Rev. Addie and Rev. Claude Wyatt Papers,
Predominant dates, 1958-1999; Inclusive dates, 1851-2010
Biographical Notes: Rev. Addie Wyatt | Rev. Claude S. Wyatt, Jr. | Vernon Park Church of God
Scope and Content: Rev. Addie Wyatt and Rev. Claude Wyatt Papers | Vernon Park Church of God
Super Series 1
Rev. Addie Wyatt and Rev. Claude Wyatt
Biography and Family Records | Manuscripts | Correspondence
Organization Files | Subject Files | Audio/Visual | Sheet Music
Serials | Clippings | Memorabilia
Super Series 2
Vernon Park Church of God
History | Publications | Sermon Texts, Manuscripts and Pastoral Itineraries
Committees | Choir/Music and Television Ministry | Correspondence
Membership | General and Funeral Programs | A/V | Memorabilia
|Search Note: When performing a keyword search (Ctrl+F), remember to search on each of the 4 pages comprising the finding aid. To search the entire document at once, download the PDF version available above.|
|Provenance:||Donation of Rev. Addie Wyatt, April 2007.|
|Size:||220 linear feet (345 archival boxes)|
|Repository:||Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library (Chicago Public Library) 9525 S. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60628|
|Citation:||When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Rev. Addie Wyatt and Rev. Claude Wyatt Papers (Box #, Folder #), Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, Chicago Public Library.|
|Processed By:||Mapping the Stacks Staff: Marcia Walker; Supervised by: Michael Flug, Senior Archivist, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, CPL.|
Addie Wyatt was born Addie Loraine Cameron on March 8, 1924, the second child to Ambrose and Maggie Cameron in Brookhaven, Mississippi. Ambrose Cameron, born either in Mississippi or Louisiana, was a tailor in a pressing shop. Her mother Maggie Cameron, a teacher, was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Ambrose’s mother, Adeline Cameron, a mid-wife, also lived with the family and subsequently moved with them to Chicago in 1930, during the height of the Great Depression. They stayed for a short while with relatives in Chicago but moved around frequently. By 1937, an additional six children after Addie had been added to the family, four of whom had been born after the family’s move to Chicago. In all, the Camerons had eight children: Ambrose, Jr., Addie, Edna, Emmett, Willie (Mickey), Bluett, Audrey and Maude. Ambrose found it difficult to find work, but eventually secured employment under a WPA project. Maggie, who had worked as a teacher in Mississippi, did not meet the qualifications to teach public school in Chicago. In addition to taking care of the children, Maggie often found employment as a domestic worker.
The family eventually settled at 42nd and Calumet in Bronzeville and Addie attended Forrestville and Felsenthal elementary schools. As a youth, she played piano for her church choir at Langley Avenue Church of God and took on responsibility for the care of her younger siblings while her parents worked. She attended DuSable High school where she was a member of the Beta club and played clarinet in the school band under Capt. Walter Dyett. DuSable High School was also where she met and eventually married her husband, Claude Stell Wyatt, Jr. The two were married on May 12, 1940 by Pastor S. P. Dunn at Langley Avenue Church of God. Later that year the couple had their first son, Renaldo Wyatt and in 1942, had their second son, Claude “DeDe” Wyatt, III. Addie left high school after marrying and later graduated from the Central YMCA School, where she completed her high school education and took additional adult education courses.
A gifted gospel pianist and singer, Wyatt played for and served as a choir director for numerous churches, including Langley Ave Church of God, South Park Baptist Church, All Nations Church of God, Greater Hope Baptist Church in Robbins, Illinois, Englewood Ave Church of God, Mt. Zion Baptist Church and finally Vernon Park Church of God. In the 1940s, she and Claude led a group called the Wyatt Singers, which performed around the city and recorded several songs. She occasionally accompanied gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson.
After the death of her mother in 1944, Addie and Claude took in her five younger brothers and sisters. The family moved into Altgeld Gardens at 13050 S. Evans in 1944. Claude and Addie Wyatt quickly assumed a large role in the community of Altgeld. In 1947, they formed the Wyatt Choral Ensemble, a singing group for youth in Altgeld and the surrounding community which performed around the city until the Wyatts left Altgeld in 1955. That same year she and Claude Wyatt founded their own church, the Vernon Park Church of God where she would serve as choir director, minister of music and co-pastor.
