November 15, 2011 at 8:59 PM EST - Updated June 25 at 10:09 PM
"Before I be slave, I'll be buried in my grave, and go home to my Lord and be free..." Pastor H. C. Boyd remembers that spiritual hymn, and a time when men created equal were not treated equal.
"When I saw whites riding the school bus and we had to walk, and they would pass by on the school bus many times and throw out spit balls and call us names," he said.
As the Pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, he held mass meetings along side Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. disregarding threats to his life, his family, and his church.
"Now there were churches in Lee County, three in Terrell County, that was burned during that time, this one could have been, but I took the chance because I held that you had to have a meeting place, and if you did not have a meeting place, that would have discouraged or maybe kept it from happening," Boyd said.
And the Albany Civil Rights Movement was born. "We were taught that everything worth living for is worth dying for, and I was willing to put my life on the line."
Many had to give up their jobs to join the movement, and churches provided them shelter.
"There were times when they had to sleep in the church because there were whites and blacks that had sleeping bags in the church, because they were denied to go to the motels," Boyd said.
A trail of footprints in front of the church symbolize the marches that originated at Shiloh. "As they went from Shiloh, they left singing..."
It has been 50 years and he says it is a different world today. "We have black policemen now, we have integrated schools now, we have eating at any place you want to now, we have black tellers now, we have black commissioners now, we have black school board members now, we have got a whole lot of results."
A lot of results, thanks largely to the work of the church, but he says we still have a long way to go.