Friday, October 22, 2010

Bishop Arthur M. Brazier passed away at the age of 89

When a whole lotta Negroes were scared of upsetting King Richard Daley I, and turned their backs on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he came to Chicago, Brazier was not one of them. He welcomed Dr. King and marched with him proudly.

It was Brazier's Apostolic C.O.G.I.C. where then candidate Barack Obama came to deliver his Father's Day speech in 2008, after the whole Rev. Wright fiasco.

from the Chicago Tribune:

Bishop Arthur M. Brazier, 1921-2010
Civil rights legend, founder of The Woodlawn Organization
By Margaret Ramirez, Tribune reporter
9:00 p.m. CDT, October 22, 2010

In the 1960s, Bishop Arthur M. Brazier marched through the streets of Chicago alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the struggle against segregation in housing and schools.

He helped start The Woodlawn Organization to shepherd his South Side community through racial unrest and neighborhood upheaval. A spiritual leader as well, Bishop Brazier was Pentecostal pastor of the Apostolic Church of God in Woodlawn for more than 48 years, building a congregation of nearly 20,000 members before handing church leadership over to his son, the Rev. Bryon Brazier, in 2008.

Bishop Brazier, 89, who influenced generations of pastors and parishioners and who was praised by President Barack Obama as "one of our nation's leading moral lights," died Friday, Oct. 22, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, after a five-year struggle with prostate cancer, his family said.

For decades, Bishop Brazier fought gangs and crime and pushed for more affordable homes and better schools. As founding president of The Woodlawn Organization, he opposed plans by the nearby University of Chicago to expand, which would have displaced residents and use land he hoped to develop for low-income housing.

While he refused to preach politics from the pulpit, his wide influence made the Apostolic Church of God an obligatory campaign stop for politicians.

On Father's Day in 2008, presidential candidate Obama delivered a key campaign speech on the importance of family in Bishop Brazier's church. The president issued a statement Friday saying he and the first lady were "deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend, a stalwart of the city of Chicago."

"Bishop Brazier … promoted spiritual empowerment and economic development through his pastorate of Apostolic Church of God and leadership of numerous community organizations and charitable efforts," Obama said.

rest of obituary at link above.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a member of the Apostolic Church of God, I am pleased to see how others recognize and remember the remarkable life of Bishop Arthur Brazier. Having said that, I am disturbed by the fact that this article, like others I've read today, simply make assumptions regarding the church name and denomination. The Apostolic Church of God is just that. That's the entire title. COGIC is the largest of the Pentecostal denomination, (Church of God In Christ), but it is not the denomination of Bishop Brazier's church. I love that this blog has honored my Bishop, but I also want to see all denominations appropriately honored. Thanks.