03709_0127: Reverend W. C. Sale

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Reverend W. C. Sale, no date given, Alabama, white, clergyman, Jacksonville, no date given

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"Getting back to my mission, for more than a hundred years Jacksonville has been merely a commercial city. But many things have converged to make it so. She has an ideal location on the historic St. Johns, with the best harbor, with the advantage of sea and land for transportation, undisturbed by storm and fog. Ours is the subtropical climate luring people from the North to the commerce of the South. We take off our hats to the past as we salute the men that planned and built our city, in spite of famine and fires, wars and fatal diseases. All praise to municipal ownerships of the waterworks, the electric light plant, certain docks, the stadium, radio, and many other projects that make for the financial success of our great city.

"Yes, we are happy to praise the police and fire departments, the park and sanitary departments, recreation department, great school system and our magnificent churches for their great cultural and spiritual program. But there is no provision for helping the man that is down on his luck. We have welfare agencies that are doing a great work but they must adhere to specified rule and follow-up investigations. That is why I prefer to continue this mission, for I am able to immediately aid the man that is detached—the man that really needs a friend.

"A mission is the only institution I know that reaches the man that is down in the most effectual way without embarrassing him.

"This is the only agency in the city that gives direct relief immediately; including medical aid and everything that one man may be able to do for another without charge. Everything is absolutely free, with no strings tied to it, except the promise to be a real man and try for self-support and self-control.

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"A mission enables one to work with his hands untied, and untrammeled, using his own best judgment, without interference on the part of outsiders. It is a simple problem--not complex.

"The great needs for such a mission are:

"First: it relieves suffering men out of work, that is no fault of their own in most cases. They are stranded and absolutely alone. They need a helping hand to find health, to find work, to find God, and to find their proper place in the social order.

"Second: so many people come to Florida, both tourist and transients, one with money and the other without. They both have the same purpose in that they are seeking 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' The tourist looks out for himself. The transient must have some one help him on his way.

"Third: 'the poor are always with us' and there will always be room for this kind of work.

"Fourth: sudden relief is greatly needed for seamen in Jacksonville. Seamen are our second navy, our ambassadors of good will.

"All food is a contribution which I have promoted by contacting business heads and organizations. We generally have sufficient food for all.

"I feel that in this mission work I am able to stop crime at its source to a great extent. A hungry man will commit a crime quicker than a man that has three regular meals each day. We are told that hunger is the greatest human urge.

"I am convinced that the mission work has relieved the burden and gloom from many a lonely, helpless, struggling soul. This is evidently true with some men past 60. They say that cold harsh treatment makes men worse. And

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that is divinely true. Hear David saying, 'Thy gentleness hath made me great.' And Paul saying, 'The love of Christ constraineth me.' And the song writer saying, 'Love lifted me.'

"I am fully convinced that the ministry of this mission is surpassing the work of the prison farms and all that is connected with them. The new approach to the cure of crime is not punishment, but mercy, kindness and instruction. We are called upon to be real builders in the Kingdom of God.

"The best advertisement that could come to this city is that even drifting men that come this way could go their way saying, 'Jacksonville has a heart of love.' That is exactly what 13,000,000 Negroes of America are saying about our city, who were represented here in their National Baptist Convention two years ago. That is what 8,000 white men are saying who have been cared for in our Jacksonville city mission during the past twelve months.

"We have not only met their physical and spiritual need, but during the past year we have taught the following topics: 'History of Florida,' 'History of the United States;' 'American War Myths;' 'The Power of the President;' 'Red Cross First Aid;' 'World Patriots;' 'The New Frontiers of Democracy;' 'Hygiene or How to Live;' 'Communism, Fascism, Dictatorship versus Democracy;' 'The Rights of Man;' which are the right to live, and the right to work and the right to show the marks of a man. We carried on an independent course of study without a book, on self-respect and selfcontrol. We are now studying the history of Jacksonville, featuring the thought of building a greater city.

"We have found, too, the study of human relationships is an inexhaus-

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tible course of which each and every man can take a part. We, also, very frequently have round table discussions of current events. Reflecting a moment I recall that 'How to Prevent War' was a most interesting topic. The forum plan of discourse and teaching is the best that I have tried. This plan calls for the selection of a topic by the class, and the teacher giving the first short introductory address, giving all the class a chance to ask further questions and discuss the question in hand.

"I am interested in making every man's living conditions as good as we enjoy at home. The government is doing a remarkable thing for both white and colored on housing projects of Jacksonville.

"My wife is from one of the oldest families in Memphis, Tennessee, the Porter family. She attended Brownsville Female College, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and studied dramatic art in several other colleges.

"We had three children, all of whom died in infancy. Later we adopted a girl, Rose Valley Rupard, whom we raised. She is now married, has three children, and lives in Virginia. My wife is an energetic person; she conducts classes in dramatic art, piano and voice; she has twenty pupils. I realize there is quite a contrast in our work; however, she feels that in her work she is aiding humanity also.

"I heartily approve the New Deal. Christ went after the man that was furtherest down and that is what the New Deal is meant to do. At present the political parties do not amount to much, they are nearly the same. Being a Democrat I stick to my party. I flew the track one time and voted for Hoover. It was due to Hoover's popularity as a World War humanitarian and food administrator. The liquor question was a great issue at that time. Some think that Al Smith being a Catholic had much to do with many

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voting for Hoover. It may have been with others but not with me. I thought at one time that Hoover was the stronger of the two men, but to tell the truth, neither one was a giant. Personally, I think that the two Roosevelts are the strongest presidents that America has ever had.

"I have always voted religiously. I never fail to vote on every issue. I am a politician. I believe in the science of sound government. I always advise people to vote as they pray and pray as they vote. I have never discussed politics in the pulpit.

"Neither do I tear my shirt over an election. I allow political campaigns to be my time for fun. I am always for the present administration, until I go to the polls. As a rule the ticket I select wins. Just a few times have I voted on the wrong side. I do not wait to see which way the wind is blowing but I am generally on the winning side. I find that one man is about as good as another, and all liable to make mistakes while they are in office.

"The word 'religion' is a hackneyed phrase. It has been over-worked. It is ambiguous. You cannot tell just what one has in mind when he speaks of his religion. It may mean his church creed, meaning denominationalism, I prefer the word Christianity, Christlikeness. As you know for one to have the mind of Christ has all to do with one's morals. Christianity doesn't hinder one from having a good time in life. Christ turned the water into wine at a marriage feast in Canaan of Galilee.

"I do not believe in trying to enforce what is known as Sabbath blue laws, where one is not allowed to buy a loaf of bread or make a purchase at a drug store. 'The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath,' said Christ to the critical, self-righteous Pharisees. I like a good pic-

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