Historic Markers Across Alabama

Rosa Parks Returns to St. Paul AME / Rosa Parks's Faith Guided Her Life

Marker ID: ABT 
Location: 706 East Patton Avenue, Montgomery, AL
County: Montgomery
Coordinates: N 32° 19.995    W 086° 17.712
  32.33325    -86.2952
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMZQP7


Rosa Parks Returns to St. Paul AME

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, passed away in Detroit on Oct. 24, 2005 at the age of 92. Six days later, dressed in the uniform of an AME deaconess, her body arrived by horse-drawn carriage at St. Paul AME, her former Montgomery home church, for a vigil and memorial service. Thousands of Alabamians, including Condoleezza Rice, were joined by actress Cicely Tyson and other guests for tributes and joyful hymns.

The following two days in the nations capital, thousands waited in line for hours to view the unadorned casket in the Rotunda of the U. S. Capitol. She was the first civilian to be accorded the honor to lie in state. President George W. Bush and Laura Bush placed a presidential wreath on the center of the casket.

During a memorial service at Washington's Metropolitan AME Church Mrs. Park's life-long friend Johnnie Carr of Montgomery joined U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, Oprah Winfrey, Julian Bond and other civil rights leaders. Mrs. Parks was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit on Nov. 2, 2005.

The U.S. Congress commissioned a statue of a seated Mrs. Parks that was unveiled in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 27, 2013.

Source: "Rosa Parks: A Life" by Douglas Brinkley

Rosa Parks's Faith Guided Her Life

Rosa Parks, who famously refused to give up her seat to whites on a segregated bus during the Jim Crow era, followed her faith.

Rosa McCauley, the daughter of a teacher, attended rural schools until she was 11, then Miss White's School for GirIs in Montgomery's Centennial Hall neigh boyhood. She attended high school at the Alabama State Teachers College and finally earned a high school diploma when she was 21.

She married Raymond Parks, a charter member of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. A voting rights activist, he raised funds to support the "Scottsboro Boys."

Deeply religious from childhood, Mrs. Parks made the African Methodist Episcopal Church the center of her life. She was baptized at Mount Zion AME Church at Pine Level when she was 2. She served as church stewardess and taught Sunday School for many years at St. Paul AME Church in Montgomery.

After she and her husband moved to Detroit and joined St. Matthew AME Church, she was elevated to deaconess.

Marker dedicated Dec. 1, 2018 on the inaugural Rosa Parks Day in Alabama

End of Rosa Parks Returns to St. Paul AME / Rosa Parks's Faith Guided Her Life