Addie Wyatt began working in the meatpacking industry in 1941. Though she applied to work as a typist for Armour & Company, Wyatt was put to work canning stew for the army instead. Black women were barred from holding office and clerical positions. In 1942, Wyatt joined the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA), but experienced several layoffs due to shifts in the wartime economy. She would again find steady work in the packinghouses in 1947 when she went to work for Illinois Meat & Co., but it would be the early 1950s before she took on a more active role in the union.
Wyatt’s concern for the rights of working people, women and minorities and belief in the principles of the organized labor movement ultimately placed on her on a path to union leadership. Wyatt was elected vice president of her local, UPWA Local 56 in 1953. In 1954 she assumed the presidency of the local when its president resigned, making her the first woman president of the local. She was soon tapped by Charles A. Hayes, director of UPWA’s District 1, to serve as an international representative. She would hold this position through the 1968 merger of UPWA and the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen until 1974 when she became director of the newly formed Women’s Affairs Department. In 1976 she became the first female International Vice President in the history of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen and later served as director of its Human Rights and Women’s Affairs and Civil Rights Departments. She continued to serve as a Director of Civil Rights and Women’s Affairs for the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) after the merger of Amalgamated and the Retail Clerks International Union in 1979. In 1984, she formally retired from the labor movement as one of its highest ranked and most prominent African American and female officials. She continued to play an important role in the organized labor movement, supporting worker movements.
In addition to her work as a labor union official, Wyatt participated in a number of movements, organizations and campaigns in the realm of civil rights, women’s rights, religion, and politics, just a fraction of which will be referenced here. She was an ardent supporter of the Southern Civil Rights Movement and actively cultivated ties between northern and southern religious and labor activists. An advocate of fair and open housing, adequate education for African American students, and black political participation in the city of Chicago, Wyatt worked with the UPWA, the Coordinating Council for Community Organizations (CCCO), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Chicago Freedom Movement, and Operation Breadbasket to further these aims.
Wyatt also made a name for herself as a vocal and active supporter for women’s rights. In 1961 she was appointed by Eleanor Roosevelt to serve on the Protective Labor Legislation Committee of President Kennedy’s Commission on the Status of Women and subsequently served three terms on the Illinois Commission on the Status of Women. In addition to fighting for the rights of working women, Wyatt was consistently argued for adequate child and day care facilities. A proponent of the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.), Wyatt campaigned tirelessly but ultimately unsuccessfully for its ratification throughout the 1970s and into the early 1980s. She was also a founding member of the Coalition of the Labor Union Women and served as its first Executive Vice President. A founder of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists in 1972, Wyatt spearheaded the development of its Women’s Committee. A member and vice president of the National Council of Negro Women in the early 1980s, Wyatt worked closely with Dorothy Height and other prominent African American female leaders. Her efforts on behalf of women’s rights have also extended internationally to include trips as a delegate to the 1982 Jerusalem Women’s Conference, among others.
Her work as a religious and spiritual leader and political activist is extensive as well. In addition to serving as a co-pastor of Vernon Park Church of God, she has served a member of various women’s organizations of the Church of God, addressed members of the General Convention of the Church of God and the National Association of the Church of God, and has preached and addressed hundreds of congregations within and outside of the Church of God denomination. As a political activist, Wyatt participated in international peace movements, worked on behalf of and supported numerous presidential administrations, and supported the campaigns of key African American political figures such as Carol Moseley Braun, Ralph Metcalfe, and Harold Washington, among others.
She has received numerous awards and honors, including: TIME Magazine’s Woman of the Year in 1975, a Woman of the Year Award from Ladies’ Home Journal in 1977, one of Ebony Magazine’s 100 Outstanding Black Americans, 1981-1984, an Image Award from the League of Black Women, and a street dedication in 1993 in honor of her and her husband (name?). Wyatt received an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree from Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana in 1976, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois in 1978 and additional honorary degrees from North Park Seminary in Chicago and the Chicago Theological Seminary.
