SEATTLE, WA – Puget Sound civil rights icon the Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney died Saturday in Seattle at age 91. McKinney was pastor at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle’s Central District for more than 40 years, and brought Martin Luther King Jr. to Seattle in 1961 – the only appearance King would ever make in Washington.
McKinney retired as Mt. Zion pastor in 1998, and in 2014 a stretch of 19th Avenue in Seattle near the church was named in his honor. McKinney demonstrated during the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, and was arrested in the 1980s protesting apartheid outside the South African consul in Seattle.
McKinney was born in Flint, Mich., in 1926, but grew up in Ohio. He served in the Air Force during World War II, and earned degrees from Morehouse College and Colgate. McKinney came to Seattle in 1958 to begin his tenure at Mount Zion.
“In 1965, McKinney joined in the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights march which pressured the U.S. Congress to enact the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Continuing his activism into the 1980s, Rev. McKinney was arrested in 1985 protesting apartheid at the South African consul’s home in Seattle,” McKinney’s obituary in the Seattle Medium reads.
Read more about McKinney’s life and work at the Seattle Medium.
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