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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Like anybody, I would like to have a long life.” His trusted deputy, a great leader in his own right, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Echols Lowery, had that long life and we are all blessed because of it. Rev. Dr. Lowery passed away on Friday at the age of 98. The National Council of Churches is grateful for his witness and all he did for human rights and for God’s world.

A United Methodist minister considered the “Dean” of the Civil Rights Movement, Rev. Dr. Lowery served the church universal, spoke truth to power, secured civil rights advances for all of humanity, and was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. We pray for his family and we thank God for the good fight that he fought.