The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) extends its deepest sympathy to the family of United States Congressman John Lewis. His contributions to our nation and to the world will leave an indelible mark on God’s calling for all of humankind through Jesus Christ to love one another. He gave tirelessly to the causes of liberating the downtrodden as a means of fulfilling his call to serve the Lord as a notable freedom fighter and spiritual compass for the emancipation of all people.
John Lewis knew no enemies. He believed in a gospel and a calling to create a world in which we would all learn to love one another despite our differences in skin color, religious preferences, social-economic backgrounds, or political affiliation. His cracked skull by a white highway patrolman’s night stick while he was leading a march for voting rights across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, is a clear example of the courage driven by love to confront evil powers and principalities at the risk of losing his own life. He recognized that freedom does not come without a cost and a cross.
John Lewis was a friend to Presbyterians. He spoke to us in many of our venues. I was fortunate enough to be with him a few years ago at Montreat Conference Center for an event focused on justice. It was a blessing for me to participate with him and a longtime friend, the Reverend Dr. William Barber. As each of us placed flower petals into Lake Susan and prayed for the healing of our world, it was an earthly God moment in my life. His contributions to the emancipation of all people who encountered him and received his witness to the way of love will be fulfilled when we exemplify lives that offer love through humility. Thank you, John, for your example in following the way of Jesus. Rest In Power!