Bro. Dr. James L. Henderson

Bro. Dr. James L. Henderson

Brother Dr. James Langston Henderson was born in Bloomington, Indiana on January 14, 1886. He attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan during the years 1908-10 and 1911-12. He was initiated through the Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. while at U-M. He attended medical school at the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery (now Wayne State University), earning his medical degree in 1918.

Brother Henderson was a physician and founding member of the Allied Medical Society in 1918. At that time, many hospitals would not hire African American doctors or treat African American patients. Out of necessity, a group of African American doctors founded Dunbar Memorial Hospital in 1918. The Allied Medical Society (now the Detroit Medical Society), opened the doors of the nonprofit hospital in 1919 in a home on Frederick Street in Midtown in Detroit, Michigan.

On March 22, 1919, Brother Henderson was one of thirteen charter members of the Gamma Lambda Chapter, along with his brother Cornelius L. Henderson. Brother Henderson was elected the first president of the Gamma Lambda Chapter.

Brother Henderson was also a member of the attending staff at Parkside Hospital and St. Francis Hospital during the 1920s and 1930s. He was the Medical Director at Mercy Hall Hospital and member of the Wayne County Medical Society. He was also a Hamtramck councilman from 1922 to 1924 and served as Supervisor of Wayne County. He was the Hamtramck City Physician from 1936 to 1942. He was President of the Diamond Mutual Insurance Co. and medical examiner for the Knights of Pythias, of which he was a member. He was also a member of the State YMCA Committee, was on the Board of Management of the St. Antoine YMCA, and was President of the Phyllis Wheatley Home Association.

Brother Henderson was married to Edna Henderson. They had three children: Langston, James and Ruth. Brother Henderson transitioned to Omega Chapter on December 5, 1952. He is interred at Detroit Memorial Park Cemetery.

Our 2022 Founders’ Day celebration will take place on March 18, 2022 at Burton Manor in Livonia., Michigan. The doors for this brothers-only event will open at 6:00 pm. The program starts at 7:06 pm. You can purchase tickets and tables online starting at $80.

About the author

Brian Williams: Initiated into Gamma Lambda Chapter in the Fall of 2008. He serves as the Treasurer and Chapter Historian. Brother Williams has a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a M.Ed in Instructional Technology from Wayne State University.

1 Comment

  1. Anthony Will

    October 23, 2022

    Phenomenal man who was always pushing forward in service and removing structural barriers for our people.

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