“Addie Wyatt, Labor Union Executive.” Ebony 32 (August 1977): 72.
Fehn, Bruce. “African American Women and the Struggle for Equality in the Meatpacking Industry, 1940-1960.”
Journal of Women’s History 10, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 45-69.
Fuerst, J.S. When Public Housing was Paradise. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, 2005.
Gilbert, Lynn and Gaylen Moore. Particular Passions: Talks With Women Who Have Shaped Our Lives.
Clarkson N. Potter Inc. Publishers, 1982.
Johns, Robert L. “Addie L. Wyatt.” Notable Black American Women, Book II. Ed. By Jesse Carney Smith.
Thomas Gale Publishers, 1995: 723-725.
Randolph, Sherie. “Addie Wyatt.” African American National Biography. Vol. 8. Eds. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
and Evelyn Brooks Higgonbotham. Oxford University Press, 2008: 460- 462.
Routledge, Chris. “Addie L. Wyatt.” Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 56. Eds. Sara and Tom Pendergast.
Detroit: Gale Group, 2006: 173-174.
Wyatt, Addie. “Look for the Best, Addie.” Guideposts 31 (October 1976): 32-34.
Wyatt, Addie. Interview by Rick Halpern and Roger Horowitz, 30 January 1986. State Historical Society of Wisconsin
UPWA Oral History Project, tapes 54-56. Printed as “Lost Visions of Equality: The Labor Origins of the Next Women’s
Movement” in Labor’s Heritage 12, (Winter/Spring 2003): 26-33.
Claude S. Wyatt, Jr. (November 14, 1921—April 11, 2010) was born in Dallas, Texas, the second child of Claude and Annie Lee Branch Wyatt. In 1922, when he was six months old, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where his three younger siblings were born. The Wyatts had five children: Henry, Claude Jr., Lawrence, Calvin and Marvie.
Claude Wyatt, Jr. attended DuSable High School where he met and married Addie Lorraine Cameron. Though he was reared as a Methodist, Claude joined Addie’s church, Langley Avenue Church of God, and the two were married by Pastor S. P. Dunn on May 12, 1940. The couple initially lived with Claude Wyatt’s parents. He went on to graduate from DuSable and worked at a local dry cleaning store. He also worked for a short time in a meatpacking plant for Armour and Company. In 1940, the couple had their first son, Renaldo Wyatt, and in 1942 had their second son, Claude “De De” Wyatt, III.
The year 1944 was a trying one for the young couple. Claude was drafted into the Navy that year, leaving Addie to take care of their two young children and the five younger siblings the couple assumed care of after Maggie Cameron’s death. The couple also moved into Altgeld Gardens, a housing development built for the Chicago Housing Authority in the early 1940s. The family moved into Altgeld’s Block 3 at 13050 S. Evans. In 1945, Claude Wyatt returned from his one year of service in the Navy at the Great Lakes Naval Academy. In 1947, he began working as a postal clerk and mail man for the U.S. Postal Service Office at 46th and Cottage Grove, servicing the Hyde Park area. The Wyatts became leaders in the Altgeld community and started the Wyatt Choral Ensemble in 1947. Formed to help youth in Altgeld and the surrounding area engage in positive activities and feel a sense of pride and community, the singing group performed all over the city of Chicago until 1955 when the ensemble disbanded and the Wyatts left Altgeld Gardens and relocated to an apartment in Hyde Park at 5532 S. Ingleside.
By 1955 the Wyatts had become members of the Englewood Ave. Church of God under the leadership of its pastor, Rev. Charles McLeod. When Claude and Addie were asked to assume the leadership of a troubled church on 95th Street, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, the couple decided to do so. The church was converted to the Church of God denomination and named Vernon Park Church of God, with Claude Wyatt as its pastor. He began writing and preaching his first sermons and was ordained by Rev. Charles McLeod in 1958. In 1965, he resigned from his job as a postal worker and became full-time pastor of Vernon Park Church of God.
