As part of Black History Month, The Town of Williamston contiues to recognize local African Amersicans who have had an impact on the local area. Mr. Roosevelt Thompson is the next honoree.
Roosevelt Thompson had many noted accomplishments and achievements during his lifetime. He served as the Vice President of the Anderson County Sunday School Congress of Christian Education for four years and later served as its President for five years. The Congress includes 39 churches. Thompson was also the Vice President of the Anderson County Baptist Brotherhood Convention for two years and later served as its President for eight years.
During this time he was instrumental in having nationally known speakers address the groups. He invited the late Dr. E.A. Freeman, Vice President of the World of Alliance Organization and President of the Baptist Congress of the USA, to be the keynote speaker to the Anderson County Sunday School Congress for Christian Education. The event was held at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Starr.
As President of the Baptist Brotherhood Convention, Thompson invited the late Dr. William Augustus Jones to speak to the Anderson County Congress at New Prospect Baptist Church in Williamston. Dr. Jones was the President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention of the USA.
He traveled extensively with Coretta Scott King to raise funds for her organization, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. On June 18, 1972, Mr. Thompson and Mrs. King came to the Greenville Civic Center in Greenville, South Carolina and held the first public fundraiser for the center where several thousand people attended.
In 1984, Thompson, along with Mrs. King, her son Martin Luther King, III, and his son, Manford Thompson, were guests of Governor Dick Riley at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
In April 1986, Thompson organized a march at the South Carolina State Capitol against drug abuse. Among those who helped organize the event were Dr. S.C. Cureton, President of the Baptist State Convention, the late Dr. Ed Johnson, who was the first Vice President of the State Convention, Bishop F.C. James of the A.M.E. Churches of South Carolina, and Bishop A.B. Jackson, President of BibleWay Churches.
In 1988, Mr. Thompson spoke in Los Angeles, California against drug abuse at an event sponsored by Comedian Dick Gregory.
On December 7, 1968, Thompson founded Unity Mortuary in Williamston. Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. was the keynote speaker for this momentous event. On November 7, 1994, Thompson founded the second Unity Mortuary in Anderson. Martin Luther King, III was the keynote speaker for this event. Mr. Roosevelt Thompson was married to Mrs. Dorothy Bell Williford Thompson and had five sons: Larry Thompson, Harry Thompson, Manford Jerome Thompson, the late Michael Thompson, and the late Marion Douglas Thompson.
Roosevelt Thompson was born in Anderson County and was the son of the late Napoleon Thompson and the late Betty Hatten Thompson of Anderson County.
As part of Black History Month, The Town of Williamston and The Journal are recognizing Mr. Roosevelt Thompson, now deceased. A plaque recognizing his contributions was presented to his widow Mrs. Dorothy Bell Williford Thompson this week. Williamston Mayor Mack Durham and Ward One Councilman Tony Hagood presented the plaque to Mrs. Thompson.