William W. Finlator Papers, 1935-1977


A North Carolina minister known for his active concern with social issues such as capital punishment, civil rights, separation of church and state, prison reform, and the Vietnam War, the Reverend William W. Finlator was born in Louisburg, North Carolina, in 1913, the son of John H. and Dorothy B. Finlator. Raised in Raleigh, he graduated from Wake Forest College in 1934 and continued his studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received a Master of Theology degree in 1937. Finlator was ordained to the Baptist ministry in 1935 and subsequently served churches at Bonlee, Liberty, Pittsboro, and Weldon, North Carolina. In 1945 he became pastor to the First Baptist Church of Elizabeth City, a position which he held until 1957 when he accepted the pastorate of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh. Reverend Finlator has been the vice-president of both the North Carolina Council of Churches and the North Carolina Council on Human Rights; an executive committee member of the North Carolina Conference on Social Welfare and the North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union; and chairman of the North Carolina Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.