Claude continued to further his ministerial education, studying at Wilson College, Chicago Teacher’s College, Chicago Baptist Institute, the Urban Training Center for Christian Mission, (where funded by a fellowship from the Ford Foundation, he lived on “skid row” to learn more about the urban social problems) and the Labor Studies division at Roosevelt University. Claude also became increasingly involved in the work of the Church of God, serving as Chairman of the Northern Illinois Ministerial Association of the Church of God, as a member of the Executive Council of the Church of God in 1980 and 1981, and as a leading figure in the National Association of the Church of God. He combined his ministerial education with experience in the civil rights and labor rights movements. Wyatt participated in SCLC’s Minister’s Leadership Training Program. An ardent supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the SCLC, Wyatt attended the March on Washington and was a founding member of Operation Breadbasket. He would also serve as national secretary and as a board member of Breadbasket’s successor, Operation PUSH, founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. As important religious and civic figures in Chicago, Claude and Addie Wyatt supported the campaigns of a number of politicians including Ralph Metcalfe, Roland Burris, Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer and Carol Moseley Braun.
Claude Wyatt wrote extensively for Church of God publications, including two unpublished manuscripts for the School of Theology (Anderson, IN): Church Management and Finance and The Agony of What He Saw. In 1984, Claude Wyatt received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Monrovia University in Liberia. In 1994, he earned a Masters in Theological Studies from McCormick Theological Seminary. The recipient of numerous awards and honors for his service as a religious and civic figure, Claude Wyatt co-pastored Vernon Park Church of God for 45 years before transitioning to pastor emeritus in 2000.
In 1955, Claude and Addie Wyatt, then members of Englewood Church of God, were called by James and Henri Mae Hayes to lead a small group of members from the Mt. Zion Baptist Church located on 95th street in Chicago, Illinois. The Hayes had first learned of the Wyatts and their ministry through the Wyatt Choral Ensemble which had performed at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The Wyatts sought counsel with their pastor, Rev. Charles McLeod, who advised them to assume leadership of the church. With the help of Rev. Charles McLeod, then Chairman of the Illinois State Association of the Church of God and Rev. Lance Martin, Chairman of the Illinois Ministerial Association, the church was converted to the Church of God denomination and chartered in 1956 under the Bureau of Non-Profit Organizations in Springfield, Illinois. Thus, Vernon Park Church of God, named for the geographical area in which it was located, was born.
The church initially worshiped out of a renovated garage on 93rd street with a congregation of about 25, mainly comprised of close friends and members of the Wyatt family as well as former members of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. From 1957 to 1959, Vernon Park Church of God worshipped with Morgan Park Church of God, then under the leadership of its pastor, Rev. Thomas Walker. Morgan Park Church of God, another young church, had a building and a piano but no pianist and no choir. Vernon Park Church of God had a pianist and a choir, but no permanent building. As both congregations grew, it became necessary for Vernon Park Church of God to secure its own building. In late 1959, the church secured space on the second floor of a building at 7439 S. Cottage Grove where its membership began to grow. In addition to its usher board and choir, the church began its first regular Sunday school sessions and launched additional ministries. In 1965, Claude Wyatt resigned from his job as a postal clerk and became full-time pastor of the church, having been ordained by Rev. Charles McLeod in 1958, followed by Addie Wyatt in 1968. Rev. Addie Wyatt has served as Minister of Music and Choir Director as well as minister and Co-Pastor of the church.
In November of 1966 the church again moved to a new location with a seating capacity for 250, a six room parsonage and a paved parking lot at 7653 S. Maryland where it would reside until 1984. While at 7653 S. Maryland, the church continued to grow, both in its membership and in its ministry of social and spiritual healing. By 1976 membership had grown from 50 to 425 and under the leadership of Claude and Addie Wyatt as well as founding members like Rev. Willie Barrow, the church was active in labor rights and civil rights activism, lending support to the Southern Civil Rights Movement and participating in many of the demonstrations of SCLC’s Operation Breadbasket in Chicago. In 1969, Vernon Park church leadership and its choir embarked on the first of several trips to Church of God congregations in Jamaica as part of its missionary ministry.
