I was referring to the fact that the delegate's expenses were paid by the church, and we stayed at a hotel during the conference week. Conference would be held in Omaha, Nebr.; Wichita, Ks.; Kansas City, Ks.; or in Topeka, Ks.

These were the largest churches in the conference, and they could host the Kansas-Nebraska Conference. Our expenses—meal ticket, housing and travel expense—were the church's obligation.

Sometimes delegates ended up taking money out of their own pockets to pay expenses if the church was unable to raise the necessary amount. I often did that, but I loved my church enough to represent it in the best light possible.

I would say that the expense we most often paid out of our own pocket was the travel expense. A car was needed to get from the hotel to the church. Sometimes, I stayed with family or friends to cut down on the housing cost.)

LEONARD: That the first few times I was a delegate in Kansas City, I wouldn't even stay down there, I'd always come back every night because I didn't have the money to spend on a hotel room, and I didn't want the church to be paying for nothing like that.

DOROTHY: And you were happy to do it, because you were representing your church. From Wednesday through Sunday you were expected to be there. You were expected to be there in time for breakfast, and you were there during the opening session.

LEONARD: That was the only thing about driving back every night, I'd get up so early in the morning where I could get back down there in the morning.

DOROTHY: They expected you to be there. They knew who the delegates were. First of all, you had a pin telling who you were and what church you represented. If you were on a committee, that committee might meet early in the morning. I remember when I was on the Finance Committee, you could stay long hours afterward, making sure that every penny was accounted for, and it had to go to certain portions of the church.

LEONARD: They got another big conference coming up in September, where all these assessments and things will have to be paid. Everything we do now is for fund raising anyway, not only for the conference, but also for restoration of the church. Everything we're doing now is fund raisers.
Every year we do certain things to get money for these obligations that we have. Like the men, every year we have an annual catfish dinner.

RETA: And it was good, too.

LEONARD: Thank you. Then we'd have what we call our Men and Women's Day, where we would also raise money, which is coming up the 6th of August. Different things like that come up, where we try to get money to get our assessments. In this day and age, we don't have that many active people in church every Sunday for the offering, so we got to come up with a lot of other ways to try to get this money.

DOROTHY: I can remember when they used to bring that cooker in and set it out here. Leonard would get permission from the city for us to put it out there. They would barbecue, and you could smell the barbecue from our end of the town. Then people got to the point where they would bring their food down and ask could we barbecue it for them (laughter). So, there were many ways to raise money, but you'd just have to be inventive and think about, "What do you want to do?" and "Are you willing to put that much time and effort into something?"

LEONARD: It does take a lot of time and effort if you really got your heart into it. When we had that catfish dinner, it was so hot outside and hot in that kitchen. Even though we had the air on and we had fans on, it was hot. But you've got to have people who want to do those kinds of things if you want to do anything at all. You've got to have people willing to do that. Dorothy, did you know anything about Langston Hughes when you were going to this church?

DOROTHY: Only what I heard about him through members who had known him, knew his aunt, and talked about when she brought him here, because he was a young boy.

LEONARD: Right, he was in his teens.

RETA: What members were those? Do you remember?

DOROTHY: Captolia Lopez for one.

LEONARD: The Bryants.

NANCY: When I first came in 1982, and Eleanor Adams.

DOROTHY: She wasn't here during that period. Eleanor Adams came in later. Those were later members. But Mrs. Lopez was here when I came.

LEONARD: And the Bryants.

DOROTHY: Bryants, Della, and I can't think of his name. Hendersons? I'm trying to think of some of those other people. But they knew Langston Hughes as a boy and the fact that his aunt used to bring him to church.

RETA: Mrs. Reed?

DOROTHY: Yeah. I don't think she was his real aunt, I think she was his grandmother's friend. But she kept him and lived right down the street here, as I understood it. When he stayed with her, then he had to come to church.

RETA: On New York Street?

