Jonathan Daniels will join Mother Teresa and Rosa Parks in Washington National Cathedral – his likeness, that is – the third sculpture to be placed in the Human Rights Porch in the historic church. Daniels died in 1965 when he was a seminary student at Episcopal Divinity School (having graduated from Virginia Military Institute as valedictorian in 1961), protecting Ruby Sales, a black teenager. Part-time sheriff Tom Coleman, who also injured Richard Morrisroe, then a Catholic priest, who was with Sales, Daniel and teenager Joyce Bailey; he was acquitted of the murder.
AL.com in Alabama reports on a celebration of Daniels in August, including a sermon by Presiding Bishop-Elect Michael Curry.
The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama will celebrate Daniels the weekend of Aug. 14-16. The weekend activities will begin Friday evening in Montgomery with a program at St. John’s Episcopal Church and will wrap up Sunday morning with a service at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Selma.
Morris Dees, Jr., co-founder and chief trial counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center, will be guest speaker at St. John’s at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14.
The annual pilgrimage honoring Daniels begins at the Courthouse Square in Hayneville on Aug. 15 at 11 a.m. The procession will go to the old county jail where Daniels and others were detained, then will move to the former site of Varners Cash Grocery Store where the shooting took place. The current owner of the store, which had become an insurance agency office, demolished the building. During this year’s pilgrimage a historical marker will be dedicated at the site.
The procession will return to the Courthouse Square for prayer at a memorial erected in his honor by his alma mater, the Virginia Military Institute. The pilgrimage will end at the Courthouse where a service of Holy Communion will take place in the courtroom where the man who killed Daniels was tried and acquitted. The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, newly elected presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, will preach.
Posted by Cara Ellen Modisett
Image: Jonathan Daniels’ funeral, from The Episcopal Church archives