Dr. W. D. Lester Collection
Is Part Of
Table Of Contents
Box 1: Biographical info & personal planners
- Biographical documents
- United Methodist Church Historical Society of Arkansas (2004, May 1). The legacy of Dr. Woodie Daniel (W. D.) Lester: Theologian and historian of African American Methodism [Printed slides].
- Historical sketches/resumes ca. 1965 & 1972
- Address book, 1949
- Baptismal record, Samaritan Methodist Church, April 1938-April 1941
- Conference ephemera, 1944-1968
- Dairy/daily planner, 1937
- Daily planners, 1945-1948
- Daily planners, 1952-1959
- Daily planners, 1961-1970
Box 2: Book and manuscripts
- Lester, W. D. (1979). The History of Negro and Methodism in Arkansas and Oklahoma: The Little Rock-Southwest Conference 1838-1972. Little Rock Conference of the United Methodist Church. Little Rock: AR.
- Correspondence, 1975-76
Manuscripts: The History of the Negro and Methodism in Arkansas and Oklahoma…
- About the Book
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- pages and chapter fragments
Box 3: Prints, posters and flyers
- Ellis, H. (n. d.). He taught me [woodblock print].
- Ellis, H. (n. d.). Holy night [woodblock print].
- Ellis, H. (n. d). Let the children come to me [woodblock print].
- Ellis, H. (n. d.). How often? [woodblock print].
- Revival and Tent Meeting Flyers
- Old Fashioned Tent Meeting, Sept. 15-20, Washington Heights Methodist Church (3 copies)
- Ten Nights Revival Meeting, Berea Methodist Church, Kansas City Kansas (3 copies)
Box 4: UMC & Church correspondence, documentation and photos
Correspondence & personal notes
- Correspondence, 1944-1980
- Correspondence, Philander Smith College, 1979
- Correspondence, no date
- Mailing lists & addresses
- Personal notes
- Receipts, budgets and accounting logs
- Quotations & jokes
- W. Lester, 1971 (photos & photo copies)
- W. Lester with UMC Conference trustees (photo copies)
Church programs and documents
- Clair Methodist Church, Omaha, NE
- John Wesley United Methodist Church, Nashville, TN
- Mason Memorial United Methodist Church, Kansas City, KS
- Wesley (Chapel) United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR
- Membership roster, financial statement and church directory photos, 1971
- Church programs
UMC Conference documents/publications
- Methodist Alliance meeting minutes, 1939-40
- Black Staff Forum, Nashville Based Boards and Agencies, 1970
- Commission on Black Colleges
- Central West Conference
- Board of Evangelism for Special Activities documents
- Department of Evangelism for Special Activities, 1962, 1967
- Annual reports of the General Board of Evangelism, 1963-1965
- Evangelism in the inner-city report, historical development and publications, 1963-1969
- Board of Missions meeting minutes, 1946
- Southwest Conference
- Proposed plan of merger of the North Arkansas Conference and the South West Conferences of the United Methodist Church
- Churches and pastors of the Southwest Conference of the Methodist Church, 1967
- Conference on Evangelism, Southwest Conference leaders guide and workbook
- Committee on Higher Education
- South Central Jurisdiction, 1966-78
- General Conference
- World Conference: London, England, August 1966
- UMC conference publications
- News clippings
Box 5: Ledger lecture/sermon notes, 19th century Books of Discipline & honorary degree nomination documents
- Framed photograph: Dr. W. D. Lester and others. (n. d.).
- Stewart, M. E. (1986, April 27). Presentation folder prepared by Mary Estella Sledd Stewart as nominee for the degree Doctor of Humane Letters on the recommendation of the Reverend W. D. Lester, D. D., Mister and member, Board of Agencies of the United Methodist Church to be presented to the President and Board of Trustees of Philander Smith University, Little Rock, Arkansas.
- Ledger: Lecture and sermon notes by W. D. Lester during his time at Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia (1927).
