Black History Month Lecture: Rev. Dr. John R. Porter

Lecture Series

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Coulter Lounge

Rev. John Richard Porter, Ph.D was born on April 2nd, 1932 in Mineral Springs, Arkansas. His family moved to Kansas City, Kansas in 1939 where he completed his public school education in between 1940-1953. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1957, he enrolled at Iowa Wesleyan College, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. He received his B.A. in Sociology in 1959’ he also met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through his college professor, Dr. Warren Steinkraus. He married June Carol McIntosh of Kansas City, Kansas in 1960. They are parents of six adult children, thirteen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He was awarded a three-year graduate fellowship to Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois in 1962. He Graduated in 1962 with a Master’s of Divinity Degree.

He became Pastor of the Christ United Methodist Church in Chicago’s Englewood Community (1962-1971; 1979-1995). He was involved with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of others in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s (SCLC) first Mass Non-violent Movement in Albany, Georgia during the summer of 1962; the Selma, Alabama Voting Rights Movement in 1965, and the Chicago Freedom Movement in 1966. He founded Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s first SCLC Chapter in Chicago in 1964. He was a founding member of SCLC’s Operation Breadbasket in Chicago (1966). Dr. Porter was arrested five to six times during the Civil Rights struggle; he was a founding member of the School of Human Dignity (1967), Black Methodists for Church Renewal (1968); he was adjunct professor at Northeastern Illinoi University’s Center for Inner City Studies (1968-1969); he taught at George Williams College in Chicago (1970); he became Dean of the Chicago Center for Black Religious Studies (1971-74);   he became Vice President of Urban Affairs for Young Life International (1974-79); he assisted 23 African Americans in earning their master’s degrees in Theology. He received the Ph.D. degree from the Union Institute and University in 1975. He published his first book, The Dating Habits of Young Black Americans in 1979.

He is a prolific motivational speaker and writer, and has over forty years of experience working with the Freedom Movements, urban gangs, and violence projects. His 500-plus page book, Autobiography of Black Male Violence is considered by many to be a classic legacy work; he is listed in and “Who’s Who in Black America.” He and his wife June reside in Chicago’s Hyde Park community. He continues to serve as a motivational speaker, workshop leader, trainer, organizer and advisor to local leaders, pastors, politicians, law enforcement agencies, colleges, seminary and doctoral learners.

Free and open to the public.