LEONARD: I think it was New Jersey.

NANCY: It was New York. I think it was 835.

DOROTHY: I'm not sure. Yeah, somewhere down in there. Like I said, she belonged. They called her Auntie Reed, but she was deceased when I came, as I remember. But there were a lot of older families, the Stanfields, the Strodes, the Nelsons, who were quite active here.

LEONARD: And the Kimballs, the Monroes, and all the oldtimers, which all of them are gone now. Everyone of them is gone now. But they were faithful.

DOROTHY: When you come here now, you might never find but a few of us who were coming back in even the '50s.

RETA: They are gone, but their spirits live through you, and just to hear the mention of those names, it kind of puts me in their presence.

DOROTHY: Well, they were really strict AMEs. They came, they were in their seats. You had the deaconess's and the stewardesses. They were the women of the church that were really respected and, if they spoke, everybody knew how to act. They knew what to tell you to do, they weren't going to tell you wrong, that's for sure. We respected those women. Your children came up respecting those women.

LEONARD: Amen to that. We'd better (laughter). But that's the way we were raised back then to respect, especially respect of your elders. But it was really great.

DOROTHY: Most of us became officers and worked for years.

LEONARD: I know the first time I was elected trustee, I was so scared the first thing I did after church, I said, "What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do?" (laughter).

RETA: How do you become a steward or a trustee? What are the qualifications for becoming a steward?

LEONARD: The trustees are voted on and the stewards are appointed.

DOROTHY: No, stewards are voted on. That's where we're falling down.

LEONARD: I know what you're saying.

DOROTHY: You are appointed by the pastor, but you have to be voted on by the congregation, and then the presiding elder confirms you.

LEONARD: It's not quite that simple, but that's the way it is. Then the trustees always got to be an odd number; that way you won't have ties in voting.

DOROTHY: Now, trustees are voted on, but they are also nominated by the Pastor.

LEONARD: They're nominated.

DOROTHY: He has to name twice as many as need to be elected. So, if he needs nine, he has to nominate eighteen people. Then, we have a church conference and then they're voted on. When the presiding elder comes, he's given the names of all of the officers. But he has to confirm the stewards.

One thing I think we need to remember is that stewards are accountable to the congregation. You are not the pastor's stewards. He has a pastor's steward who is supposed to help him when asks them. But you all are accountable. I learned that early when I was on the Steward Board.

LEONARD: You told me that a long time ago, too.

DOROTHY: I read it just the other day and I just whooped. I said, "Oh, I'd hate to be one of those stewards." They are not accountable to the pastor.

LEONARD: To the congregation.

DOROTHY: Because we allow you to be confirmed.

LEONARD: That's why I learned so much from her, she knows that stuff.

DOROTHY: That's the same thing that we are not going through as we should.

LEONARD: They don't do it like they used to.

DOROTHY: No. Most of these younger stewards think that because the pastor nominated them, they are accountable to the pastor. That's not true.

LEONARD: No. To the church congregation.

DOROTHY: That's right. We're the ones who allow you to serve. We don't have to let you serve, and they don't understand that. But, no, we have ways. We have conferences.

LEONARD: Is there anything else that you might want to say, Dorothy? It's been a wonderful interview with Mrs. Harvey at St. Luke AME Church.

DOROTHY: Thank you.

LEONARD: I just think it's so wonderful that we still are blessed to have someone like you here in our congregation.

RETA: If you don't mind, I would just like for you to sum up your membership here at St. Luke, what your experience has been.

DOROTHY: I've had some wonderful experiences. I've been here through three men who eventually became active bishops of the AME Church, and I'm very proud of that.

RETA: Who are those three?

DOROTHY: H.H. Brookings, who became bishop, Vinton R. Anderson, and C. Garnett Henning. He's the only one who's still active. Brookings and Anderson are both retired. But, also, a number of the men who were pastors became presiding elders, which is a step below bishop. They are the bishop's helpers. They became presiding elders and went on and did many things.

