An oral history conducted by Gloria Rhodes with Reverend George Walker Smith on December 22, 2008. In 1956, Smith became the reverend at Golden Hill United Presbyterian Church. He preached the social gospel and encouraged community activism. According to Smith, Golden Hill Presbyterian was the only integrated church in San Diego at the time. In 1963, Smith ran for a Board of Education seat and won, making him the first elected African American on the School Board. He began his tenure by changing the ethnic composition of teachers, and although he was initially supportive of school integration, he later became disenchanted because of the still-prevalent social segregation. During Smith's sixteen years on the Board, he served as president four times. He also served as president of the Council of Great City Schools and of the National School Board Association. In 1970, Smith established the Catfish Club, a public forum for politicians and the community to voice their opinions on political and social issues. He later became pastor at the Christ United Presbyterian Church. He retired in 2000. In his oral history, Smith reflects on his life in rural Alabama and the many injustices he faced as an African American, particularly in the area of education. He goes on to discuss his time at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and his internship at a predominately white church. Smith later focuses on his life in San Diego and the local African American community, detailing the lack of African American representation in government, housing segregation, and other obstacles. He also mentions his tenure on the Board of Education and his campaign to recruit African American teachers. This oral history was made possible by a grant from the President's Leadership Fund and is part of Creating Community: African Americans in San Diego. Names mentioned during the interview include: Irene Smith, Emmett Till, Frank Lowe, Bertha Pendleton, and Sheldon Epps.