Churches asked to ring bells Tuesday in Medgar Evers' memory


Dispatch Staff Report



Bells at St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Columbus will ring Tuesday with a tribute to civil rights activist Medgar Evers. 


St. Paul's is one of several Episcopal churches in the area participating in a statewide commemoration of Evers -- Mississippi's first field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People -- who was assassinated June 12, 1963 in the driveway of his home in Jackson. 


"We seek to do our part in the reconciliation and healing that is ongoing and necessary in our state," said St. Paul's priest, Rev. Anne Harris. 


St. Paul's, the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Starkville, and others will each toll their bells 55 times at noon to recognize the number of years since Evers' passing. 


"The Episcopal church in Mississippi has a long history of leadership in civil rights," Harris said, "including the work done by Rev. Duncan Gray Jr. (later Bishop Duncan Gray) to overturn the University of Mississippi's longstanding policy of banning African Americans from enrollment in the school ... to our recent support of the civil rights museum in Jackson." 


The request for commemoration comes from the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute, which aims "to cultivate positive social change, intergenerational civic engagement, social and economic justice and research on equity, and justice worldwide," according to the institute's website.




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