In 1985, the church moved to a much larger, new facility at 9011 S. Stony Island, where its membership would grow to nearly 1,000. The ministries of the church continued to expand to include a weekly telecast which began in 1992, “Reaching Beyond the Walls,” as well as the Wyatt Community and Family Life Center, dedicated in 1999 in honor of the work of Rev. Claude and Rev. Addie Wyatt. In 1997, the church had its mortgage burning celebration. With numerous ministries related to the social, civic and spiritual health of the congregation and surrounding community, Vernon Park Church of God became a leader within the Church of God denomination in Chicago and played important roles in the civic and religious life of black Chicago.
In the late 1990s, the church began a transition in terms of its leadership. Due to illness and age, Rev. Claude Wyatt stepped down as full-time pastor. In 2000-01, Rev. Jerald January assumed leadership as senior pastor of Vernon Park Church of God after serving as its interim pastor since 1999. The church currently has plans to move to a new location, Vernon Park Village, in Lynwood, Illinois.
This collection has been arranged into two super series: the Rev. Addie Wyatt and Rev. Claude Wyatt Papers and the Institutional Records of the Vernon Park Church of God. With the exception of about 30 cartons of material packed in and shipped from Wyatt’s office at the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Headquarters in Washington D.C. after her retirement in 1984, the remaining 150 cartons had no intrinsic arrangement. All materials were collected from the basement of Rev. Addie Wyatt and Rev. Claude Wyatt and an arrangement scheme was imposed. Related collections at the Vivian G. Harsh Research Library include: the Abdul Alkalimat Papers, Etta Moten Barnett Papers, Timuel D. Black Papers, Chicago SNCC History Project Archives, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Chicago Chapter Archives, Brenda Eichelberger/National Alliance of Black Feminist Papers, Bennett Johnson Papers, The Links, Inc. Chicago Chapter Archives, Lucy Smith Collier Papers and the Sarah White Papers.
This super-series has been arranged in ten series: Biography and Family records, Manuscripts, Correspondence, Organization Files, Subject Files, Audiovisual, Sheet Music, Serials, Clippings and Memorabilia.
Series 1: Biography and Family Records, 1957-2010
This series contains biographical information on Rev. Addie Wyatt and Rev. Claude Wyatt, including material from courses they either taught or attended at Roosevelt University, McCormick Theological Seminary and other institutions. Resumes, biographical sketches and transcripts of several interviews conducted with Addie Wyatt for book and oral history projects are also included. The bulk of the family records consist of funeral programs of family members.
Series 2: Manuscripts, 1958-2005
Manuscripts have been divided into three sub-series: manuscripts by Addie Wyatt, Claude Wyatt and by other authors. Manuscripts by Addie Wyatt have been arranged chronologically, the bulk of which are from the 1970s and 1980s and consist of speeches, statements, notebooks and sermons given at churches other than Vernon Park Church of God. Claude Wyatt’s manuscripts have also been arranged chronologically and include speeches and statements as well as papers written as part of his coursework while attending McCormick Theology Seminary in 1993 and 1994. Claude Wyatt’s sermons and writings in his official capacity as a minister and pastor are in Super Series 2: the Records of the Vernon Park Church of God under Sermons/Manuscripts. The final sub-series consists of manuscripts arranged alphabetically by other authors, including: Rev. Willie Barrow, President Jimmy Carter, President Bill Clinton, Charles A. Hayes, Dorothy Height, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Senator Edward Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., William Lucy, Olga Madar and William Wynn.
Series 3: Correspondence, 1952-2004
This series consists primarily of correspondence to Addie Wyatt or Claude Wyatt from local and national political figures, clergy from denominations other than the Church of God, persons interested in interviewing Addie Wyatt, civil rights activists, women’s rights activists, and members of various labor and community organizations. Notable correspondents include: Etta Moten Barnett, Heather Booth, Arnita Boswell, Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, Sen. Roland Burris, President Jimmy Carter, President Bill Clinton, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Leon Finney Jr., Charles A. Hayes, John H. Johnson, Sen. Edward Kennedy, Coretta Scott King, Olga Madar, Sen. Richard Newhouse, Sid Ordower, Ethel Payne, Eugene Sawyer and Harold Washington. Correspondence has been arranged by correspondent, with the exception of four folders of correspondence congratulating Addie Wyatt on being named one of TIME Magazine’s Women of the Year in 1975, arranged by date. Researchers looking for correspondence related specifically to the operations of organizations in which the Wyatts were members or supporters, will find this information in the organization files as opposed to the correspondence files.
