July 17, 2020

Statement on The Reverend C. T. Vivian                              
President, Forrest E. Harris
American Baptist College

There is nothing within the canon of our collective vocabulary adequate to describe the significant contribution of the life of C.T. Vivian to America and the world. He wrote a narrative for justice with his life. A brilliant public intellectual and voice for justice, we here at American Baptist College, his alma mater, will miss C.T. Vivian and share the weight of his passing with his family and national network of friends who knew him at the level of his many sacrifices for justice in America.

We shall never forget his dedication to the vision of the beloved community. We thank God for his role in the Nashville student-led lunch counter sit-in movement that changed the city forever. He marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., was violently knocked down on the steps of the Dallas County Court House seeking the right to register to vote. Yet he got up bloodied but unbowed declaring the human rights of citizenship to vote. 

As a recipient of the Medal of Freedom honor bestowed by President Barack Obama for his life of humanitarian service, C. T. Vivian will be remembered for the greatest medal any human being can receive, the medal of being a humble, faithful servant of God’s love and justice in the world.  

Photo credit: Nicky Drake, MEPR Agency