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Charles R.
Democrat NY 13

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  • In Memoriam of Reverend William M. James

    by Representative Charles B. Rangel

    Posted on 2013-03-11

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    RANGEL of new york in the house of representatives Monday, March 11, 2013 Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, today I rise with great sorrow to announce the death of a Harlem legend, Reverend William M. James. Revered James was considered by many the benevolent ``Patron Saint'' and Spiritual Crusader of Harlem. He passed away late last month at the age of 97. Over his time in the ministry, he dedicated more than 60 years of his life to improving the lives of the people of Harlem.

    As a man of God, Reverend James spread the message of God, love, and peace throughout Harlem. For those who had the privilege of [[Page E262]] meeting him or knowing him personally, he touched the lives of every single person in his presence. Reverend James' passion was spreading the word of God, and teaching the people in Harlem to embrace and love the Lord and Jesus. His exuberance for his job was infectious and affected everyone around him.

    Harlem has come a long way over the years, and we have seen a huge amount of revitalization in my District. I know that a lot of this can be contributed to the work of Reverend James. He was a strong advocate of educational advancement. The Reverend saw education as a way to create an equal playing field for everyone, giving the underprivileged the opportunity to achieve success and the American Dream.

    Reverend James was a well-connected man, but never used his connections for personal gain. Instead, through his close relationship to lawmakers, such as myself, Senator Hillary Clinton, and Mayor Dave Dinkins, Reverend James was able to fight for the people of Harlem with others whose only goal in life is to improve the lives of all New Yorkers.

    Education wasn't the only thing that Reverend James fought for during his life. He was also a huge supporter of the Arts. Reverend James dedicated a great deal of time to preserving the world famous Harlem landmark, the Apollo Theater. He considered it an important link for future generations to Harlem's important musical past. Reverend James also was the Chairperson of the Harlem Urban Development Corporation that works to develop economic and industrial opportunities in order to create positive growth and change in Harlem.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and my distinguished colleagues join me and the New York Congressional Delegation in paying tribute to Harlem's beloved Reverend. Reverend William James guided the people of Harlem with compassion and tenderness. His spirituality and faith in God guided him throughout his life's quest to enhance the lives of the underprivileged. He will be forever missed all the people of Harlem and by everyone who's life he touched.


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