RETA: Can you remember their names?

DOROTHY: E. Lewis Branch became a presiding elder.

LEONARD: He just retired last year.

DOROTHY: H.C. McMillan became a presiding elder. I can't think of his name right off hand became a general officer--Rev. Therion Cobbs, I think.

LEONARD: Cobbs. I forgot about him.

DOROTHY: He became a presiding elder and then became a general officer. When I say a general officer, he was elected by the General Conference. Every four years, we hold a General Conference. Every year, we hold an Annual Conference, and we have Church Conferences. That's the way we're set up.

LEONARD: I remember you said earlier, you were with the Nebraska Conference. Then there also was a Kansas Conference. But, now, we're Kansas and Nebraska.

DOROTHY: It became the Kansas-Nebraska Conference when I was a delegate, and we were under Bishop Bryant.

LEONARD: Now, we're getting ready to make another change, from what I understand. I'm not sure what that is either.

DOROTHY: We've lost so many churches. The reason the Kansas Conference became apart of the Nebraska Conference is because the churches in western Kansas died out as our people left those towns. There were no jobs and the young people didn't go back home. So, those churches became dead churches. Then they put the two conferences together, which was the Kansas City area and Omaha. That was the conference I was in, the Nebraska Conference. Then they put them together. They became the Kansas-Nebraska Conference.

LEONARD: That's what they were when I became a delegate.

DOROTHY: Okay. That's what we are now. Now they want to put the Kansas City, Missouri, Northwest Missouri Conference, with the Kansas-Nebraska Conference and call it the Mid.

LEONARD: Mid-continental Conference or something. I'm not sure what it is.

DOROTHY: I'm not sure either. But I have talked to some of the lay people, who are not happy with it. But, if the churches are dead, they're just dead. I don't know what we can do about it.

LEONARD: One reason for that, like we said earlier, people just don't go to church like they used to. And, of course, they didn't have much choice. There was nothing there for the people, so they left those areas.

DOROTHY: If those churches died out, then the bishops closed those churches. But they didn't close them without the consent of the people. Nothing is done without the consent of the people in AME churches. That's one of the things we need to understand, too. No matter what is voted on, the last voice is the voice of the people of that congregation, and they have the last say about what they want to do with their church. Now, the church building belongs to the conference. I understand that. But the upkeep belongs to the membership.

You asked me about some of my experiences. When we lost our only son, Rev. McMillan was here, and he immediately came and stood by my husband throughout the whole ordeal. Whatever he had to do, he was right there by his side, and his wife was right there by my side. The reason she was able to be with me was because Mrs. Kimball took their children. That's the way it worked. Everybody was there for us.

RETA: How old was your son?

DOROTHY: He was fifteen and a half when he got killed. It was in 1963. But those are the kind of ministers that stand out in my mind, the men who were there for you.

When I got married, I married from Trinity, which was my home church, and the pastor there was an older man. One of the things he stressed was, "When you take her to Lawrence, get involved with the family," and that's what my husband did. It took him a little while, because his family, being Baptists, wanted him to stay over there.

But when you have a family, and I was the dominant one, I was determined I was going to be AME, and I passed many churches to come here. That's my choice, and I brought my children here. I reared my children here, because I wanted them to understand their culture. They stayed here, and Karen is still a member here, but now Debra has moved on. But Dean eventually joined us, because he kept coming. Children were involved in something, there was something going on. So, he couldn't go over there. He had to be here. So, he eventually joined us. That was just the way it was.

I can remember when Mr. Hill finally joined, because Fairy was such a dominant head.

LEONARD: A dominant figure in this church.

DOROTHY: Yeah, and he followed here because of the children. But that was the way it was. Families sat together. When we put in those pews, my family took up one of the smaller pews, and we still think that's our pew (laughter). You don't realize you can move up.

