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Rev. Floyd Massey Jr.
*This date in 1915 celebrates the birth of Rev. Floyd Massey Jr., a Black minister, and teacher.
Born in Rock Hill, S.C., Massey grew up in Gastonia, N.C., and earned a bachelor's degree from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., in 1936. He spent that Depression summer cleaning the white First Baptist Church of Gastonia because he could earn more as a janitor than I could as a teacher. Massey taught American history, sociology, and economics at Booker T. Washington High School in Columbia, S.C., until 1941. During this time, he earned his master's degree and a doctorate in divinity at Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, N.Y.
In 1943, Massey became pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minn. During his tenure at Pilgrim, Massey increased church membership from 125 to more than 1,000. From there, Massey became pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles, from 1965 to 1987. While there, he co-authored the 1976 book "Church Administration in the Black Perspective." The book outlined the need for strong, charismatic ministers in urban Black churches and remains an essential reference in church organizations.
Rev. Floyd Massey Jr. died in October 2003 of natural causes at the Atherton Baptist Home, an assisted-living center in Los Angeles. He was 88 and is survived by his wife of more than 59 years, Ethel; two sons, Floyd, and Ronald Bruce Massey; and four grandchildren.