Story by Jim Bishop
A prominent pastor and community activist in Washington, D.C., will speak at Eastern Mennonite University as part of Afro-American History Month observances.
Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler, senior minister of Plymouth Congregational Church in the nation’s capitol, will speak 10 a.m. Friday in EMU’s Lehman Auditorium. His message, entitled “From the Past toward a Brighter Future,” will focus on the current treatment of immigrants in the state of Virginia and the U.S. in general in the context of the history of struggles for racial justice.Hagler attended public schools in Baltimore, Md., and earned a bachelor’s degree in religion from Oberlin College, Ohio, in 1976. Three years later he graduated from The Chicago Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in divinity. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, he founded a congregation in Boston, Mass., in 1980, worked at community issues in his racially-divided neighborhood and ran for mayor of that city in 1991. He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1992.
Hagler is development director of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, the largest neighborhood stabilization organization in the United States, which helps working-class people become homeowners. He is chaplain to Local 25, Washington, D.C. of the Hotel Employees, Restaurant Employees/UNITE.
He is currently national president of Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice, a national clergy organization within the UCC. He is also recognized with full standing in The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Hagler’s presentation is sponsored by EMU’s Washington Community Scholars’ Center, campus ministries and the office of multicultural services.
The service is open to everyone free of charge.