Series 4: Organization Files, 1941-2006
The organization files comprise the largest series in the collection and provide key insight into the work of primarily Addie Wyatt, but Claude Wyatt as well, in the areas of local and national civil rights activism, women’s rights activism, the labor movement and labor-based coalitions, religious consortiums outside of the Church of God denomination, local and national political campaigns, education institutions, and other community organizations. The series begins with the records of the three unions in which Addie Wyatt was a member and leader: the United Packinghouse Workers of America/United Packinghouse, Food and Allied Workers of America (UPWA), 1942-1968; the Amalgamated Meatcutters and Butcher Workmen of North America (AMCBW), 1968-1979; and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), 1979-1984 (with the dates corresponding to her membership and formal tenure).
The records of the UPWA in these papers are slim, but do contain master agreements, constitutions and convention programs, publications, and records of District 1, headquartered in Chicago. Districts and union locals listed in the container list indicate that some combination of the following materials—correspondence, programs, fliers, membership lists—were kept by Wyatt. The records of the AMCBW, also headquartered in Chicago, contain programs and correspondence from the union’s Civil Rights, Political Education, and Women’s Affairs departments. Constitutions, convention proceedings, executive board meeting minutes, internal correspondence between Addie Wyatt and other union leaders, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints, and district and local level correspondence are also represented. The files from Addie Wyatt’s office in the UFCW headquarters in Washington, D.C. have largely been kept in their original order and include records from the Civil Rights and Women’s Affairs Department which she directed, as well as correspondence between Wyatt and UFCW members. Also represented is extensive correspondence between Wyatt and William Wynn, then International President of UFCW. EEOC complaints, executive board meeting minutes, news and press releases, publications, regional and local correspondence and programs, and Addie Wyatt’s travel itineraries and requests for speaking engagements can also be found in the UFCW files.
Following union records, materials related to about 300 organizations in which Addie and/or Claude Wyatt were members or supporters, have been arranged alphabetically. Of note are the following organizations: AFL-CIO, Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), A. Philip Randolph Institute, Broadcast Ministers Alliance of Chicago, the Chicago Network, Chicago World’s Fair 1992 Authority, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), President Kennedy’s Commission on the Status of Women, Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO), Council for a Parliament of World’s Religions (CPWR), Day Care Crisis Council of the Chicago Area, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Democratic National Convention, FIET World Women’s Conference, International Women’s Forum, League of Black Women, Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, McCormick Theological Seminary, National Advisory Committee for Women, National Alliance of Black Feminists, NAACP, National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year, National Commission on Working Women, National Committee of Black Churchmen, National Council of Negro Women, National Organization of Women, National Political Congress of Black Women, Negro American Labor Council, Operation Breadbasket, Operation PUSH, President’s Commission for a National Agenda for the Eighties, Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Chicago Urban League, and the World Peace Council. The Wyatts also supported the campaigns of a number of politicians such as Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer, Ralph Metcalfe, Carol Moseley Braun, Charles A. Hayes, Roland Burris, and others. Records from these campaigns are also in this series.
Series 5: Subject Files, 1947-2007
This series contains material on a wide range of subjects which were kept by Addie Wyatt and Claude Wyatt on various groups’ relationships to the church, youth and education, women and the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.), employment and the U.S. economy, affirmative action, labor and trade unionism, local, state and national politics, and publications from U.S. government agencies. Programs attended by the Wyatts and materials from various Chicago churches outside of the Church of God denomination are also included.
Series 6: Audio/Visual, 1969-2002
The A/V series largely consists of speeches and addresses given by Addie Wyatt and others at various labor, political and women’s conferences. Also included are several taped interviews conducted with Addie Wyatt for video-based oral history projects and documentaries.
Series 7: Sheet Music, 1851-1988
The vast majority of sheet music kept by the Wyatts is gospel music. Reflective of Chicago’s rich history in gospel music performance and production, music by local and national figures such as Rev. Clarence Cobbs, Hall Johnson, Phyllis Hall, and Kenneth Morris are included in this series.
