Alabama Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, Inc.
President Roy Goodson, CFSP - Goodson Funeral Home, Anniston, AL
In the mid 1920's, a group of noted black funeral directors realized the need to organize to provide a consortium through which issues unique to the black community and the black funeral director could be addressed.
The following funeral directors met at the home of Mr. E. Bradford of Bradford Funeral Service in Birmingham, AL:
Mr. "Boss" Harris - Davenport and Harris Funeral Home - Birmingham, AL
Mr. A.L. Welch - Birmingham, AL
Mr. Robert A. Ross - Ross-Clayton (formerly Ross-Jenkins Funeral Home) - Birmingham, AL
Mr. C.W. Lee - Lee Funeral Home - Montgomery, AL
Mr. Fred D. Williams - Williams Undertaking - Selma, AL
Mr. W.E. Shortridge - Ensley, AL
Mr. Clarence W. Allen - Johnson-Allen Funeral Home - Mobile, AL
Mr. Augustus C. Chambers, Sr. - Chambers Funeral Home - Bessemer, AL
Mrs. Laura Chambers - Chambers Funeral Home - Bessemer, AL
Mr. A.L. "Dad" Smith - Smith & Gaston Funeral Home - Birmingham, AL
Mr. Lawrence Stallworth - Stallworth-Johnson Funeral Home - Ensley, AL
The organization was named the Alabama Colored Funeral Directors and Embalmers. Mr. Robert A. Ross of then Ross-Jenkins Funeral Home was elected as the first President. As the organization progressed, the name was changed to the Alabama Funeral Directors Association and later changed to its current name, the Alabama Funeral Directors & Morticians Association, Inc.
Most of the founders of the organization were leaders in their communities and played tremendous roles in planting the seeds that have grown into our present strong and viable association.
Although during the early days of the association, access to luxury hotels and resorts was denied to members, they met diligently and consistently to address the needs of membership and the people they served. Meeting sites consisted of private homes, undertaking shops/homes, Masonic lodges, and later between 1940-1960 black schools.
The following is a partial listing of the Presidents of the Alabama Funeral Directors & Morticians Association, Inc. (whether known, under the nomenclature of the Alabama Colored Funeral Directors and Embalmers, the Alabama Funeral Directors Association, Inc. or its present name):
Mr. Robert A. Ross
Mr. L. Fleming
Mr. A.L. Welch
Mr. H. Wise
Mr. W.E. Shortridge
Mr. A. Sumbry
Mr. C.W. Lee
Mr. R. Strickland
Mr. J.A. Geter
Mr. R.E. Nelms
Mr. Randall Miller
Mr. Eugene Hudson
Mr. Anthony Butler
Mrs. Mary McInnis
Mr. Virgil Sanders
Mr. James A. Jones
Mr. Herman Waters
Mr. Paul Rollins
Mrs. Annie Holt
Ms. Eleanor Dawkins
Mr. Howard Burton
Mr. Larry Fluker
Mrs. Rita E. Woods
Mr. Jeffery Harris
The ladies and gentlemen have led and continued to lead us as we reflect on the past and build for the future. As an organization conceived in an effort to fill, and has grown as a result of its members rising to meet the challenges that beset it., we today must stand firm in our realization that only through hard work, determination and open communication can the initial purpose of our organization continue to be achieved.