A Response to the Preliminary Report on the History of the KKK in Pensacola, FL

July 08, 2021
On Thursday, July 8, 2021, a first preliminary report from the University of West Florida Historic Trust was released. It tells of the history of the Pensacola Ku Klux Klan based on documents discovered in the personal files of T.T. Wentworth Jr. that were donated to the Historic Trust. The Pensacola News Journal outlined critical points from the report, written by Dr. UWF History Professor Jamin Wells, in this story

The following statement is an initial response to this report. 

“We, too, are digesting and comprehending the report from Dr. Jamin Wells that reveals some heartbreaking and disturbing moments in the life of the Methodist Episcopal Church South (now United Methodist Church). We acknowledge the painful history that supported systematic racism and anti-Semitism. The Alabama-West Florida Conference continues to seek ways we can empower people of color and support them in their faith journey and in leadership positions, whether they are laity or clergy. We embrace our ecumenical relationships and denounce any acts against persons of color, Jews, Catholics, or immigrants. We commend the anti-Klan stance the late Dr. J.W.  Frazer took from the pulpit in speaking out against the hateful actions through his widely publicized sermon. We strive to continue to follow his lead and through God’s help, we will work on mending broken relationships with communities that were once hurt by actions of those within our conference.”

-The Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church