LEONARD: I know my dad always sat in the same pew, and me and Raymond sat right there with him.

DOROTHY: Yeah. And they kept you there, except when they were officers.
When I was growing up, the officers sat on the front row. My father was a trustee, so he sat up with the trustees. The stewards were on one side; trustees were on the other. When I say deaconess, those were the mothers of our church. Those are the women who are ordained, and they wore a certain type of outfit, so you know who they are. They sat behind the stewards. I can't think of the other group of women who helped with the communion, Leonard.

LEONARD: The stewardesses?

DOROTHY: Yeah, stewardesses sat over there behind the trustees.

LEONARD: With their little hats on. They had on little white hats.

DOROTHY: Yeah, they have a uniform, too. No one handled the communion but the stewardesses.

LEONARD: They sat right on the front row.

DOROTHY: It's a beautiful way we do communion and that type of thing. It's just how you're raised. Like I said, I am an AME. My mother said she took me to Trinity when I was six weeks old, because she taught Sunday School. I don't ever remember not going. I eventually grew up and had a lot of friends. I had one friend whose father was a Baptist minister and I could go with her in the afternoon, but I was in my own church in the morning. I had another friend whose father was in the Disciples of Christ Christian Church, and they lived in Missouri. Sometimes I could spend the night over there, and no matter how late you stayed up, you were going to be in your seat. That was when I was a teenager.

Those men also helped to guide us. But you had to go to your own church, that's all there was to it. They just didn't play those games. I'm grateful to my parents that they cared enough to see that we were reared in that way, and I hope that I did the same thing with my children. Because I certainly brought them from the day they were born--not the day they were born, but about six weeks old, to the church.

The only reason my other two were baptized in Trinity was because I was young, and I had not realized that I needed to change my membership to be truly an active member. When you come, you do as you said, come under Watchcare, and you are permitted to do everything that AMEs are permitted to do.

RETA: Except vote?

DOROTHY: Oh, no. You can vote.

RETA: Under Watchcare you can vote?

DOROTHY: You can vote. You can do all of those things. But it just didn't make sense. I couldn't get home to meetings. I couldn't get them involved in the activities there, they were getting involved here. So, I just got up one Sunday and went on down and joined, and been active ever since.

LEONARD: And it was a blessing for St. Luke that you did.

DOROTHY: Thank you.

NANCY: Mrs. Harvey, you were probably here the day that Mrs. Kimball's window was dedicated?

DOROTHY: Oh, yes.

NANCY: Would mind telling us just a little bit about that?

DOROTHY: Well, I just remember most of the children were here, as far as I know. She had eighteen children, nine boys and nine girls, and I think by that time there were probably still sixteen of them living. Jimmy was deceased and Leslie Jr., and another son. I believe, and the rest of them, I think. All of the girls were living then. She had a group of girls who used to sing, Doris, Phyllis, Eleanor. As I remember, they sang a song.

LEONARD: They talked about that when we interviewed them.

DOROTHY: Doris and I were very close friends. When I came here, I did not know too many people. But Doris and I became very good friends. I was around the Kimball family, and Mrs. Kimball was just a lovely person. Mr. Kimball had a beautiful voice. He sang in the choir all the time. But there was a full house here, I remember that, and they dedicated the window to her, in her memory.

LEONARD: I remember one of Mr. Kimball's favorite songs was "The Old Rugged Cross." I remember he used to sing that.

DOROTHY: He told me that, in order to belong to the choir, you used to have to sing a solo (laughter). You could still go up, like they do now. The people were talking about, "Well, we need Phyllis." "Uh-uh," he said that you had to come in and sing a solo and be accepted in the choir.

NANCY: When Bishop Brookings was pastor here, the direction of the furniture and the way the church sat upstairs was changed. Do you remember why he wanted to change it? That's come up in several of our interviews.

