Reverend Dr. Wallace S. Hartsfield, Sr. was a trusted steward of the Kansas City community through his work as a pastor, civil servant and community activist.
RideKC and the Prospect MAX Advisory Committee are honoring Rev. Hartsfield as part of the Paving the Way Honor Plaque program as part of the new Prospect MAX line.
Rev. Hartsfield was born in Atlanta. After high school, he joined the U.S. Armed Services, then completed college at Clark College in Atlanta. He graduated from seminary before moving to South Carolina to pastor his first church. He eventually moved to Kansas City to pastor the Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church. He led the church for more than 40 years before retiring. He was a scholastic theologian and served on the board of directors at the Morehouse School of Religion in Atlanta. He was also an adjunct professor of the Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kan.
More than just a pastor, he also worked with the giants of the civil rights movement. He marched with Martin Luther King Jr., and worked with Jesse Jackson on the Operation PUSH campaign to improve economic opportunities for African Americans. He served as president of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Operation PUSH. He was appointed to the Commission for Highway and Transportation in Missouri and to the Municipal Judicial Commission for Jackson County. He also served as an Executive Board member of the Jazz District Redevelopment Corporation.
In honor of his civic contributions and legacy, the post office at 4320 Blue Parkway was named the “Wallace S. Hartsfield Post Office Building.”
Rev. Hartsfield also received a Heritage Award as part of the RideKC Rosa Parks Spirit Awards for his contributions to public transportation. Hartsfield co-chaired the successful campaign for a 3/8th cent sales tax to fund public transit in Kansas City, Mo.
Rev. Hartsfield died on January 23, 2020.
You can find the Paving the Way Honor Plaque and video biography at the northbound 31st and Prospect station on Prospect MAX.