The Standoff: First Presbyterian Church of Columbus, Georgia, Robert McNeill, and Racial Equality
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The civil rights movements of the mid-twentieth century touched every segment of American society. American churches were one central battle ground with opponents and supporters of integration leveraging biblical justifications. In the late-1950s the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Columbus, Georgia, lived through a season of deep hostilities, many of them centered on the idea of racial equality. Reverend Robert McNeill spoke openly in favor of social justice in relation to race relations and a vocal minority of his congregation opposed him. The story of the First Presbyterian Church illustrates one path Protestant ministers followed in supporting integration.