Student, Knoxville College. Student, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College. Student, Payne College.
Student, Wayne University. Student, Payne Theological Seminary. Student, Garrett Theological Seminary.
Student, Chicago Ecumenical Institute. AB, Bachelor's Degree, Doctor of Laws, Clark College, 1975. Doctor of Divinity (honorary), Morehouse College.
Doctor of Letters (honorary), Dillard University. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Atlanta University.
Ordained to ministry United Methodist Church. Pastor Warren St. United Methodist Church, Mobile, Alabama, 1952-1961. Administrative assistant to Bishop Golden, Nashville, 1961-1964.
Pastor St. Paul United Methodist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, 1964-1968, Central United Methodist Church, Atlanta, 1968-1986, Cascade United Methodist Church, 1986-1992. Co-founder Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 1967, national chairman, 1967—1977, national president, 1977—1997, president emeritus, since 1997. Member Commission on Religion and Race, chairman merger review committee United Methodist Church, 1968-1976.
Delegate World Methodist Council, London, General Conferences United Methodist Church. Instructor Candler School Theology and Nursing School, Emory University, 1970-1971.
Chairman coordinating committee on civil rights in Nashville, 1963-1964. President Ministerial Alliance, Birmingham, Birmingham Office of Economic Opportunity community Action Agency, Enterprises Now, Inc. Board directors Methodist Public House, 1960-1972, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, since 1975, Martin Luther King, Junior Center for Social Change.
Co-chair anniversary March on Washington, 1983, 88, 93. Initiated Gun Buy Back Program, Atlanta, now nationally, 1993.
Married Evelyn Gibson. Children: Yvonne, Karen, Cheryl.