Civil Rights and the Church: A Personal Perspective

January 12, 2018PCA News Stories

Today PCA was honored to hear from Rev. Arthur Hilson at our  Martin Luther King, Jr. All-School Assembly.  He shared his experiences with students from Kindergarten through Grade 12 and challenged everyone who present to make a difference in their community.

A little info about our distinguished speaker, Rev. Hilson

Reverend Doctor Arthur L. Hilson  is a highly decorated US Navy veteran of both Korea and Vietnam.  He is a recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal, the highest award for leadership presented by the Secretary of the Navy. He retired in 1973 as a Race Relations Education Specialist. Following his retirement, he earned two graduate degrees while working as an organizational development consultant. He later served 18 years as an administrator and adjunct professor at University of Massachusetts/Amherst retiring in 1991. He also served 5 years as an administrator and instructor at the University of New Hampshire. In 2016 after 14 years teaching at Portsmouth High School, he retired for a third time.

His ministerial experience includes 13 years as Associate Minister at Bethlehem Baptist in Holyoke, MA. In 1991 he assumed the pastorate at New Hope Baptist Church in Portsmouth, NH, and is still serving there today.  During this time he has served as President of the American Baptist Churches of Vermont/New Hampshire. He is currently serving as President of United Baptist Churches of MA, RI & NH.

He is a recipient of several community awards including the Ambassador of Peace Award, New Hampshire Martin Luther King Award, Seacoast MLK Coalition’s Citizen of the Year Award, Portsmouth Branch NAACP Community Leader for Civil Rights, and Congressional Black Caucus Special Recognition Award for Leadership. For his 9 years of leadership in the struggle to have New Hampshire recognize a Martin Luther Jr. Day he was appointed Commissioner of Human Rights by Governor Jeanne Shaheen.

Dr. Hilson was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He studied at Cosmopolitan School of Music and University of Cincinnati. His ministerial studies include Master of Divinity Andover Newton Theological Seminary and Judaism at Harvard University. He also earned 2 graduate degrees from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst.

Other community involvement:

Advisory Board Aids Response Seacoast

Ethics Board Portsmouth Regional Hospital

Piscataqua Community Foundation’s Diversity Advisory Committee

Board of Directors Community Child Care Center

Board of Directors Portsmouth Rotary

Board American Bible Society

Portsmouth School Board

President NE Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

He is married to the love of his life the former Florine McClary of New Haven, CT, who together are the proud parents of Gabrielle Rene, Antoinette Jean, and David Jeremiah Hilson and four grandchildren.

Civil/Human Rights Activities

During the Sixties, he was involved with the protest and marching along with Dr. King, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Andrew Young and Jesse Jackson.

Founding President of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Amherst, MA

Organizer of NAACP Holyoke, MA Chapter

Founding President Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) New England Chapter

Appointed by the Governor of NH (Jeanne Shaheen) for 9 years of leadership to bring The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to New Hampshire