One Person Can Make A Difference Father Nelson Pinder’s Legacy Will Live On

Father Nelson Pinder

ORLANDO – The impact Reverend Canon Nelson Wardell Pinder, also known as the “Street Priest” of Parramore, had on Orlando is profound. When recalling the Civil Rights Movement, many think of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or John Lewis, but here, Father Pinder was our peaceful shepherd.
When he arrived in Orlando in 1959, Father Pinder immediately got to work. His experience in civil rights marches, sit-ins and more, allowed him to lead Orlando’s Black youth in peaceful protest that eventually led to ending segregation in Orlando.
Pinder’s Kids, the Black youth who sat at lunch counters and boycotted businesses, risked it all to take a stand, because they knew Father Pinder had their backs. And for 60+ years, he continually stood with the community to fight for integration and peace in schools, parks, stores, playgrounds and more.
Although Father Pinder has passed, his legacy will live on as an important thread within the fabric of our community. The “Pinder’s Kids” monument stands tall in Parramore at Church Street and Terry Avenue, and his work is memorialized on the city’s Civil Rights Wall of Fame at Orlando City Hall.
Father Pinder, rest easy, as you have paved the way for this community to continue your mission.