Jonathan McPherson

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Jonathan McPherson is pastor of St John Baptist Church in Edgewater, operator of the Scott-McPherson Funeral Home in Fairfield, and a former Miles College chemistry professor and Civil Rights activist.

McPherson and student Frank Dukes worked together to plan the 1962 Selective Buying Campaign and guarded homes in Dynamite Hill used as meeting places for leaders of the 1963 Birmingham Campaign. He, along with Dukes, U. W. Clemon and Shelley Millender delivered a petition in favor of desegregation to the Birmingham City Commission during a public meeting. He was jailed along with Martin Luther King, Jr and other protesters in April 1963.

In 1964 McPherson was the first African American to pass the patrolman examination given by the Birmingham Police Department. His application was subsequently rejected because he had moved to Hueytown. A Ph.D. recipient, McPherson taught chemistry at Miles for 28 years and assumed operations of the Scott-McPherson Funeral Home in 1978.

McPherson ran for Alabama State Legislature in 1974, for the 7th Congressional District of Alabama in 1992, and again for the legislature in 2006. In 1992 McPherson ran on the Republican ticket, but supported Barack Obama in the 2008 election.

McPherson plans to publish a memoir in 2011.


  • Gray, Jeremy (February 28, 2011) "Martin Luther King guard, Birmingham's Rev. Jonathan McPherson, working on memoir." Birmingham News