Contains material from Martin La Maire's (1920-2011) work on behalf of Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Berwyn, Illinois, Roseland Christian School, and in the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRC). Topics include the racial discrimination lawsuit brought against Timothy Christian Schools in 1971, women in church office and CRC's decision to open all office to women, and racism in Cicero, Illinois. Also contains his speeches as part of the toastmasters.
The Timothy-Lawndale controversy, 1965-1972, developed after Black members of a Christian Reformed Church living in the Lawndale neighborhood on the west side of Chicago asked for admission of their children to the Timothy Christian School, a private, K-4 school in nearby Cicero. Because of the racism and threats from residents in Cicero and racism among the school's parents, the school's board delayed the admissions, instead offering free bus service to a Christian school about 25 miles away. The situation escalated into a church dispute, open protests, and the resignations by four teachers in 1969. The synod of the Christian Reformed Church (the denomination's annual gathering of representatives to deal with matters concerning the denomination) in 1970 instructed the local regional body, Classis Chicago North, to correct what some deemed to be racially exclusionary policies of some members serving special Christian institutions. In 1971, when Classis had not taken meaningful action, parents from Lawndale filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the school in the U.S. District Court. During these years the Christian Reformed residents of Cicero were moving westward and by 1972 the school building had been sold and instruction moved to Elmhurst. The school having been closed, on 28 February 1972 the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice.
Source: Annette Buurstra, 2012.