H. Benton Harris Papers, 1939-1991
- Majority of material found in 1961-1979 (Bulk dates)
- Harris, H. Benton, 1898-1970 (Creator, Person)
Access to Collection
Conditions Governing Use
.4 Linear Feet
.4 Cubic Feet
1 boxes (Oversize)
On June 1, 1960, Harris became the minister of Western Avenue Baptist Church in Cambridge, Mass. He and his his wife, Athrin Icilmah Thompson Harris, lived at 168 Western Avenue, down the street from the church.
Harris was heavily involved in the Cambridge community. He taught weekly religion classes throughout the city and was a member of the Family Counseling Service, Civic Unity Committee, Clergy Seminary Planning Committee, Police-Community Relations Committee, Interfaith Housing Corporation, Department of Social Relations, Central Square Ministers Association, Black Funding Board, and the Cambridge Tuberculosis and Health Association.
Nationally, he was the recording secretary for the United Baptist Convention of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, a member of the Massachusetts Council on Churches, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Prior to his tenure at Western Avenue Baptist Church, Harris served as the minister of Shiloh Baptist Church Hartford, Conn., Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Norwich, Conn., People's Baptist Church in Portsmouth, N.H. (March 1931-November 1937), Union Baptist Church in New Bedford, Mass., Bethlehem Community Church in Holyoke, Mass., Second Baptist Church in Greenfield, Mass., John Street Baptist Church in Worcester, Mass., and Zion Baptist Church in Everett, Mass.
H. Benton Harris died on February 23, 1970 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Jamaica Plan (Boston, Mass.), leaving his wife, Athrin, and two brothers, Robert and Edwin Harris, both of Montclair, N.J. Hundreds of people attended Harris' funeral service, which was held at the Old Cambridge Baptist Church because of its large seating capactiy as well as the close ties between the two congregations. He is buried in Montclair, N.J.
Organization of Collection
- African American Clergy
- African American churches -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge
- Black-and-white prints (photographs)
- Cambridge (Mass.)
- Church buildings -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Color prints (photographs)
- Programs (documents)
- Western Avenue Baptist Church (Cambridge, Mass.)
- Finding Aid to the H. Benton Harris Papers, 1939-1991 063
- Sony Prosper under the supervision of Alyssa Pacy
- November 24, 2015
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
Part of the Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections Repository
Cambridge Public Library
Cambridge MA 02138 USA