Photo provided by the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.
A Chattanooga pastor who was a civil rights advocate and former Hamilton County Commissioner has passed away at age 91.
Reverend Paul McDaniel died on Sunday morning.
Reverend McDaniel came to Chattanooga in 1966, where he ultimately served as pastor of Second Missionary Baptist Church.
Reverend McDaniel was also a Hamilton County Commissioner for 20 years and served as chairman for five years.
He was recognized as a civil rights advocate through his work with the Unity Group and student protests at Brainerd High School.
McDaniel won several prestigious awards for his service in the community, including the Jocelyn D. Wurzburg Civil Rights Legacy Award in 2018.https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZwB8p–24sA
Funeral arrangements have not been announced at this time.
The following is the full release which highlights many of Reverend McDaniels accomplishments:
We were deeply saddened to learn the passing of Rev. Paul A McDaniel this morning, Sunday August 22, 2021. Reverend Paul A. McDaniel served as Pastor of Second Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor McDaniel came to Chattanooga in August 1966. Since coming to Chattanooga, he has distinguished himself as a dedicated and phenomenal leader in all phases of his life and the community. Not only has he used his great talents for the building and developing of Second Missionary Baptist Church, but also has shown great concern and understanding for the welfare of all people.
Pastor McDaniel, the youngest of five siblings and the son of the Reverend Adam T. and Maggie McDaniel, was well prepared for the ministry. His early training was received in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College, a Master of Divinity degree from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and a Masters of Arts degree from the University of Rochester in New York. He also was honored by Friendship College, Rock Hill, South Carolina with the Doctor of Divinity degree.
During Pastor McDaniel’s tenure at Second, several accomplishments have come to fruition as evidenced by a growing membership, facility and innovative ministries. Some of these ministries include the Bus Ministry, Nurses’ Guild, Deacon’s Family Ministry and Evangelism School. He was instrumental in forming the Evangelism School, Second Missionary Services, Inc., S & S Community Development Corporation, and the Church Koinonia Federal Credit Union which expanded his reach and programs into the community.
Reverend McDaniel served on various civic boards and held membership and Chairman in a variety of civic and civil rights groups. He was elected to serve as a delegate to the 1977 Tennessee Constitutional Convention which involved a lawsuit in reference to clergy persons serving in the Constitutional Convention which he finally won in the United States Supreme Court. He has also served five, four-year terms on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, serving as chairman for five one-year terms.
Reverend McDaniel was recognized as a civil rights advocate through his work with the Unity Group and student protests at Brainerd High School. He served as the East Tennessee representative on the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Supervisor of the New Testament Division of the National Baptist Convention, and Chairman of the Church Koinonia Credit Union, Second Missionary Services, Inc. and the Unity Group. In addition, he is a Life Member of the Chattanooga Chapter of the NAACP and he holds membership in the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Pastor McDaniel has also served as President of the Clergy Association of Greater Chattanooga.
Rev. McDaniel has been a trustee of the Carter Street Corporation, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Convention and Trade Center, and the Venus Lacy Foundation. He has served on the African American Advisory Committee and the College of Business Advisory Board at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He has also served on the Board at Chattanooga State Technical and Community College Foundation.