Garrett Biblical Institute 1932
Pastor, African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church; Civil-Rights Activist; Attorney and Circuit Court Judge; City Alderman; Chairman, President’s Committee on Government Employment Policy; Alternate Delegate to the United Nations
Rev. Archibald J. Carey Jr. followed in the footsteps of his famous father—Archibald Carey Sr. —to become a major figure in Chicago’s political and religious life during much of the 20th century. Born in Chicago in 1908, he attended both Chicago-Kent College of Law and Garrett Biblical Institute, where he earned degrees in law and theology.
Between 1930 and 1941, Rev. Carey served as pastor of the Woodland African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in Chicago, until he moved to Quinn Chapel AME Church, the second oldest Black church in the city and the place where his father had been the minister for a number of years. Rev. Carey Jr. preached at Quinn Chapel until 1967.
Rev. Carey, a Republican, was elected an alderman from Chicago’s Third Ward and served on the Chicago City Council from 1947 to 1955. In 1952, Carey was one of the speakers at the Republican National Convention. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was nominated for President at that convention, appointed Carey an alternate delegate to the United Nations, a post he held from 1953 to 1956. In 1955, President Eisenhower appointed him the chairman of the President’s Committee on Government Employment Policy; Rev. Carey was the first African-American to serve as Committee Chair.
Through the 1950s, Rev. Carey maintained a close connection with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While visiting Dr. King’s home in 1956, Rev. Carey participated in the Montgomery Improvement Association’s (MIA) Annual Institute on Nonviolence and Social Change. Rev. Carey was enlisted by Dr. King throughout the year-long Montgomery bus boycott campaign to raise money and public awareness of the protest in Chicago. In April 1957, Rev. Carey assisted in organizing an “Hour of Prayer” that raised $2,500 for the MIA. In 1966, Rev. Carey changed his party affiliation to Democrat and, that same year, was elected a Cook County circuit court judge. Rev. Carey served in that capacity until 1978 when he retired at the age of 70.
Over the course of his career, Rev. Carey was a pastor, attorney, civil-rights activist, politician, orator, circuit court jurist, and businessman. Throughout it all, he remained firmly tied to the church, holding pulpits, pulpit assistantships, and denominational offices. One of his areas of significant service was on the Board of Trustees of Garrett-Evangelical, where he lent his wisdom about preparing persons for ministry. That church was always his first love, and always his reason for being in the world of political encounter and social struggle.