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Reverend Stephen Bradford Mackey papers

Identifier: AMN 1116

Collection Overview

The collection contains materials gathered and produced by the Reverend Mackey and his wife Naomi over the course of their lifetime. Included are materials of the Mackey's that are both professional and personal in nature. The bulk of professional information consists of materials such as photographs and scrapbooks. Naomi Mackey's personal materials contain letters from the Calvary congregations, sorors and club members.

The collection is divided into six series:

1. Education holds Mackey's research papers, notes taken during classes and a yearbook relating academic tenure at the Philadelphia Divinity School and St. Augustine's College.

2. Ministerial Work includes drafts of sermons and speeches, correspondence, notes taken by Mackey and administrative papers created during Mackey's position as a rector at Calvary Episcopal Church. Holds correspondence relating to the sale of former church on 71 Beaufain Street, renovations to Line Street location. Also includes two newspaper clippings regarding "The Challenge of Reconciliation" (c.1969), a statement on race relations in Charleston signed by Rev. Mackey and 58 clergymen.

3. Photographs and Slides contain photographs from Reverend and Mrs. Mackey's professional, community actitives and family life. Includes Rev. Mackey's head shot photographs for publication, group photographs from Mackey's tenure at St. Augustine's College and Philadelphia Divinity School; congregation group photos from St. Thomas Episcopal Church (Philadelphia, P.A.), Camp Baskervill, Calvary Episcopal Church, and Calvary Church Kindergarten Group. Also contains numerous unidentified photographs and photo negatives, several in titled albums.

4. Personal, Naomi Mackey holds various personal scrapbooks including one with greeting cards received by relatives and friends, another entitled, "Cultural Resources of New York City." Series also includes appointment datebooks with random journal entries; letters received from friends and certificates noting her involvement with the local chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club.

5. Artifacts contain awards given to Reverend and Mrs. Mackey for their pastoral work and community involvement.

6. Printed Materials include books owned by the Mackeys.

7. Oversize Materials includes diplomas and certificates issued to Reverend Mackey from St. Augustine's School and Lincoln University; photographs pertaining to "The Fourteen Colored Bishops- the Anglican Branch of the Catholic Church, representing the Church of England and the Episcopal Church" and "The Triennial Meeting of the Women of the Protestant Episcopal Church."


  • Creation: 1900-1993
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1925-1980


Biographical and Historical Note

Reverend Stephen Bradford Mackey

Stephen Bradford McIver Mackey was born August 1, 1901 in Summerville, South Carolina, to Samuel Benjamin and Emma Nelson Mackey. He received his early training in the Alston Elementary School in Summerville, completing high school and junior college at St. Augustine's Junior College, Raleigh, North Carolina. Mackey obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, in 1929 and a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Philadelphia Divinity School of the Episcopal Church in 1933. He was awarded the Master of Divinity degree in 1971.

Upon his return to South Carolina, Mackey was ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1934 and priest in June 1935. He served the Diocese throughout his ministry as priest-in-charge of Epiphany Church in Summerville (1934-1940), as rector of Calvary Episcopal Church, Charleston (1940-1972), and priest-in-charge of St. Andrew's Church, Charleston (1940-1972). Mackey was made the rector emeritus of Calvary Episcopal Church upon his retirement in 1972.

Reverend Mackey was the Executive Secretary for Negro Work of the Diocese (1940-1944) and Archdeacon for Negro Work (1944-1988). He was appointed an honorary Archdeacon of the Diocese in 1972.

In 1940, Reverend Mackey was appointed Executive Secretary of Camp Baskervill part of Holy-Cross-Faith Memorial Episcopal Church in Pawleys Island. He eventually became a director and member of the Board of Managers. Under his leadership the bunk and staff houses, pool facilities, recreation center, and the dining hall buildings were built. In 1976, Bunk House Number Two was dedicated in Reverend Mackey's honor.