- Methodist Episcopal Church (1852). The doctrines and discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Swormstedt and Poe: Cincinnati, OH.
- Methodist Episcopal Church (1860). The doctrines and discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Poe and Hitchcock: Cincinnati, OH.
- Methodist Episcopal Church (1876). The doctrines and discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Hitchcock and Walden Poe: Cincinnati, OH.
- Methodist Episcopal Church (1884). The doctrines and discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Cranston and Stowe: Cincinnati, OH.
- Methodist Episcopal Church (1892). The doctrines and discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Hunt and Eaton, NY.
Box 6: Sermons and speeches
Completed sermons & speeches
Old Testament sermons
- The great betrayer. Genesis 3-9 (Columbus, Las Vegas, Tulsa & Houston)
- Cussed be Canaan. Genesis 9:25
- Conquest through surrender. Genesis 32:1 – 32
- Living above the smoke line. Genesis 12:1
- The book of Genesis. Genesis
- A walk with God. Genesis 5:24
- The night angels climbed a ladder. Genesis 28: 11 – 12
- Go on and grow – grow and go on. Genesis 46:4
- Genesis 9:13 (in route to Wesley UMC)
- Joseph early in his life.
- Exodus 11: 4 – 5
- Don’t fret, go forward. Exodus 14: 5
- The night of doom. Exodus 12:29
- The night of retribution. Exodus 12:29
- Thou shalt not bear false witness… Exodus 20:16
- The eternal God is thy refuge… 33:27
- Reflections from the pastor. Anna Letitia Baebauld
- Serenity prayer (poem)
- When God says no. 34:4
- You have stayed long enough upon this mountain… 1:6
- Time for a change. Joshua 24:15
- Is the rose bush dead? Judges 16:20
- Where is the Lord God of Elijah? 2 Kings 1:14
- 2 Kings 5:1
Chronicles, Colossians, Job, Samuel & Ezekiel
- Second mile in praise and gratitude. 2 Chronicles
- Grandly begin. Colossians 3:2
- I had heard of thee by hearsay…Job 42:5
- Consider the Diamond. Ezekiel 28: 12 – 14
- The regrets we have missed. 1 Samuel 25:3
- Who am I? Nehemiah 6:11
- Nehemiah 2
- The Divine Shepherd Supplies every want. Psalm 23
- The Divine Shepherd and his flock. Psalm 23
- Psalm 1
- The last sense of wonder. Psalm 147:8
- The preciouses of death. Psalm 116:15
- Heritage. Psalms 16:6 (Memorial Day sermon for Mason Memorial United Methodist Church, Kansas City, KS, June 1973)
- Can you recommend your religion? Psalm 66:16
- Spiritually displaced persons. Psalm 119:19
- Real peace and security… Psalm 55:22, Deut. 33:27
- Like the great mountains. Psalm 36:6
- The new song. Psalm 40:3, Rev. 5:9
- Precious in the night of the Lord…Psalm 116:15
- The Lord God is a sun not a son. Psalm 84:11
- Psalm 8: 1 – 9
- Crucified by Peccadillous. Psalm 121:1 (The Board of Evangelism, Nashville, Detroit, Oklahoma City)
- Capitalizing our calamities. Psalm 119:71
- Untitled (Usher’s Day Sermon). Psalm 84:10
- The ideal woman. Proverb 31:29
- Mother’s Day, Proverb 1:8
- The slack hand. Proverb 10:4
- While He is near. 55:6
- Isa. 9:6
- Starting over again. 40:31
- Isa. 6:6
- A lift – Need a lift? 6:12
- Give me wings Lord. 40:31
- Common sense. Daniel 3:17
- The night with the wild beasts. Daniel 6:18
- The night of dissipation. Daniel 5:30
- Time to think. Jonah 1:17
New Testament Sermons
- The fate of the unprepared. 25:1
- Who is this? 21:10
- Matt. 16:24
- When religion become a burden. 11: 28 – 30
- The night of doubt. 14:13
