WEEDEN, JOHN T. (2 Aug. 1901-17 Sept. 1988) a Baptist minister for 65 years, served 41 years at St. Timothy Baptist Church in Cleveland. He demonstrated for civil rights for AFRICAN AMERICANS locally and in Atlanta, GA, and Selma, AL, was community liaison for Rep. Louis Stokes (D-21), and managed the 1967 mayoral campaign for Carl Stokes (see MAYORAL ADMINISTRATION OF CARL B. STOKES). Weeden was born in Watertown, TN, to Dovie and Will Weeden. He was educated at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN and received an honorary doctorate from Monrovia College in Liberia, Africa. He came to Cleveland in 1947 from a pastorate in Indianapolis, IN.
Activist Martin Luther King, Jr. often spoke at Weeden's church (see MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.'S VISITS TO CLEVELAND). Weeden presided over the Baptist Ministers Conference of Cleveland and Vicinity and held offices in his denomination, the National Baptist Convention USA (see BAPTISTS). He served on the boards of of the CONVENTIONS AND VISITORS BUREAU OF GREATER CLEVELAND and the local KIWANIS CLUB. In 1966 he traveled to Nicaragua as a member of the International Brothers Foundation, which provided medical service to Third World nations.
Weeden and Gladys May Evans (d.1979) were married 2 Aug. 1922. They had 4 daughters (Sara Richardson, Katherine, Evelyn Jackson, and Phyllis Oliver) and 4 sons (Paul, Lawrence, Kenneth, and John P.). Some family members belonged to the 38-person Weeden Family Singers, gospel recording artists, led by Rev. Weeden.