John Hurst Adams, a civil rights activist and retired bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will be memorialized during funeral services on Jan. 20 at Flipper Temple A.M.E. Church in Atlanta Ga.
Adams died Jan. 10 at the age of 90.
The minister was not only a respected religious leader but also a social justice activist. A contemporary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (they attended Boston University during the same period), Adams was a known figure at many MLK-led marches.
“He had zero tolerance for injustice,” said J.T. McLawhorn, director of the Columbia Urban League who worked with Adams addressing social justice issues in South Carolina, according The State newspaper. “He was not just a rabble-rouser just to cause disruption. He was concerned about the betterment of society as a whole.”
Adams was born on Nov. 27, 1927, in Columbia, S.C., to homemaker Charity Nash Adams and the Rev. Eugene Avery Adams, an African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) minister and educator.
Adams attended the local Booker T. Washington High School before earning an associate’s bachelor’s degree in history from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., in 1947; bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theology from Boston University School of Theology in 1952 and 1956, respectively; and pursued further studies at Harvard University and Union Theological Seminary.
After pastoring for many years at churches such as First A.M.E. Church in Seattle, Wash., and Grant A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles, Calif., Adams was named the 87th bishop of the A.M.E. denomination in 1972.
He served as presiding bishop of five episcopal districts before retiring in 2004.
Adams is survived by his wife, Dolly Adams, their three children and numerous grandchildren.
A wake will be held for Bishop Adams at Flipper Temple A.M.E.from 6-8 p.m. on Jan. 19, and he will be interred at Southview Cemetery directly after the funeral.
Condolences may be sent to:
Dr. Dolly D. Adams
2500 Peachtree Road #206N
Atlanta, GA 30305
And, in lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Edward Waters College, Paul Quinn College, and Wilberforce University, A.M.E. institutions where Adams once served or was otherwise affiliated.