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July 02, 2013

Passing of Reverend William Herbert Gray III

Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr. and Rainbow PUSH Coalition are Saddened by the passing of Reverend William Herbert Gray III 

Monday July 2nd, 2013

The following statement was given by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr. concerning the passing Reverend William Herbert Gray III.

 “We offer condolences to the Gray family. We offer our gratitude to Bill Gray for a fulfilled life of service.  Bill served in the image of his late father Rev William Gray Jr. who was the first African American to pray before the National Democratic Convention in 1948, a very exalted position at that time. This highlighted Bill’s father as a break through Pastor whose service went beyond the walls of the church.  Bill served in that lineage and tradition.

Big stage leadership was in Bill’s bloodline. We shared pulpits and stages together whether at Universities, at Bright Hope Church, or in the United States Congress for more than fifty years.  Bill had a quality of preparation and excellence about him.

While he was Pastor of Bright Hope, he was our first Operation PUSH director. He was an outstanding theologian, a member of Congress, the first African-American Chairman of the House Finance Committee and one of the best fund developers the United Negro College Fund ever had.  He was an active member of a number of Corporate Boards. Bill, was a role model, and a leader of rare vintage.

He served his time well. I miss him already. I was shocked to hear the news of his passing. He left us much too soon”.

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