WHELCHEL, Jr., Love
Graveside services for Dr. Love Henry Whelchel, Jr. are 12:00 PM Saturday, October 23, 2021 at Trinity CME Church, 22571 GA HWY 16, Sparta, GA.
The first sunrise for Dr. Love Henry Whelchel, Jr. occurred on the June 5, 1937 in Warren County, GA. He was born to the late Rev. Love Henry Whelchel, Sr. and Lennie Catherine Whelchel. He was raised in Macon, GA and he was educated at the Holsey-Cobb Institute in Cordele, GA. Dr. Whelchel proved to be an excellent student and he earned a B.A. degree from Paine College, a S.T.B. degree from Boston University, a M.A. from New York University, and a Ph.D. from Duke University. He received the honorary Doctor of Divinity from Phillips School of Theology at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia and he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University School of Theology in 2014.
For 28 years he was an itinerant pastor effectively meeting the needs of many parishioners and the community. He served as pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Haverhill, MA, Pleasant Street Baptist Church in Westerly, RI, Metropolitan C.M.E. Church in Birmingham, AL, Russell Memorial C.M.E. Church in Durham, NC, Phillips Temple C.M.E. Church in Dayton, OH and Phillips Temple C.M.E. Church in Los Angeles, CA.
Throughout his career, Dr. Whelchel championed the cause of uplifting the downtrodden, and worked to overturn the degrading practices of racial segregation. During the 1960s in Birmingham, Alabama, he was an Assistant Professor at Miles College; he served as one of the Vice-Presidents of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (an affiliate of Dr. Martin Luther King's SCLC). As a community activist he was involved in the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March, and in the spring of 1968, he initiated an economic boycott against job discrimination in Ensley, Alabama. Dr. Whelchel is one the founders and the first president of the Ensley-Pratt City NAACP.
Dr. Whelchel had a second successful career in academia. He served for seventeen years (1988 2005) as the Chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Clark Atlanta University (CAU). After leaving CAU, he became Professor of Church History at the Interdenominational Theological Center from which he retired as Professor Emeritus in 2016. As a professor, he championed correcting the historical record and revealing the reality of the African origins of human civilization and the African origins of Christianity.
Dr. Whelchel also received many honors and awards during his lifetime. They include being honored by the students of the Interdenominational Theological Center as the Faculty of the Year, being named a Foot Soldier of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement, and he received the Gardner C. Taylor Preaching Archives Award from the Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center.
Dr. Whelchel is survived by his loving wife, best friend and life partner of 58 years, Dr. Larma Jean Ford-Whelchel, their four children, April, Kenyatta, Noel and Love III (Quanda) and Dr. Whelchel's pride and joy, grandson, Love Henry Whelchel, IV. The final sunset in this life for Love Henry Whelchel, Jr. occurred on October 18, 2021.