- When they found them, they went back another way. 2:12
- The resurrection at the crucifixion. Matt. 27:52
- Matt. 16:16, Mark 14:17
- Matt. 16:24 – 26
- Matt. 5:15
- Matt. 4:13, Mark 2:1
- Matt. 19-16
- When God waits. 14:22
- The foolish exchange. Matt 16:26
- What is the mission of the church? (notes) Matt. 28:20
- The night of fear and failure. 28:20
- Matt. 21:10
- The art of hearing. 13:18 – 23
- Teach them. 28:19 – 20
- Matt. 22:42
- The testing time. 4:1 – 11
- Matt. 35
- Is it I? Matt. 26:22
- Matt. 9: 32 – 34
- The requisites of entering the Kingdom of Heaven. 18:3
- Mountain top experiences for service in the valley. 17:8
- Matt. 6:24
- Raised values of life. 22:21 (The Board of Evangelism)
- Matt. 10: 34 – 36
- Your life’s purpose. 6:33
- The choice that shook the world. 27: 51 – 54
- Baptism of fire. 3:11
- By-products. 9:27
- Thy kingdom come. 10:6
- Attack of the tempter. 4:1 – 11
- The resurrection at the crucifixion. 27:52 (Easter sermon preached at Wesley Chapel Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR, March 29, 1964.
- Mark 8:36
- Isles of safety. Mark 2:27
- The oneness of Christ. Mark 16-15
- Go preach. Mark 16:15
- Extending the Kingdom. Mark 10:13 – 16
- The Scriber(s) and Pharisees. Mark 3:6
- An unshrinkable faith. Mark 5:28 (Wesley, January 24, 1971)
- In America. Mark 16:15
- The power of the hidden Christ. Mark 7:24
- A seat by the Kings Highway. Mark 10:46
- The last parable. Mark 12: 6 – 7
- Special Holy Week Sermons: The Scribe and the Pharisees. Mark 3:6
- Untitled sermon. Mark 10:17 (The Board of Evangelism, Columbus, Las Vegas)
- The battle with temptation. Luke 4: 1 – 13
- The influence of the crowd. Luke 23
- The night of failure. Luke 21:26
- Make haste and come down. Luke 19:5
- As far as to Bethany. Luke 24:50
- Getting into the past tense. Luke 6:24
- No use to alibi. Luke 14:17
- Luke 4:16
- Call of the wild. Luke 15:12 (Columbus, Las Vegas, Tulsa, Buffalo)
- The new king. Luke 19, 28 – 48
- That fox. Luke 13:32
- The end of the road. Luke 23:33
- Who is my neighbor? Luke 10:29
- Luke 24:13 – 25
- The power of Christmas. Luke 2:7
- No use to alibi. Luke 14:18
- Fellowship or ingratitude and gratitude. Luke 17: 17 – 18
- Luke 4: 18 – 19
- The night of repentance. Luke 22:62
- The other chance or the threat of the last chance. Luke 13
- The spirit of hope. Luke 1:47
- A man who took Jesus in earnest. Luke 5:27 – 29
- Three philosophies in life. Which is yours? Luke 10:29
- In remembrance of me. Luke 22:19, 20
- The lost son. Luke 15
- Luke 15: 11 – 24
- Luke 5:4
- Raised values of life. Luke 20: 21 – 27
- Gal. 5:25, John 1:14 (The Board of Evangelism)
- Where do you live? John 1:39
- Lovest thou me? John 21:16
- He believed in man. John 1:14
- Give me a drink. John 4:9
- John 1:4
- Extending the Kingdom. John 10:16
- John 1:14
- John 21:15
- Instead of condemnation, forgiveness. John 8: 1 – 11
- The wrong kind of Christian. John 18:10
- The meaning of Christmas. John 1:14
- A Race Relation’s Day sermon: The Christian as a social force. John 4:11
- John 6:41
- The concurrence of the Sadducees. John 11:53
- Living in four dimensions. John 10:10
- Christianity as the way. John 14:16
- The dimensions of truth. John 8:32
- Religion that works. John 13:17
- Untitled Christmas sermon. John 1: 5 – 2:2
- The Upper Room Chapel Sermon. John 14: 1 – 7 (Rev. Joel McDavid, November 29, 1967)
- John 21-3
- The difference that Christ makes. John 5:6
