Reverend L. Francis Griffin Sr. (First Baptist Church of Farmville)
When students at Farmville’s all-black Moton High School went on strike for better facilities in 1951 local NAACP president, the Reverend L. Francis Griffin Sr., was the first to stand behind them. Nicknamed “The Fighting Preacher,” he rose to become Prince Edward County’s and one of Virginia’s leading civil rights figures. His church, the historic First Baptist Church, was headquarters for local civil rights organizing; and his children served as plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Griffin v. Prince Edward (1964) decision that ended the county’s five-year public school closings.
Image: Public Domain