The Rev. Dr. William Augustus Jones, Jr. was the pastor at Brooklyn’s Bethany Baptist Church for over forty years. He helped form the Progressive National Baptist Convention with Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as the National Black Pastor’s Conference. Jones was a renowned speaker, invited to preach at events around the world, and was a leader in the fight for social and economic justice for his community.
In the mid-1970’s he was invited to share his weekly sermons with a wider audience, initially on radio, and later on television. The Bethany Hour broadcasts ran for over twenty years. When the Brooklyn College Archives acquired Rev. Jones’ papers from his family in 2007, among the records were several hundred audio and video recordings of The Bethany Hour.
Thanks to funding from a Council on Library and Information Resources grant, all recordings have been digitized, and can be found here: https://brooklyn.illumira.net/showcollection.php?pid=njcore:168116
Although the grant project has ended, archives and library staff continue to work on creating transcripts for each recording, which will be linked to the related broadcast, as seen in this example: https://brooklyn.illumira.net/show.php?pid=njcore:180838
The guide to the Papers of Reverend Dr. William Augustus Jones, Jr. may be found here: https://archives.brooklyn.cuny.edu/repositories/2/resources/2