Thomas Murphy, the Deep South, and the Flow of the Diasporas

Thomas Murphy, the first Seventh-day Adventist ordained minister trained at what is now Oakwood University, heard about the Seventh-day Adventists in 1895, at the barbershop he owned in Vicksburg, Mississippi. A client triggered an uproar in the barbershop when he reported that singing arose from a tiny steamship docked at Centennial Lake in the evenings. Several patrons, musicians decided to pay a visit. After several visits, Murphy felt welcomed, joined the singing, took his cornet, and accompanied the song service. After the lively song service, the Morning Star steamship operated as a literacy school every evening. The crew of Caucasian Seventh-day Adventists, who taught African Americans how to read and write, captured Murphy’s curiosity.[1]

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Thanks for the history lesson!

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Thank you for this very interesting account. Adventists have plenty to learn about our history, especially in the southern United States. We also need to thank Edson White for his strong witness on his riverboat the Morning Star. It was an effective way to travel in the south, using the system of large rivers there. May our view of our history continue to be stretched by researched accounts of ethnic minority Adventists and their impact.

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