Saturday, September 25, 2010

Funeral arrangements for Pastor James Demus III ; Homegoing of Rev. Joseph McAfee

Mark S Allen posted this on his blog on ChicagoNow. The photo is from Park Manor Christian Church's website
"Dedicated to my friend, mentor, colleague, ally, clergy-activist partner for over 20 years. What you taught me and what we worked on through the years with PUSH and other efforts will live on in me and those like me that God blessed you touch. I will miss you buddy !"

The viewing of Rev. James L. Demus' body will be held Sunday, September 26, 2010, from Noon to 5 p.m. at the Cage Funeral Home, 7651 S. Jeffery, Chicago, IL 60649.

Visitation services for Rev. Demus, 57, who died last Thursday, will be held noon, Monday, September 27, 2010 at the Park Manor Christian Church, 600 E. 73rd St., where he was senior pastor. Funeral services will follow at 1 p.m. with burial held at the Mount Hope Cemetery, 115th and Fairfield.

At 6 p.m., Sunday, September 26, 2010, there will be a 25th anniversary gala held at the Doubletree Hotel, 5000 W. 127th Street, Alsip, IL, celebrating the life and works of Rev. James L. Demus, III. For further information, call the church at: 773-483-2115 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              773-483-2115      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or e-mail:

Reverend James L. Demus III


Long time Chicagoan, Reverend James L. Demus III has served Park Manor Christian Church in Chicago, IL for the past quarter century. Under his leadership Park Manor Christian Church has flourished as one of the largest, most influential African American congregations in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He has personally mentored a legacy of twelve "Timothy's" spread throughout the United States, touching numerous lives during his ministerial career.

An activist at heart, Reverend Demus has reached out beyond the walls of the church to address social justice issues such economic disparity, education equality and political inclusion to enrich and empower the lives of the underserved. Well known in religious and political circles, Reverend Demus is a renowned preacher, spiritual teacher, religious scholar, motivational speaker, social justice activist, entrepreneur, corporate consultant, and church growth advocate.

He was the co-convener of the now historic Million Man March - opening up the doors of Park Manor to jumpstart diversity and cohesion amongst different denominations and religious orders. This decision to work together with Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam as a team materialized into One Million Black Men coming together in solidarity and faith in Washington, D.C.

A former teacher and long-time advocate for the Chicago Public Schools, Reverend Demus has always shown a special interest in children, whom he credits for leading him to the ministry. Over the years he has sought to promote and improve academic excellence. As an apprentice of Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, he worked as Special Assistant to the President for PUSH and as Assistant Director of the Push Excel Program: a program designed to encourage children and teens to succeed and take responsibility for their education.

He has been and remains a champion for improving the spiritual, social and leadership skills of America's youth. He has hosted workshops, tutoring, and church/community based programs through his church and the now defunct Blue Gargoyle Youth Service in Chicago.

Reverend Demus is the co-founder of the Ministerial Alliance Against the Digital Divide (MAADD), a group that focuses on promoting and improving access to technology and the internet. According to Mayor Daley, "Technology can enhance opportunity, improve knowledge and workforce skills, expand economic development and encourage innovation."

To expand their reach to the community, MAADD recently launched the "community pulpit" blogs to provide timely information about various social justice issues. Reverend Demus was among the first to speak up when auditors discovered $5 million dollars worth of computer equipment was stored in a warehouse unused for several years after SBC had purchased the material with the intent of donation to the Chicago Public Schools.

To boost economic development and help black-owned businesses create jobs, he helped to revive the Black Expo along with the late Reverend Bernard Taylor under the umbrella Black Expo Chicago and National Black Expo.

Reverend Demus has been active in local, state and national politics, increasing voter registration, and has used his influence to elect numerous local, state and national political figures such as Presidents William Clinton and Barack Obama. In 1984, he was a National Democratic Party's Rules Committee Member which resulted in better representation for women, young people and minorities--Super Delegates.

Reverend Demus earned a bachelor's degree in education from Northern Illinois University in 1975, and a Masters of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary seven years later. He also received a Certificate of Award in Faith-based Community Development from Harvard University in 1999. He has served as the Executive Director of the Chicago South Side Branch of the NAACP and is Co-Convener of the Disciples Justice Action Network (DJAN).

Reverend Demus is the recipient of numerous awards and certificates including the prestigious Community Service Fellowship of the Chicago Community Trust. He is a strong believer in the "power of prayer." Additionally, he believes there's power in Black Churches and not just the spiritual kind. He remains a successful advocate for human rights and social change.

Rev. Demus is survived by his loving wife Eleanor Demus, two sons, Joshua Von Demus and James L. Demus IV, two step-daughters, Robyn L. Cushingberry and Marie C. Babb-Fowler, step-son Lamont Sharp, two sisters, Alice Jean Sithole (Washington, D.C.), Gwendolyn Miller (Eric) (Chicago, IL), a brother, Obediah Demus (Marva) (Cincinnati, OH), grandchildren, Anna J. Chapman-Demus, Candyce L. Black, Brittany Thompson, and Andrew Babb-Fowler.
In addition to Pastor Demus' homegoing, Rev. Joseph McAfee went home to be with the Lord in early September.  Rev. McAfee ran for alderman in the neighboring 8th Ward. However, his  church, Central United Community Church,  is on Cottage Grove near 85th. Mark S Allen also blogged about Rev. McAfee's funeral
Brothers and sisters, from all the grassroots organizing movements that led up to the foundation for the first Black Mayor to the first Black to be elected United States President, the Rev. Joseph McAfee was a legendary religious leader and activist and it was indeed an honor and privelage to have been a student, friend, and activist colleague with Rev. McAfee for over 25 years in Chicago. I cannot think of any Civil Rights or Black empowerment movement in any area in Chicago where you did not find the presence of Rev. McAfee. He indeed leaves a legacy of other young activists and those in the ministry who his leadership example will carry on in all of us he and his activism touched directly and indirectly. He was indeed a champion for the least of Gods people.

No comments:

Post a Comment

PLEASE READ FIRST!!!! Comment Moderating and Anonymous Comment Policy

While anonymous comments are not prohibited we do encourage you to help readers identify you so that other commenters may respond to you. Either read the moderating policy for how or leave an identifier (which could be a nickname for example) at the end of the comment.

Also note that this blog is NOT associated with any public or political officials including Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer!