UNITED STATES NEWS

Influential Detroit pastor the Rev. Charles Gilchrist Adams dies at age 86

Nov 30, 2023, 1:45 PM

DETROIT (AP) — Influential longtime Detroit pastor the Rev. Charles Gilchrist Adams has died following an illness. He was 86.

Adams died Wednesday following a bout with pneumonia, his sister, Edith Clifton, told The Detroit News on Thursday.

Adams spent a half-century as pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church before retiring in 2019. He had since served as pastor emeritus.

“He was my only sibling and my best friend,” Clifton, 88, told the newspaper. “We talked almost every day.”

Adams used the church’s standing and resources to spur economic development on the city’s northwest side.

“Detroiters have lost a great champion and a great man,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement. “As a pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, Rev. Adams did more than offer words of hope and inspiration from his pulpit, he created opportunity by purchasing and developing land around Hartford, including the Hartford Village senior citizen community.”

Adams was born in Detroit, attended Fisk University in Tennessee and graduated from the University of Michigan and Harvard University. From 1962-1969, he was pastor of Concord Baptist Church in Boston, before being appointed pastor at Hartford Memorial.

“While he was still a student at Harvard, he was called to be pastor of Historical Concord Baptist church, one of the oldest Black churches in Boston,” Clifton told the Detroit Free Press. “During the seven years he was there, the church built an affordable housing project.”

The family of civil rights icon the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired Adams to realize the importance of real estate development, he once said.

Adams had been to Atlanta and saw what the King family had done around Ebenezer Baptist Church, which gave him “the idea that we should own all the land we could around Hartford Memorial,” the Free Press reported he said in 2017.

“As a result, most of the land around the church belongs to the church, so that it makes economic development all the more possible,” Adams said.

From 2007-2012, Adams held the position of Nickerson professor of the Practice of Ethics and Ministry at Harvard Divinity School.

“Charles Adams is one of the country’s most accomplished religious leaders,” William A. Graham, then-dean of Harvard Divinity School, said in 2007. “He is not only a widely acclaimed preacher, but has been just as influential as a pioneer in linking the church’s mission to urban revitalization through economic, educational, and social initiatives.”

A member of the Seventh General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Adams recommended that the council use its offices and resources to combat racism in the United States and around the world, according to Hartford Memorial’s webpage.

Adams also was twice cited by Ebony Magazine as one of the nation’s 15 greatest Black preachers and one of the top 100 most influential Black Americans.

He was a former member of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP’s executive board and served as the civil rights organization’s president in 1984.

Adams is survived by his wife, Agnes Adams; daughter, Tara Adams Washington; and son, the Rev. Charles Christian Adams.

United States News

Associated Press

Southern New Mexico wildfire leads to evacuation of village of 7,000

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a village in southern New Mexico were ordered to flee their homes Monday without taking time to grab any belongings due to a fast-moving wildfire. “GO NOW: Do not attempt to gather belongings or protect your home. Evacuate immediately,” officials with Ruidoso, a village home to 7,000 people, said […]

5 hours ago

A sign outside the Internal Revenue Service building is seen, May 4, 2021, in Washington. The gover...

Associated Press

The IRS plans to end another major tax loophole for the wealthy, could raise $50 billion in revenue

The Internal Revenue Service plans to end another major tax loophole that could raise more than $50 billion in revenue over the next decade.

8 hours ago

President Joe Biden meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office at the Wh...

Associated Press

President Biden to announce deportation protection and work permits for those married to US citizens

President Biden is planning to announce a sweeping new policy that would lift the threat of deportation for those married to U.S. citizens.

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Former GOP Rep. George Nethercutt, who defeated House Speaker Tom Foley in 1994, dies at 79

SEATTLE (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt, who was a Spokane lawyer with little political experience when he ousted Democratic Speaker of the House Tom Foley as part of a stunning GOP wave that shifted national politics to the right in 1994, has died. He was 79. Nethercutt died Friday near Denver of progressive […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Convicted killer of California college student Kristin Smart ordered to pay $350k in restitution

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — A California judge ruled Monday that a man convicted of killing 19-year-old college student Kristin Smart in 1996 must pay just over $350,000 to her family for costs they incurred after her death. Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe ordered Paul Flores to make the payments after a […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Central African Republic faces increased rebel activity and spillover from Sudan war, UN experts say

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Activities of armed groups in the volatile Central African Republic have increased, complicating a security landscape that has seen a spillover of the conflict in neighboring Sudan, U.N. experts warn in a new report. The panel of experts cite confirmed reports of air raids by the Sudanese military around border areas […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Influential Detroit pastor the Rev. Charles Gilchrist Adams dies at age 86