- I know the shepherd. John 10:11
- The requirements to enter the kingdom. John 3:3
- Why? John 11:6
- One witness in one world. Acts 1:8
- Christian witnessing in the present-day world. Acts 1:8
- Acts 3:6
- Acts 4:29
- The folly of supposing. Acts 21:29
- What’s the use of praying? Acts 16:25 (The Board of Evangelism, Columbus, Nashville, Dayton)
- The night of death. Romans 7:24
- Romans 1:16 (Hays Chapel, December 1945, March 19, 1950)
- Maintaining the spiritual glow. Romans 12:11
- Cor. 11:23
- The gift of silence. 1 Cor. 13:7
- What’s new with you? 2 Cor. 5:17 – 18
- The Christian imperative for this present day materialistic, atomic, changeable world. Eph 3:18 – 19 (The Board of Evangelism, Atlanta, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Dayton, Hot Springs, Wichita, Philadelphia, Ft. Smith)
- Eph. 6:1 – 4
Philippians & Thessalonians
- Making red soda pop. 4: 8 – 9
- Phil. 3:13
- The road to somewhere. 3
- Take a good look at yourself. 1 Thes. 4: 11 – 13
- Be happy all the time. 5:16
- Is religion worth what it costs? 1 Tim. 4:8
- Cultivate the gift of God. 2 Tim. 1:6
- Extending the kingdom. 1 Tim. 4:12
- The last sprint. 2 Tim. 4:10 (The Board of Evangelism, Nashville, Hot Springs, Dayton, Houston)
- The night of sorrow and suffering. Hebrews 13: 12 – 13
- Hebrews 12:2
- Date with destiny. Hebrews 11:8 (Wesley, Little Rock, Gary, Oklahoma City)
- Laying aside weights. Hebrews 12: 1 – 2 (Houston, Tulsa)
- Outside the city walls. Hebrews 13: 12 – 13
- Life as a pilgrimage. Hebrews 11: 8 – 13
- It’s your move. James 4:13 (The Board of Evangelism, Detroit, New Orleans, Little Rock, Ft. Smith, Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Hot Springs Buffalo
Christian subjects and sermons for special occasions
Writings on man, destiny, contentment and life
- Things which cannot be shaken.
- Resolution? Rebellion? Regurgitation?
- Crucified by peccadillos.
- A change in routine can keep you alert and alive.
- What[s] yours is yours, what’s mine is mine…
- Another of God’s favorite words is man…
- Things that pass away, man-worth.
- What[s] next: After the ball – what?
- The new life.
- We need God.
- Light is a special type of deity…
- The meaning of life.
- A date with destiny.
- The question we can’t escape.
- What is man that thou art mindful of him…
- Nine keys to contentment.
- Let’s start all over again.
- A man’s life consisteth not of his possessions…
- The Board of Absentees.
- A pair of scissors.
- Story of football game.
- Mexican spider.
- It’s your move.
- There are countless numbers of memorials…
The Lord’s Prayer
- Hallowed be thy name.
- Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on Earth.
- Thy will be done.
- I believe in the resurrection of the Body and Life everlasting…
- Sitteth at the right hand of God the Father…
- A Christian is like a good watch.
- The meaning of Lent.
- The significance of Lent.
- General Board of Evangelism policies (pages 2-4).
- Evangelism for our present-day world.
- Pastoral visitation affords a fine opportunity for personal evangelism…
- Evangelism beings with God’s love reaching out through Christ…
- Year of expansion: The essential nature and task of evangelism.
- An outline of the responsibilities of the Department of Evangelism for Special Activities, Field Service Section.
- Consecration for their sake.
- It was in 1620 a group of English Separatists…
- The spirit of Thanksgiving.
