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Born Royall Evans, on January 26, 1942, in Greenville, SC, of James Thompson and Isabel Evans. He had a twin sister named Ellaray.
Isabel Evans took the children soon afterwards to live in New York with her brother and a friend of the family. In 1946, Isabel moved to San Domingo, MD, but could not afford to keep the children. Royall and his sister were given in adoption to James and Martha Jenkins.
In 1958, at the age of 16, Royall Jenkins met and took as his wife Juanita Gattes. At age 18, he graduated from highschool and moved his young family to Brooklyn, New York. He became employed as a mechanic and a truck driver, among other things.
In Brooklyn, he was introduced to the teachings of Elijah Mohammed. He was converted to Mohammed's version of Islam and became a member of the Nation of Islam. Wanting to be an active member of this movement, he moved to Chicago to be near the headquarters in 1970. In 1975, at the passing of Elijah Muhammed, Jenkins found that he did not like the direction that the founder's son was taking the movement. So, in 1978, under the influence of some fellow dissidents, Jenkins began to formulate a movement truer to the founder's teachings. This lead to the founding of the United Nation of Islam, of whom Jenkins became the leader.
Elijah Muhammed had been converted to Islam by Wallace Fard (Ford) Muhammed, who had founded a second "Temple of Allah" in Chicago after leaving Detroit where one of his followers had commited a gruesome ritual killing in the name of Allah. Fard Muhammed had claimed to be the redeemer of mankind. When W.F. Muhammed had died, Eljah (Poole) Muhammed began claiming that his mentor had been Allah on earth and that he would return some day.
Royall Jenkins believed that this was the truth, and split from the Nation of Islam when the new leadership denied this doctrine. Though W.F. Muhammed was still considered "Allah," Jenkins claimed to be the "New Allah." And in the course of several years, he had built up a following in many cities.
While visiting a congregation of followers in rural South Carolina, Jenkins was as alarmed as others when the bombs began to fall. His followers in Iva, SC, though, were of an unusual sort -- they had taken to the independence found in being a motorcycle gang. It was this gang, of about 250 riders that drove north in wake of the bombing of Augusta, GA. They found Anderson, SC, in a panic. But Jenkins was a leader of some skill, and he brought order out of chaos.
The tennents of the United Nation of Islam consider the "white man" to be inferior, so Jenkins took the opportunity of their "resistence" to his leadership to take over the facilities of the mostly white, and Baptist, community college. With this as his base, he moved to establish a haven for the "black man," in the heart of what had until recently been considered hostile territory. He proclaimed the whole of Anderson County to be the "Islamic Republic of Anderson." Subsequent to the Toccoa-Anderson War, by the terms of the Hartwell Accord, the boundaries of the Islamic Republic of Anderson were reduced to the city of Anderson and its suburbs over to the shores of the adjacent Lake Hartwell.
As of December 31, 2009, Jenkins is still the leader of UNOI and of the Islamic Republic of Anderson. He lives with his wife and eight of his fifteen children on the campus of the Anderson National Temple within the city limits of Anderson, IRA.