DOROTHY: Yes. He said we should face the east. That was his belief, and he was able to convince enough of them that we should turn it around. Because it was my understanding that the pews were kind of rounded and they had the high ceiling, with the intention of eventually putting a balcony there. When he came, he had the vision to turn it that direction.

LEONARD: I think one of the main reasons, which you may not have realized at that time, he was probably a Mason, and the sun rises in the east under the Watchful Wishful Master.

DOROTHY: That's where we're going to rise to face Jesus in the east. That was part of his thinking.

LEONARD: That's all part of the Masonic thinking.

DOROTHY: He was young and he had just come out of Wilburforce, and we were his second charge. He was dynamic. Let me tell you about him (laughter). He would get up there and he would preach hard. He had a cape (laughter), and one of the stewards would walk up and throw this cape on him after he had preached. So, he had a following. People thought he was dynamic. I remember saying one time to one of the men who later became the presiding elder, "One thing about Bishop Brookings, he would get your attention. Rev. Brookings knew how to get people emotional and then he would just sort of hum and really be saying nothing. But they were so emotional, they didn't know what he was saying. But there were a few of us who were geared to listening, and we knew that he just had the people emotional. But that was his setup.

Then, Rev. G.C. Hall came, but his personality did not fit this congregation. So, they moved him. The reason he came was because there was a succession of moves. Bishop Brookings was moved. He was Rev. Brookings then, but he was moved in this succession of moves. Sometimes it occurred because of a death; sometimes it occurred because somebody was moved because the bishop decided to move him. He would move up these other men.

Then Anderson followed Brookings, and we were in real deep debt when Anderson came. But we managed to pay that indebtedness off, and we bought new pews under Anderson. That cross that's now on the south wall was over this direction, and we put it there. A lot of those men came and they were friendly. They were out in the community.

In my instance, my husband had not yet joined this church, but those men just constantly kept after him. Even though he wasn't a member, they would ask him, "Would you come in and do this?" Whatever your expertise was, they would get you involved. When he decided to join under Anderson, he had been injured. He was on his way to Wichita, and he was the mechanic for the Turnpike Authority. He said the truck he was riding in was giving him trouble. He got out to take care of it, and he said the minute he turned the top on the radiator, he knew that he was in trouble. It just threw hot water and blinded him. In those days, he couldn't get help. They got him to a small community, but they wouldn't do anything for him. So, they took him on into Wichita.

When he called me to tell me where he was, I was devastated. Here I am with three little children out there in the country and didn't know what was happening to him. But my pastor was there and I can remember I went to their parsonage. I said to him, "My husband got injured last night and I'm here and you're the first one." "Are you okay? Do you need anything? Do you need food?" "No, I'm okay." The presiding elder was here, Rev. Vaughn, going to hold a meeting that weekend. "Let's pray." That's one of the first things he did, we knelt and they prayed with us. Randy was just a baby then. "Mrs. Harvey, do you need to go to Wichita? I'll see that you get there and I'll be happy to take you." Whatever I needed, he was available to help, too. We became close friends. I talked to them just the other night. We're still friends because of that type of relationship.

But that's the way it was. Ministers were there for you. I remember him getting up and telling the congregation, "You can call and tell me some things, but you can't call to tell me when I have a member in trouble. I don't want you calling me just to give me gossip. But we've got a member who has a problem." He wasn't a member then, I was the member and my problem was that my husband was down there and I'm back here with these three children. But they saw that I got there and contacted the church in Wichita. That pastor immediately came. That was the connection. "Is there anything we can do? Mrs. Harvey, do you have a place to stay?" That was the way they treated you, and those ministers were just there for you. I appreciated that.

Bishop Henning was a young man who had just gotten married. When they came here, he was bringing his wife home from the airport. He had gone to pick her up, and the car stopped out on the turnpike. He called my husband and told him. He said, "We'll be right there," and went and got him. He made two trips, because they had to get the car back. He put a battery in it and brought him back in. They'd come out and they'd visit.

