Catching Up with Former D.C. Del. Walter Fauntroy

AFRO Exclusive

by: Hamil Harris Special to the AFRO
/ (Photo by Hamil Harris ) /
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Sporting a smile and accompanied by his devoted wife, Dorothy, former D.C. Del. Walter Fauntroy was one of the last people to leave the sanctuary of the Union Temple Baptist Church in Southeast D.C. on July 9.

It has been 13 months since the Civil Rights icon and the city’s first delegate to Congress, returned from the United Arab Emirates to face several questions over a $50,000 bad check charge. Fauntroy was arrested in Loudon County on a bench warrant from Prince George’s County.

Former D.C. Del. Walter Fauntroy and his wife Dorothy after Director of the D.C. Department of Emergency Preparedness Sam Jordan’s funeral. (Photo by Hamil Harris)

“They lied. They stole more than $500,000. They knew when I came back they had to deal with me,” Fauntroy, who was short on specifics, told the AFRO. In 2016 Fauntroy was arrested at Dulles International Airport on charges of writing a bad check to pay for a ball he organized in honor of President Barack Obama in 2009.  A Prince George’s County judge ordered Fauntroy to pay $19,800 to Karen Bryant, a business consultant he hired for the ball. In September of 2016, a judge dropped the bad check charge after Fauntroy paid back $20,000.

But on July 10, Fauntroy, who helped organized the March on Washington with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was attending the funeral of Sam Jordan, director of the D.C. Department of Emergency Preparedness.

Former D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly and other officials reflected on Jordan, who served under every D.C. mayor and seven U.S. presidents. Jordan was known as the city’s special events czar.

He and “I met when I was at Virginia Union. From the time he came to the city from Petersburg, Va. I watched him blossom as a servant of God,” Fauntroy said as he reflected on Jordan.

Ironically Union Temple and Fauntroy’s old congregation were both part of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, a Baptist denomination with an estimated membership of 2.5 million people that is proactive to the American and world fight for human freedom. The denomination was started by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Whether Fauntroy was serving on Capitol Hill or serving as the pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church in Northwest D.C., he has always defined things in spiritual specifics. “His arms are too short to box with God,” Fauntroy said, in response to President Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse the gains he and other Civil Rights leaders fought to accomplish.

“Land is the most powerful asset that man can have and he gave it to Black people. He gave it to them in Africa where all the gold is stored,” Fauntroy said.

Even though he was short on specifics, Fauntroy said, “God has given me a mission to declare the good news to the poor people of the world.” Then he quoted parts of a gospel song, “I’m reaching the Harvest that God has promised me.”

In terms of moving forward, Fauntroy said he wants to organize a new poor people’s campaign.

“The poor people’s campaign had five things: income, education, healthcare, housing and justice. This is the dawning of a new Aquarius. The 5th Dimension made the song,” he said.

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