Remembering the Rev. Dr. Samuel McKinney


During McKinney’s time as pastor, the congregation at Mount Zion Baptist Church tripled in size. Located at East Madison Street and 19th Avenue in the Central District, it was, as the Seattle Times described it, “long a focal point of African-American life in Seattle.” In 2014, the Seattle City Council renamed several blocks of 19th Avenue near Mount Zion “Rev. Dr. S. McKinney Avenue.”

Outside of the church, McKinney sat on Seattle’s first Human Rights Commission, which helped to bring about the city’s Fair Housing Act. To counter racially biased restrictions on loans to African Americans, he was a founder of Liberty Bank, Seattle’s first black-owned financial institution. He helped desegregate schools and boycotted for fair employment practices in hotels, stores and the civil…

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