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WCC general secretary condolence letter to the family of Rev. Dr. James Cone and his community of faith and scholars

On 7 May 2018, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, sent a letter of condolences to the family of Rev. Dr James Cone and his beloved community of faith and scholars, upon the passing of Rev. Cone on 28 April 2018.

07 May 2018

Geneva, May 7, 2018

To:
The Family of the Rev. Dr. James Cone
The African Methodist Episcopal Church
Union Theological Seminary
The Riverside Church in New York City
c/o: The Rev. Dr Serene Jones, President Union Theological Seminary

Dear Family of the Rev. Dr James Cone and His beloved community of faith and scholars,

The World Council of Churches joins you today in remembering the great academic and church leadership contributions of the Rev. Dr James Cone. We recognize that he was a member of one of our founding churches, the African Methodist Church, that has carried the vision and legacy of freedom and justice that is known globally.

Dr Cone’s influence was and is iconic for people of faith globally and will be for generations to come. We have received condolences in his regard from throughout our global fellowship of churches and academic partners who recognize this.

We especially recall Dr Cone’s work with the Programme to Combat Racism (PCR) that courageously stood with Africa and peoples of African descent globally. This was a very impactful work of the WCC and Dr Cone’s contributions gave life and witness to this. We remember that Mr Nelson Mandela gave thanks to WCC and especially PCR in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1998 for its accompaniment of the struggle in South Africa that led to freedom for South Africa.

The former director of PCR, the Rev. Dr Barney Pityana said the following. Dr Cone was an example of a passion for Christ, and for justice, and a lover of humanity. I always appreciated his support for our work at PCR.”

The World Council of Churches celebrates the life, ministry and academic contributions of Dr Cone that shifted the theological narrative to one that more fully affirms and embraces the sanctity, presence and Christian contributions of people of African descent.

May Dr Cone rest in peace and continue to influence our Christian witness throughout the world.

In Christ,
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit General Secretary
World Council of Churches