John Wesley, Today’s Church
- Ours in the need!
- Christian church in a changing world.
- Kindling anew the flame of the heartwarming experience.
- The warm heart.
- The difference that Christ makes.
- The witness of the church in this present-day world.
- Is the church sufficient for the task of our present-day world.
- In all the world there never has been a time…
- Why go to church anyway?
- The church of today.
The Lord’s Supper and Communion
- The appeal of the cross.
- In the communion…
- I have always been deeply moved by the most weighty words in the Methodist ritual of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper…
- Marching off the map.
- Our faith and its meaning.
- Make your own opportunity.
Baptism by Fire, Holy Ghost
- The baptism of fire.
- The Holy Spirit.
- Christian stewardship.
- Quadrennial emphasis.
- If you are tired of the load of your sin…
- There is nothing hidden that will not be made known.
- I am come to see and save the lost.
- A decade of dynamic discipleship.
Old Testament themes
- Just what was the birth right?
- We have found the Lord.
- When Jesus was led into the house of the courtyard.
- Years ago, men got a fleeting glimpse of God.
- Mother’s Day, 1978.
- Father’s Day, Psalm 103:13.
- Mother’s Day sermon: A white carnation.
- Aldersgate of yesterday and today.
- As men broke bread together in the East…
- The author’s purpose.
- Black Power.
- Christian concept of aging.
- The churches’ evangelistic responsibility to young adults.
- The churches part in creating a pleasing atmosphere to avoid “The Long Hot Summer Rebellion.”
- Evangelism for our present-day world.
- For what intent?
- Founders Day address, March 4, 1979 (Philander Smith College).
- Founders Day address, Tennessee Methodist Episcopal Church.
- I had almost envied the members and staff…
- The Inner Board Team for Inner City Ministry…
- Introductory of the course…
- In Columbus, Ohio, a high school essay contest…
- Kindling anew the flame of the heartwarming experience.
- Lenten Thanksgiving.
- The long hot summer.
- The man in the road.
- The meaning of commencement.
- Methodists and evangelism.
- The mission to the city.
- One witness in one world.
- The plunge, January 20, 1967 (Religion section of an unknown publication).
- The present world crisis as it related to the Christian church.
- Proposed steps towards racial integration in the Methodist Church.
- A program of evangelism for conference year 1963-64.
- Race relations.
- The witness of the church in this present-day world.
- The youth evangelism team in the local church: The need of a Christian witness mission in your church.
- Untitled address to educators.
Box 7: Incomplete speeches and sermons (arranged by ink color, type and size)
Box 8: Methodist Church Conference Medals, 1948 – 1966 (Rev. & Mrs. W. D. Lester)
Box 9: Methodist Church Conference Medals, 1966 – 1976 (Rev. & Mrs. W. D. Lester)
Box 10: Academic regalia and degrees
- Missouri Pacific Lines pass, December 31, 1954.
- Leaf from PSC Yearbook: W. D Lester being hooded at a graduation.
- Doctor of Divinity awarded by Philander Smith College, April 20, 1952.
- Doctor of Law, awarded by Philander Smith College, May 25, 1969.
- Graduation cap and tassel (gold tassel)
- Academic hood (green/gold satin)
- Academic hood (crimson red/gold satin)
Box 11: Awards and certificates
- Certificate of Appreciation, Young Men’s Christian Association of the YMCA Century Club, 1967.
- Certificate of Appreciation from Samaritan Church, May 9, 1964.
- Citation for Outstanding Service, Philander Smith College, September 25, 1959.
- Honorary Membership, National Fellowship of Associate and Lay Pastors, November 13, 1969.
- Guestbook: An Evening to Remember in Recognition and Appreciation of Dr. W. D. Lester, John Wesley United Methodist Church, January 25, 1970.
- Membership to the TWA Ambassadors Club, February 11, 1963.
- Honorary Sergeant-At-Arms of the Tennessee House of Representatives, the State of Tennessee, awarded by Ned R. McWherter, Speaker of the House of Representatives, February 3, 1975.
