Cascade UMC In Atlanta Honors Civil Rights Leader Joseph Lowery With Digital Service

Mar 30, 2020

The Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, a leader in America's civil rights movement, died on Friday at the age of 98.

Atlanta's Cascade United Methodist Church, where Lowery once pastored, held a digital service on Sunday to celebrate his life.


Lowery was a longtime lieutenant to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Even before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus in 1955, Lowery successfully campaigned to integrate buses in Mobile, Alabama. 

Rev. Kevin Murriel, the current pastor of Cascade UMC, honored Lowery during the digital service.

“There’s only one person who make the world stop in the midst of global pandemic,” Murriel said. “And have us focus on justice, hope and legacy. That is none other than Dr. Joseph Lowery.”

Lowery and King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta in 1957.

After leading the SCLC for two decades, he remained an active force in social issues such as war and poverty long after his retirement.

President Barack Obama awarded Lowery the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

The Lowery family, which confirmed his death was not related to COVID-19, is planning a private funeral service.

A public memorial is tenatively scheduled for later this year as the coronavirus outbreak continues to limit large gatherings.