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Mary Fisher Floyd Archives and Special Collections: Reverend Dr. Vernon M. Herron Civil Rights and Genealogy Collection

The Mary Fisher Floyd Archives and Special Collections house the University Archives, the official repository of historically significant records of the University.

Collection Information

Descriptive Summary
Information for Users
Biographical Note
Online Catalog Headings
Organization of Collection
Detailed Description of the Collection

News Clippings
Books and Serials

Guide to the Reverend Dr. Vernon M. Herron Civil Rights and Genealogy Collection

Guide to the Reverend Dr. Vernon M. Herron Civil Rights and Genealogy Collection

Collection Number Mss 201531

G.A. Pfeiffer Library, Mary Fisher Floyd Archives & Special Collections

Abstract: The materials in The Reverend Dr. Vernon M.  Herron Civil Rights and Genealogy Collection were donated by Dr. Vernease Miller on behalf of the estate of  Vernon M.  Herron in 2015. The gifts of: writings, photographs, news clippings, programs, books and serials, and realia are now housed in the Pfeiffer University Archives with the majority of items on display in the Mary Fisher Floyd Archives Room.

Descriptive Summary

Pfeiffer University
Reverend Dr. Vernon M. Herron Civil Rights and Genealogy Collection
Call Number
Mss 201531
72 linear feet, not including oversized materials, Approximate number of items: 109
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Pfeiffer University Archivist.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access
Certain restrictions as to the use or copying of the materials in these papers may apply.
Acquisitions Information
The Reverend Dr. Vernon M. Herron Civil Rights and Genealogy is comprised of: were donated to Pfeiffer University from Vernease Miller by way of the estate of Vernon M. Herron in 2015. The books are cataloged in Polaris, the G.A. Pfeiffer Library Integrated Library System, and are located in the Mary Fisher Floyd Archives and Special Collections Room. Other items are on display in the Mary Fisher Floyd Archives and Special Collections Room or stored in the University Archives
Items were given by members of Vernon M. Herron's family and the estate of Vernon M. Herron./dd>
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], Reverend Dr. Vernon M. Herron Civil Rights and Genealogy Collection, Mary Fisher Floyd Archives, Pfeiffer University.
Copyright Notice
Certain restrictions as to the use or copying of the materials in these papers may apply. The copyright interests in the papers of the Pfeiffer and Merner families have not been transferred to Pfeiffer University. Please contact the Pfeiffer University Archivist for more information.

Biographical Note

All biographical information given here is found within theReverend Dr. Vernon M. Herron Civil Rights and Genealogy Collection. More complete data may be available elsewhere.

Dr. Vernon Mack Herron was born in Charlotte, (Mecklenburg County) North Carolina 7 October 1928 and died 16 May 2015. He was the great-grandson of Richard and Minerva Herron who constituted the first known structured Herron Family of African descent in the Piedmont region (Dixie) of Charlotte, North Carolina in 1870. Vernon was the fourth child of the late Samuel Joe Herron, Sr. and the former Mamie Grace (McPherson) Harris. Both parents preceded him in death. Noting previous marriages of both parents with issues, Vernon was also preceded in death by five brothers, Robert, Alonzo, Samuel Jr. Herron, James and Willie Harris; and four sisters, Arlene, Eloise, Curtis, and Jessie Maye Herron.

"Vernon Mack," as he is affectionately called, received his elementary and secondary education in the Charlotte's public schools. He attended Myers Street and Second Ward High schools. His initial religious education was obtained through the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he received the believer's baptism under the pastorate of the late and beloved Rev. Dr. Henry Morris Moore. After sixty five years of membership in the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Vernon united with the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church 9 October 2005, where he continued his Christian journey in discipleship, fellowship and faith. Dr. Herron was an active civil rights leader who marched with Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, AL. He was honored to have carried Mrs. King’s handbag on that march.

He completed his undergraduate study at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was awarded the Master of Public Administration degree (MPA) from the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA and Master of Divinity degree (M. Div.) from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. He received the Doctor of Ministry degree (D. Min.) from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA.

For forty-seven years, Vernon was married to the former Louise Christine Oliphant who preceded him in death. To this union three girls were born: Vernease Marcelinia, Leila McPherson, and Frenshetta Louise.