Some of them you just get to know better than you know others. It's not that you're being picky, it's just personalities, that's all there is to it. But I still liked the Brookings. Of course, Helene was here at that point, but she and I got to be very close. I still hear from them and I see him at conference. The McMillans, we were very close. They had children, too. That makes a difference, whether they are older or whether they are young, you go into the parsonage.

I had grown up underneath the parsonage, and I didn't know that it was supposed to be anything but the home with kids. So, we were in and out of the parsonage on a constant basis. I didn't know any better and, when I came to Lawrence, I was a little bit shocked because it was sort of a different culture. They only went if they were invited, and I didn't have enough sense to know that. So, I just went, and they appreciated the fact that you came. Because, when I went and I knocked that day, I remember Vivienne saying, "Oh, you came to visit us." Really, I felt bad, because I didn't come to visit, I came with a problem.

But, from that day on, there was no difference. They came to us or we went to them. Being connectional, you get to know other ministers and their families. Some of them I got to know who later became pastors. I knew them before they came here. But that's just the connectional, and I love the connectional system. You get to know the bishops, because the bishop will come to the conference and see his friends' conference. They will talk with you, they'll visit with. But, in my day growing up, our people did not go to the hotels. They stayed in the homes. In my early years when conference was held, the church members kept anyone who needed a room.

As I said, I lived underneath Trinity. Trinity was on the corner and we lived in the middle of the block. Since my father was a trustee and my mother was a Sunday School teacher and they were active with the youth, we had an extra room. Even if you didn't have an extra room, you took the children out of the bedroom when they have conference. We got to meet general officers, Andrew White and all of those men. Cyrus Keller, who was a general officer, and all of those men just came to your homes and that's where they stayed. They were just gentleman.

In fact, they had to be or I'm sure they'd have been out of there, because there was a time when we would defrock them. Now, we act like we're afraid of them. But those days, if they did not do their jobs or if they had a bit of scandal, they were immediately defrocked. Just recently we had a minister defrocked--the first time I've heard of it being done in a long time. But the scandal was so great, the bishop couldn't ignore it. He had to do something.

LEONARD: That one you're talking about, wasn't he a presiding elder?

DOROTHY: You mean this scandal that's going on now? No.

LEONARD: No, this was about a couple or three years ago. There was another one who got demoted.

DOROTHY: He didn't get defrocked, though. The only one that has gotten defrocked was this one. Now, he got demoted. There was a day when they could just demote them. Now, they have a law that you can't demote him, you've got to give him something that's equal to what he had. That's no good. The bishop still needs to have a little bit of power.

LEONARD: I think he's retired now.

DOROTHY: Most of them get retired.

LEONARD: Forced retirement, so to speak.

DOROTHY: I'm just saying there is a system, a method. That's why we're Methodist. We're African Methodist Episcopal. The African is because we were from the lineage of the African. We're African Methodist because they thought that Methodism was the best way for us to go. The Episcopal means we're bishop-led. So that's what it means: the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

LEONARD: I told you she was very smart. Didn't I?

RETA: I didn't know that, so I'm glad you explained it to me.

LEONARD: Dorothy, this has been quite an interview. We really want to thank you. We really appreciate everything. You still opened some eyes, even my eyes sometime. I knew how smart she was, but she's a lot smarter than I even though she was.

NANCY: It is wonderful just to listen to you, because you know so much history and you know so much about the church, itself, the overall structure. If it worked out time-wise sometime, would you consider sitting down again with the African American Oral History Families group, that we all have been a part of, that you did two interviews. I don't know if you would be interested in that or not.

LEONARD: Well, we got two.

DOROTHY: I finally got them to realize that there are two sides to every family. Dean had a mother, too, and they had property. They were big farmers, but they've always stressed the Harvey side. Sometimes I have to tell my children, "Don't forget, I have a side, too" (laughter).

LEONARD: That's what they mean by, "Two sides to every story." Right?

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