A Traveling Baptist Minister, Educator, and an Advocate for the Rights of Sharecroppers

A Tribute To My Great-Grandfather, Rev. Daniel Lewis McClure

A Tribute To My Great-Grandfather, Rev. Daniel Lewis McClure

My Great-Grandfather, the Rev. Daniel Lewis McClure (1880 - 1949), the son of Robert McClure, a Methodist Bishop, attended Bishop College. Bishop College was a historically black college founded in Marshall, Texas, in 1881 by the Baptist Home Mission Society. It was intended to serve students in east Texas, where much of the Black population lived at the time. However, in 1961, the administration moved the college to Dallas, Texas. It closed in 1988.

Rev. Daniel McClure was a traveling Minister of the Gospel of Christ. He was known for helping to establish churches; some were located in barns. As an educated Black man, he would help Sharecroppers by setting up an accounting process to protect themselves from being taken advantage of or swindled out of their harvest by their former enslavers and landlords.

My great-grandfather's early work in financial literacy put him and his entire family's lives at risk. Word spread quickly that Rev. Daniel McClure was teaching Sharecroppers how to properly account for their harvest and money. Angry White landlords known for taking advantage of uneducated Sharecroppers at harvest began to search for my great-grandfather to do him harm or worse!

Therefore, Rev. Daniel McClure was forced to relocate his entire family often. But, thankfully, he remained faithful to the call of the Ministry and continued to advocate for economic equality by providing financial education to local Sharecroppers.

My great-grandfather's last days were spent living a good life. Following his son, Odus McClure, as they traveled west, my grandfather relocated to Seaside, California, with his wife and adult children.

I never met Rev. Daniel McClure, but something tells me he would be very proud to know that his progeny are doing very well. They have become serial entrepreneurs, world travelers, college graduates (including many HBCU alums), educators, professional counselors, law enforcement officials, landowners, media & entertainment managers, business executives, real estate investors, and financial advisors.

(Edited by Tahira C. Smith, 2nd generation Granddaughter of Rev. Daniel L. McClure)