Vernon was initiated into the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity through Beta Rho chapter at Shaw University 1950. He became a life member (709) in 1971 and served as recording secretary of the National Convention in 1979. A chartered founder of two chapters: Eta Mu Lambda (266) at Gastonia, NC and Theta Mu Lambda (288) at Joliet, IL., brother Herron held membership in two additional chapters, the Alpha Omicron Lambda chapter(136) at Pittsburgh, PA and Zeta Omicron Lambda chapter (247) at Philadelphia, PA. Brother Herron received Zeta's "Man of the Year Award" in 1979 where he served as liturgist and chaplain in former years and wrote a Handbook For Special Occasions In The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Dr. Herron was ordained into the gospel ministry 29 July 1951 and held pastorates in four Baptist Churches: First Baptist Church, Dallas, NC; Hopewell Baptist Church, Jeannette, PA: Friendship Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, PA; and Second Baptist Church, Joliet, IL. He also served as Assistant to the Minister of the Shiloh Baptist Church of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after holding membership in the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown, Pennsylvania. In 1968, Dr. Herron was commissioned a missionary by the former American Baptist Home Mission Society. He served on the national staff of the American Baptist Churches- Board of National Ministries at Valley Forge, PA. He also worked with the Division of Social Justice and Welfare of the National Council of Churches. His missionary work enabled him to travel extensively speaking in Africa, Europe and West Indies. Dr. Herron was a practicing genealogist in his retirement responsible for the identification and marking of numerous slave cemeteries. He authored three books in genealogical research.

(From the Celebration of Life in Loving Memory of the Reverend Dr. Vernon Mack Herron bulletin)

Scope and Content Note

The Herron Collection consists primarily of items collected and authored by Herron that relate to his ministry, his work during the Civil Rights Movement and his interest in genealogy. The date span of the collection is 1928 to 2015, the bulk of the materials dating from the 1950’s to the 2000’s.

These papers are valuable not only for the information found within its contents;

Herron researched and compiled information on ministry, genealogy and the civil rights movement. Original order has been maintained except for photographs which were placed in the Photographs series for purposes of preservation.

The Writings series is quite diverse. The subseries History and Research includes investigation on particular topics as well as research notes and written histories of the school. The series Biographical notes encompasses biographical and genealogical information of the Herron Family from 1795 to 2000 across nine generations. This includes a 38 inches x 41 inches framed Herron Family Tree.

Photographs are of people from the civil right movement, mostly pictures of Herron, his family and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

News clippings are arranged as a separate series for reasons of preservation. They relate to people in the civil rights era including Herron and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Programs include such notable items as a yearbook and minutes from the (?), and the program. Other materials include, realia, artwork, and books and serials.

The final series consists of Oversize Materials. Oversized materials include a 38 inches x 41 inches framed Herron Family Tree and other items that need to be housed separate from the bulk of the collection.


Online Catalog Headings

Reverend Dr. Vernon M. Herron Civil Rights and Genealogy Collection.
Mary Fisher Floyd Archives.
Pfeiffer University.
Herron family.
Herron, Vernon M.
African American --Genealogy.
Charlotte--North Carolina.
Mecklenburg County--North Carolina.
Civil Rights.

Organization of Collection

The collection is divided into 5 series.

News clippings
Books and Serials
Oversize Materials

Detailed Description of the Collection



- Photographs arranged by subject matter. Some photographs are framed and selected ones are on display.

News Clippings

- Clippings from various publications span from the 1960s to 2015 and are arranged chronologically.


-Writings in the collection include material by Herron and others,published and unpublished, and are categorized by the following subseries: Dissertations and Genealogy both of which are housed with the Books and Serials

Books and Serials


- Includes published materials owned by Herron, cataloged and available in Polaris, the G.A. Pfeiffer Library Integrated Library System (ILS). Some items are not be available for circulation.



- Includes a framed Herron Family Tree, measuring 38 inches x 41 inches and a framed Herron Coat of Arms/Family Crest both designed by Herron.

Oversized materials
- Includes items too large to be housed with the rest of the collection.



Contact Information

Pfeiffer University
G.A. Pfeiffer Library
PO Box 960
Misenheimer, North Carolina 28109-0960 USA
Phone: 704-463-3361
Processed by
Jonathan C. Hutchinson
Date Completed
January 2016, updated July 2020
Encoded by
Jonathan C. Hutchinson