The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) is grateful for the life of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. We remember his strong spiritual witness and leadership in the long struggle against apartheid which he approached with humility, passion, and a fervent love for God’s people. We hold dear his affection, compassion, kindness, and sense of humor, which helped to sustain him in the fight to end apartheid and throughout his life.
We are thankful for his strong ecumenical commitment. His life’s work unified the church in the fight for racial justice. We remember his work with the World Council of Churches in Geneva from 1972-1975, and, during a crucial and dangerous time of the anti-apartheid campaign in South Africa, his service as the general secretary of the South African Council of Churches from 1978 to 1985. During this time, he was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. The NCC looked to the South African Council of Churches and Archbishop Tutu for leadership and guidance in the long and difficult struggle to end the racist apartheid regime.
The NCC grieves with the Anglican Church, the people of South Africa, and the global village, as we all mourn the loss of one of our great leaders. We are consoled knowing his legacy will continue across generations. May his memory be eternal.