About: Rev. C. H. Oliver - Civil rights activist, pastor, author and father.

About Rev. C.H. Oliver

Rev. Oliver was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1925, the fifth child in a family of nine children of Smith Robinson Oliver and Blonden Ernestine Oliver.

Graduated from Parker High School in Birmingham in 1942. Graduated from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois in 1947 with BA in History. Served a small church in Birmingham (1947- 1948).

His Labors Continue

Rev. Oliver was jailed by the segregationalist public safety commisioner, Bull Connor in 1948 for allowing an integrated group to hold a meeting in the church he was serving. He confronted Mr. Connor directly about alleged abuses under his watch which was creating signifigant attention. The Inter-Citizen’s Committee which Rev. Oliver was a part of, documented nearly 100 cases of suspicious deaths under Connor’s command of the police force.

He later graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pa. in 1952 with BA in Church History, and in 1953 with a Masters in Church History.  His next step was being ordained to the ministry in 1955 in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He served an Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Smyrna Mills and Houlton, Maine for seven years. Returned to Birmingham in 1959 and joined the Civil Rights struggle along with Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.

Dedicated To His Calling

  • Served as Secretary of the InterCitizens Committee for five years documenting and circulating cases of alleged police brutality. Moved to Brooklyn in 1965 and became pastor of Westminster-Bethany Presbyterian Church and served for 25 years, retiring in 1992.

  • Served for three years as Chairman of the Ocean-Hill- Brownsville School Board in Brooklyn, NY. Served as Stated Supply for 3 years at Kingslawn Presbyterian Church (1994-1997 in Carnarsie, Brooklyn. Served one year as pastoral assistant at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (2003). Served three years at Church of the Covenant in Manhattan as moderator of the Session including six months as Interim Minister.

  • Served for 32 years as Chaplain at the VA Medical Center in Manhattan, retiring in 2006. Vice-Chairman of National Religious Leaders of African-American Ancestry Concerned About Darfur.  Currently serving as President of the Black Solidarity Education Committee.

  • Author Of Two Powerful Books

    NO FLESH SHALL GLORY, 1959 - Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co.

    Rev. C. Herbert Oliver, spent thirteen years rethinking the racial ideologies of his day before writing "No Flesh Shall Glory" in the late 1950s. In clear, biblical, and unflinching language, he dismantles the dogmas of race superiority, the doctrine of racial solidarity, and the whitewashing of history and Scripture. More than that, however, he returns to the Bible's powerful and freeing conception of humanity.

    CADMUS AND EUROPA, 1995 - Vantage Press

    This book was written to provide specific information regarding the histories of black peoples of ancient times and how Western historians have changed it. The author, Rev. C. Herbert Oliver, presents this information by discussing ancient Greek gods, their historical and mystical history and how this metamorphosis of black people occurred.

    The Family

    Married to Ruby King Oliver in 1948. Three children are Claude Herbert, Paul Emile, and Patrice Annette. Divorced in 1982. Married to Lorna Silvera Oliver for over 30 years until his passing in November 2021. Rev. Oliver was a loving and dedicated father, serving as a lighthouse in a storm for his family members to rely upon for guidance and direction.

      Did You Know?...

    "The American civil rights movement started in the mid-1950s. A major catalyst in the push for civil rights was in December 1955, when NAACP activist Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man."

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