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Western Reserve Historical Society displays exhibit of local reverend for Black History Month

Posted at 7:00 PM, Feb 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-08 19:57:21-05

CLEVELAND — Echoes of the 1960s still play loudly in Reverend E. Theophilus Caviness’ memory. He moved from Texas in 1961 to become pastor of The Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church, in Cleveland.

Caviness immediately got involved in securing Civil Rights for African Americans.

“I never would’ve thought in my history, it would’ve evolved such as it has,” said Caviness. “I was a person who tried to help people. You consider yourself an instrument of trying to make sure that other folks are benefited by your life and your living.”

Caviness became friends with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He also befriended brothers Louis and Carl Stokes, and helped enforce African American’s impact in politics.

For Black History Month, Cleveland’s Western Reserve Historical Society displays an exhibit in Caviness’ honor.

“To have been counted, a part of that kind of movement that changed so many lives, that really did a great number of things for this country,” said Caviness. “Cleveland is a pioneer kind of city, that began the efforts of making sure people of color were included instead of excluded.”