Photos credit: Bill Moore
On October 28, 2022, Harlem lost one of its most influential religious leaders: Reverend Calvin Butts III, who led the Abyssinian Baptist Church, founded in 1808, for over 30 years.
Reverend Butts also served as President of the State University of New York College at Old Westbury until 2020 and of Africare NYC, an independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in rural Africa.
A vigil was held on November 2, 2022, in front of the Thurgood Marshall Academy, founded in 1993 in collaboration with the NYC Board of Education and developed by Abyssinian Development Corp. Several community members and students were in attendance.
On Thursday, November 3, 2022, Harlemites waited in long lines to say their final goodbye to the revered Pastor at the Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Lastly, a celebration of life for Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III was held on November 4, 2022, after which he was buried. Several officials were present, including Mayor Adams, NY City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Rev. Butts is survived by his wife, Patricia Butts, three children, and six grandchildren.