Mackey served on the board of directors of the Mayor's Committee on Juvenile Delinquency, the Family Service of Charleston, Voorhees College, McClennan-Banks Memorial Hospital, and the Commission on Mutual Responsibility and Interdependency in the Body of Christ.

Mackey married the former Naomi Elrita Richardson (1909-1996) of Sumter in 1934. Naomi Mackey taught at the Calvary Day School prior to her tenure at Rhett Elementary School. She served as Calvary's President of the Woman's Auxiliary, and President of the Negro Branch of the Woman's Auxiliary of the Diocese of South Carolina. Mrs. Mackey was also a member and former President of the Gamma Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and a Golden Life member of the Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club.

Calvary Episcopal Church

Calvary Church was founded in 1847 as a church for the enslaved in the Charleston community. This idea paralleled the thoughts of many people that there was a need to evangelize the slaves in the decades after 1820. At the 58th Annual Convention of the Diocese of the Vestry of St. Phillip's Church introduced resolutions pointing to the religious instruction of Charleston's slave population. A committee was established to purchase a lot at the corner of Beaufain and Wilson Streets for $1,200.

In the 1930s, a New Deal housing development program through the Charleston Housing Authority sought to acquire the land for the expansion of the Robert Mills Manor housing project. The housing development had practically surrounded Calvary Church and "preempted that section" of Charleston from the constituency of the Church. The property was sold to the Housing Authority with the proceeds used to build the present church at Line and Percy Streets. Services ended at the old building on November 1940 and the church was eventually demolished.

In 1940, the Reverend Stephen Mackey was elected Rector of Calvary and appointed Archdeacon for the black ministries of the Diocese in 1944. The new church was built on 106 Line Street where Calvary already owned a lot with a graveyard and was able to secure a deed on an adjoining lot. Calvary Church functioned as a parish under incorporation laws of the State of South Carolina and was admitted into the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina on May 5, 1965.

The church maintains the Calvary Church Kindergarten Group, which was previously the only pre-school and kindergarten for African American children in Charleston.


2.25 linear feet (5 archival boxes)

Language of Materials



Reverend Stephen Bradford McIver Mackey (1901-1984), an African American Episcopal minister, served the congregation at Calvary Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, as Priest in 1935 and Rector from 1940-1972. He also held the position of priest-in-charge of Epiphany Church, Summerville, SC, from 1934-1940 and St. Andrew's Church, Charleston County from 1940-1972. His wife, Naomi Mackey was the Diocesan President of the Negro Branch of Woman's Auxiliary and organized the church's Woman's Auxiliary, the Christian Education and Spiritual Life Committees.

The collection contains materials related to Reverend Mackey's priesthood, including his course assignments and writings as a theological student at the Philadelphia Divinity School; drafts of sermons given at Calvary Episcopal Church in addition to the Church's administrative papers; constitution and by-laws; correspondence relating to the sale of the 71 Beaufain Street location, letters from parishioners; and handwritten notes by Mackey. A significant portion of the collection consists of photographs, many in scrapbooks that trace Mackey's involvement with Calvary Episcopal Church, Camp Baskervill and the St. Augustine Conference for Church Workers. The collection also includes items collected by Naomi Mackey; personal and professional scrapbooks, journal datebooks, and photographs of her involvement with Calvary committees, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club.

Collection Arrangement

1. Education, 1931-1935

2. Ministerial Work, 1940-1981

3. Photographs and Slides, 1900-1980s

4. Personal, Naomi Mackey, 1961-1992

5. Artifacts, 1972-1991 and undated

6. Printed Materials, 1929-1979

7. Oversize Materials, 1925-1961

Separated Material

Oversized Paper Folder: 1116-OPF/1

Processing Information

Processed by Georgette Mayo, 09 2011

Encoded by Aaisha Haykal, 09 2011, and Georgette Mayo 10 2011

Inventory of the Reverend Stephen Bradford Mackey Papers, 1925 - 1992 AMN 1116
Finding aid prepared by Processed by: Georgette Mayo and Aaron Spelbring; machine-readable finding aid created by: Aaron Spelbring
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States