ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) – The Rev. Nimrod Q. Reynolds, a civil rights leader from east Alabama, died May 12, The Anniston Star reported. He was 82.
Reynolds is remembered, with the Rev. William B. McClain, for being beaten by a mob of whites as the men attempted to enter the Carnegie Library in Anniston in 1963, at the time closed to blacks. McClain returned the next day and checked out a book. Reynolds was confined to bed with injuries from the attack.
“Whatever progress has been made has been through a long struggle,” Reynolds told The Star in a 1977 interview. “But the battle is a long, long way from being finished.”
Reynolds continued to work for decades to win rights for blacks in the area. He later led the Community Action Agency, a community service and anti-poverty organization.
He also was chairman of the Anniston Improvement Association, which initiated demonstrations to open employment to blacks in business, according to the newspaper. He was appointed to the first Human Relations Council, which together with the bi-racial leadership organization COUL (Committee of Unified Leadership) helped steer the local community through the many crises from the 1960s through the 1980s.
“Hundreds of people have told me how he helped them get a job, or helped them get a house,” Richardson said of Reynolds.
At a celebration of Reynolds’ work at the occasion of his 2009 retirement, the well-known civil rights pioneer and co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference the Rev. Joseph Lowery, called Reynolds “a great man” and a”`chaplain of the common good.”
Reynolds continued working for decades to win rights for blacks in the Anniston area. He later led the Community Action Agency, a community service and anti-poverty organization.
Reynolds retired in 2009. He served as pastor of Anniston’s 17th Street Baptist Church for 48 years before that.