The Rev. Dr. John Harold Gillison
From the Reflections of the Rev. Dr. Frederick Calhoun James, Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church, at the Homegoing Celebration for Dr. Gillison, at “Mother” Emanuel A.M.E., Charleston, SC, on October 29, 2015
“Today we yield this Jesus-loving jewel to the heavenly collection of the Almighty God of Glory. John Harold Gillison is the gift that we yield to glory today.
O how we thank God for sharing his life with us!
John H. Gillison. What a man of faith! What a man of hope! What a man of love!
It has been my blessing to be a close friend of many men and women of God. John Gillison has, indeed, been one of them!
Gillison followed me: as a SC Christian Action Council leader; as pastor of Chappelle Memorial A.M.E. Church of Columbia, SC; as pastor of Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church of Sumter, SC. As his Bishop, when I moved him from Mt. Pisgah I appointed him to this church, “Mother” Emanuel A.M.E. Church, Charleston, SC.
[Gillison pastored Emanuel from 1988–1996 when he was appointed Presiding Elder of the Edisto District which he served from 1996-2014.]
To have known John Gillison was to have known that he aspired to represent a composite portrait of several men of God. I think he succeeded.
Consider some categories:
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in 1978, Rev. Dr. John Gillison, served as the first African American President of the South Carolina Christian Action Council. It is believed that Gillison was the first African American to serve as President of a non-segregated organization in the state of SC, which was the South Carolina Christian Action Council.
In 2011, the Council named its award for work toward racial justice and healing after Dr. Gillison. It is awarded at the Council’s annual meeting when the Council deems persons or organizations in the state worthy of this high recognition.
Recipients of the
Jesse Washington, Commissioner,
The Christian Church (Disciples), South Carolina
Charles Rowland and the Rev. Leon Maxwell