116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church will be holding a special service on Monday at 6:30 p.m. to observe the 60th anniversary of a decision by the church to sell property to a Black family.
Due to racial prejudice in Cedar Rapids, Dr. Percy and Mrs. Lileah Harris had been unsuccessful in securing property for a home. On Dec. 13, 1961, after impassioned debate, the church voted to sell a lot on Bever Avenue to the Harrises.
Recognizing that the country and community still suffer from racism, and that there is much to be done to bring equity and justice for people of color, St. Paul’s UMC decided to offer to its church members and the community a time to remember, reflect, and recommit to the work they are called to do.
The service, entitled “A Home for All: 60 Years Since … And Yet,” will include a historical perspective given by Mark Stoffer Hunter and comments by Anne Harris Carter. Comments from people who participated in the decision 60 years ago and some statements of the senior pastor at that time, Dr. Jackson Burns, will be shared. The service is being planned and led by clergy of St. Paul’s and Lovely Lane United Methodist churches.
Community members are invited to participate, either in person at the church, 1340 Third Ave. SE, or via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/stpaulsunitedmethodistchurchcedarrapids/live/). Face masks are required.