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White receives civil rights award

Bishop Woodie White

The Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery Civil Rights Award, named for the iconic United Methodist minister who was a founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, has been given to Bishop Woodie White.

Former United Methodist Church Council of Bishops President retired Bishop Woodie W. White was recently honored by the state of Georgia with the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery Civil Rights Award. The award was given during the State of Georgia’s 37th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration of Service.
The Rev. Lowery Civil Rights Award is named in honor of the iconic United Methodist minister who was the founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr. and others, serving as its president, later chairman of the board. He died March 27, 2020. The Rev. Lowery Civil Rights Award is given annually to an outstanding individual or organization in recognition of their unwavering advocacy for leadership development in the fight for civil rights.

A native of New York City, White attended Boston University School of Theology (S.T.B.) he served a pastorate in Worchester, MA. He then became a probationary member of the Detroit Conference and was appointed as associate pastor and later, pastor, at East Grand Boulevard Methodist Church in Detroit. Subsequently, he began two years as Urban Missioner for the conference’s work in Metropolitan Detroit.

With the establishment of a General Commission on Religion and Race by The United Methodist Church in 1968, Woodie W. White became its first General Secretary, serving in that capacity until 1984 when the North Central Jurisdictional Conference elected him to the episcopacy. He served the Illinois Area (1984-1992) and then was assigned to the Indiana Area in 1992. In 1996, he became the president of the Council of Bishops and served a one-year term. Retired since 2004, White is now serving as Bishop-in-Residence at Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

Bishop White holds honorary doctoral degrees from six schools including Adrian College.
Bishop Woodie and Jennie May “Kim” Tolson White have four daughters: Kimberly Yvette, Hope Angela, Valerie Elizabeth, Sharon Denise; one son, Bryan Michael, and eight grandchildren.

Last Updated on February 14, 2022

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