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United Methodist Mission Leader
Pays Tribute to Rosa Parks for Her Vision and Action
 


General Board of Global Ministries
The United Methodist Church

475 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10115

Tel: 212/870-3921
email: info@gbgm-umc.org

 

New York, NY, October 25, 2005—The death of Rosa Parks is an occasion to give thanks for her vision and action, the chief mission executive of The United Methodist Church said in paying tribute to the woman called “the mother of the civil rights movement” in the United States.

The Rev. R. Randy Day, general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, paid tribute to Mrs. Parks’ strength of faith, her passion for justice, and her compassion for the oppressed.

Rosa Parks died on October 24 at the age of 92. She helped to trigger the civil rights struggle when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a racially segregated bus in Montgomery Alabama in 1955. The resulting bus boycott brought Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to national prominence and led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Mrs. Parks, originally a seamstress, had lived in Detroit for many years and died there quietly in her sleep. She is the subject of hundreds of books, articles, and movies on the civil rights movement.

Rev. Day said that she “made an enormous contribution to the struggle for justice within human society” by her refusal to give up her seat and went on to become a “powerful symbol of the determination of racial communities and women to gain equal treatment under law.”

He noted that the promotion of justice, peace, and freedom is one of the goals of the mission work of The United Methodist Church.

The full text of Day’s statement follows:

Rosa Parks, an African American seamstress, made an enormous contribution to the struggle for justice within human society by her courageous act of refusing to surrender her seat to a white man on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. She emerged from her arrest for that defiance as a powerful symbol of the determination of racial communities and women to gain equal treatment under law, not only in the United States, but in all places where freedom and democracy are honored.

Mrs. Parks was more than a weary laborer that day in Montgomery. She was prepared by her church and her own study to represent a better way for the American dream to be shared by all citizens. Her feet may have been tired but her spirit was fresh when she said, “No,” refusing to move to the back of the bus. Her experience became a precipitating factor in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and to the non-violent civil rights strategy honed by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others—a strategy that put a nation on a new, still not yet finished, road toward its promises.

The death of Rosa Parks on October 24, 2005, at age 92 brings a sense of sadness and loss, but it also brings a surge of gratitude for her vision and action.

The General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church counts among its goals the promotion of justice, peace and freedom. We pay tribute to Rosa Parks for her strength of faith, her passion for justice, and her compassion for those who were, and those who are, oppressed. We thank God for her life and witness.

The Rev. R. Randy Day
General Secretary
General Board of Global Ministries
The United Methodist Church
October 25, 2005


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Topic: Civil rights Communities Human rights Justice Race Women
Geographic Region: United States
Source: GBGM Press Releases
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Date posted: Oct 25, 2005