MEMPHIS, TN — Pastors, the community, and politicians attended the memorial service Saturday, September 23 of Memphis faith leader and civil rights activist, Reverend Dr. Dwight Montgomery, a man of integrity who inspired anyone that he came in touch with. Montgomery passed away at the age of 67 on September, 13, 2017.
“We’ve lost a warrior,” “We were fortunate to have him. He moved Memphis forward.”
Congressman Steve Cohn
“Rev. Montgomery was a steadfast advocate for equality and opportunity for all, especially for students and parents. He knew neither income nor address should determine the quality of education a child receives. Through his work in Memphis and with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, many students and families benefitted from opportunities, both educational and spiritual, they would otherwise have been denied. We in the education community mourn the loss of his leadership, but most who knew him mourn the loss of their pastor. My prayers are with the faithful of Annesdale Cherokee Baptist Church as they will be the legacy of their shepherd.”
U.S. Secretary of Education
“Montgomery worked with the city for 10 years on the Memphis Housing Authority board and helped secure compensation for the sanitation workers who went on strike in 1968, bringing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis. To me, the very idea that he had a passion to do right by these men after 49 years spoke volumes of his character, his commitment and his faith. Make no mistake about it, Memphis is a better city because Dr. Montgomery walked its streets, ministered to its people and fought for a better people.
Dr. Montgomery was one of a long list of local clergy who signed a letter released by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, urging the Tennessee Historic Commission to allow the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest Statue from Health Sciences Park to a “historically appropriate site.”
The Honorable Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland
“Dr. Dwight Montgomery was a servant leader. He inspired me, and so many others, through his work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Annesdale Cherokee Baptist Church and other community organizations. He will be missed.”
Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr.
“Rev. Montgomery leaves behind a lasting legacy and he will be sorely missed by this city. He empowered young people and imparted hope in times of need. We are all better for his example, and his memory will live on for generations to come.”
Sen. Lee Harris
“Reverend Dwight Montgomery was the epitome of leadership and civil rights. He carved out areas he felt he could best contribute and that area was education and getting people educated, in both traditional and non-traditional ways and Rev. Montgomery was also enthusiastic about the upcoming events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s assassination in Memphis.”
Dr. Charles Steele Jr.,
National President of the SCLC
“My long-time friend and colleague leaves a big footprint in the city of Memphis in terms of redemptive ministry and advocacy for the less fortunate. It will be a void in the ministerial leadership, particularly in the prophetic ministry because that’s what Dwight believed in and that is what he did. At Lane College in Jackson, Tenn. I was one of Montgomery’s advisers and he was leading demonstrations and protests in that city. He pointed out the fact that there were no African-Americans working at city hall, very few African-Americans in the police and fire departments and clerks. Downtown were void of African-Americans. He led that movement in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and I knew then that he was a natural leader to do what he has been doing in Memphis for the last 40 years.”
Howard Robinson, Jr.
“He had the pulse on the arm on the community,”
Rev. Clyde Jamison
“Montgomery also spent six years on the board of the National Civil Rights Museum. Montgomery will be remembered as a soldier for the museum and the causes for which it stands.”
“If there was a civil rights issue that needed an advocate, Dwight would quickly raise his hand and say, ‘Here am I, send me!’”
“Pride is the word associated with Dwight. From 1968 until 1972 he exhibited pride in family, friends, relationships and community events. The class of 1072 Lane College and Allpha Kappa Alpha sorority will always remember our friend leader, and fellow yearbooks staff. He taught us to live, love and believe.”
Angelee Coleman Grider,
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
“I worked and marched along with Dr. Dwight Montgomery and other leaders during the Memphis sanitation strike in 1968 and admired his dedication in making Memphis a city for all citizens. Because of his leadership, I never left the path of fighting for justice for all. Rev. Dr. Dwight Montgomery is one of many civil rights leaders who influenced my life to fight for justice for the underserved.”
Rosetta Miller Perry,
Publisher of The Tennessee Tribune