Series 8: Serials, 1955-2005
Similar to the organization files, the serials in this series illustrate the wide range of spheres in which Addie Wyatt and Claude Wyatt operated. Researchers in search of publications by organizations such as PUSH, CBTU and CLUW and various labor unions will find them in this series. Various Chicago community newspapers, general Christian magazines, political publications by the Democratic Party, international labor and political serials, newsletters published by community organizations and women’s organizations as well as publications on health, education and economy are also represented.
Series 9: Clippings, 1958-2005
This series contains clippings collected by Addie and Claude Wyatt on themselves, Chicago politicians and politics, organizations in which they were members, and on influential people. Clippings have been arranged alphabetically by subject.
Series 10: Memorabilia, 1960s-2000s
The memorabilia series includes greeting cards and invitations, awards, plaques, certificates, planners and address books, t-shirts and banners from various events.
Approximately 2,000 photographs from the Rev. Addie Wyatt and Rev. Claude Wyatt Papers are also in the collection. These photographs are currently being processed and will be available for researchers at a later date.
Series 1: Vernon Park Church of God, 1958-2006
This series is comprised of ten sub-series that detail the history and growth of the Vernon Park Church of God: Church History; Church Publications; Sermon Texts, Manuscripts and Pastoral Itineraries; Committees and Auxiliaries; Choir and TV Ministry; Correspondence; Membership; General Programs and Funeral Programs; A/V; and Memorabilia. Church history includes histories of the congregation, minutes from the Board of Trustees minutes, by-laws and mission statements, financial materials and clippings on the church. The Sermons sub-series includes hundreds of Claude Wyatt’s typed and handwritten full-text sermons as well as sermon fragments and notes. A number of articles and a book manuscript submitted by Claude Wyatt for publication in various Church of God magazines, in addition to speeches and workshops that Claude Wyatt conducted in his capacity as a pastor, can also be found in this sub-series. These materials have been arranged chronologically.
Also of note are the committee and auxiliary files which document the church’s organizational structure, functioning bodies and social missions. Included in this sub-series are the records of the church anniversary committee, men’s and women’s auxiliaries, coordinating council, youth department and the Wyatt Community and Family Life Center. The audiovisual materials include audio and videotapes of church services and choir musicals held primarily at Vernon Park Church of God. The correspondence files largely consist of correspondence from members of the church and persons writing to Claude Wyatt or Addie Wyatt in their official capacities as pastor and co-pastor of the church. The membership sub-series includes church membership lists, new members orientation procedures, church directories and lists of baptismal candidates.
Series 2: Church of God Denomination (Anderson, IN),
This series includes materials kept by the Wyatts which were produced by various bodies related to the Church of God Denomination (Anderson, Indiana) and has been divided into the following sub-series: Church of God Denomination Headquarters; National Bodies of the Church of God; Higher Education Institutions of the Church of God; Regional Consortiums of the Church of God; Individual Church of God Churches; and Church of God Publications.
The first sub-series consists of materials from the Church of God headquarters in Anderson, Indiana and include correspondence and meeting agendas and minutes from the Executive Council of the Church of God, Warner Press and other services and missions operating out of Anderson, Indiana, including material about the origins and development of the denomination itself. The second sub-series, National Bodies, is primarily made up of documentation of the National Association of the Church of God. Initially organized in 1916, the National Association of the Church of God took its name in 1917. Its main function has been as a voice and organizing body for African Americans pastors, ministers, and congregations within the Church of God Reformation Movement. The earliest records in this collection date back to the mid 1950s and document the annual camp ground meetings of the association held in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania, the finances of the association and its membership, correspondence and race relations within the Church of God Reformation Movement.
Higher education institutions of the Church of God contain materials from various colleges and universities associated with the denomination. Regional Consortiums primarily include records of the General Assembly of the Church of God of Illinois, a state-wide organizing body and the records of Chicago-based consortiums of Church of God pastors and congregations. The sub-series, Individual Church of God Churches, includes an alphabetical arrangement of materials like programs and correspondence from local, national and international Church of God congregations. The final sub-series, Church of God Publications, includes an alphabetical listing of serials published by or oriented to members of the Church of God and include The Shining Light, published by the National Association of the Church of God, the Gospel Trumpeter and Vital Christianity.