- Plaque: United Airlines 100,000 Mile Club membership, 1957.
- Plaque: Recognition of Distinguished and Devoted Service to the General Board of Evangelism, United Methodist Church, October 1, 1952 – December 31, 1969.
- Plaque: For services rendered to the church and community, 1952 – 69, the United Methodist Ministerial Alliance of Nashville, Tennessee, December 19, 1969.
- Book: Presented by the Bank of Gallatin to Dr. W. D. Lester, 1976.
Box 12: Methodist Church annual conference journals A – D
- Atlanta, 1951
- Central Jurisdiction, 1960, 1970
- Central Missouri, 1923
- Central Pennsylvania, 1965
- Central West, 1944 – 1966
- Delaware, 1952, 1954, 1960, 1964, 1965
Box 13: Methodist Church annual conference journals E – L
- East Tennessee, 1952 -1963
- Florida, 1952 – 1967
- General Conference Quadrennial Reports, 1964, 1972
- Georgia, 1952, 1954, 1967
- Kansas, 1964
- Lexington, 1935 – 1952
Box 14: Methodist Church conference journals L – S
- Lexington, 1957 – 1965
- Little Rock, 1975
- Louisiana, 1953 – 1968
- Minnesota, 1966
- Missouri East, 1967
- Missouri West, 1965 – 1968
- Mississippi, 1954 – 1968
- Ohio, 1962, 1966, 1967
- South Carolina, 1965
- South Central Jurisdiction, 1972
- South Florida, 1952
Box 15: Methodist Church conference journals S – W
- Southern California-Arizona, 1959
- Southwest, 1961 – 1969
- Tennessee, 1952 – 1975
- Texas, 1952 – 1968
- Upper Mississippi, 1952
- Washington, 1954, 1956
- West Virginia, 1967
Box 16: Misc. UMC Books
Finding Aid by
Dr. Woodie Daniel Lester, originally from Brinkley, Arkansas, was a famous and revered minister throughout much of this century. The son of D. K. and Sally A. Jones Lester, Dr. Lester received his A.B. from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, AR and his B.D. from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Ga. He also did some graduate work in Chicago before receiving honorary D.D. and L.L.D. degrees from Philander Smith College.
Dr. Lester entered the ministry in 1919, and by 1922 he was assigned to be the District Superintendent of the Little Rock District of the Southwest Conference. From this position he was transferred to St. Louis and from St. Louis to Kansas City, KS. He was in Kansas City between the years 1940 and 1947, and it was here that Dr. Lester's concern with civil rights became clear. He successfully sued a bus station cafeteria owner for refusing to serve blacks. This type of civic awareness remained with Lester throughout his life. In 1948 Lester became the Executive Secretary of Christian Education for the Central West Conference, and in 1952 he was given the job of Director in the Department of Evangelism for Special Activities for the Board of Evangelism. He remained in this position until 1967. His remarkable ability to work with all types of people and particularly with children brought him many accolades, and in 1969 he was assigned to the prominent Wesley Chapel at Philander Smith College, in Little Rock, AR.
In 1974, Dr. Lester returned to the place of his childhood, Nashville, TN. Here he preached at Gallatin Methodist Church. He retired two years later, after a life time of helping others and receiving personal success. His remarkable life also included the creation of a family: a 52 year marriage to Julia Beatrice Smith, and two sons W. D., Jr., and Julius Lester. Dr. Lester passed away in 1981 in Nashville, a man of distinction and great success.
The W. D. Lester Collection, was chosen as a class project for the Archival Management Class, of the Public History Program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, during the Fall Semester of the 1998 - 1999 academic year. A group of graduate students, (Paul Harness, Virginia Perschbacher, Charles Rector, Anthony Rushing, and Mary Catherine Williams) working under the supervision of Instructor Linda Pine prepared a complete inventory of the collection; identified the basic components of the collection, including material to be detached from the collection; and began the work of processing the collection.