MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Reverend James Netters, a city civil rights leader and the longest-serving senior pastor to serve one church has passed away.
His death was confirmed by Eric Dunn, president of the Coalition of Community Unions.
Dunn says Netters was a pillar in the community and was the first Black council member in Memphis. He also worked with Dr. Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Movement.
“He was just an amazing guy; he was a teacher for Memphis City Schools at the time of Dr. King’s death, he had a passion for education,” said Dunn.
At the time of his death, he was serving as senior pastor at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church.
Below is a statement about Dr. Netters’ passing from his successor:
Congressman Steve Cohen also released a statement about the reverend’s death:
“Memphis has lost a giant. The Reverend James Netters was a giant in the pulpit as a stand-up pastor and in our community where his friendships and influence knew no limits. In 1968, he was one of the first three Black City Council members and later served as a community liaison for Mayor Wyeth Chandler and as an open-minded civic leader for the rest of his life. There was not a prejudiced bone in his body. I valued his friendship and his solid support, particularly in my campaigns for Congress. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and to the Mount Vernon Baptist Church community. He led an exemplary life and will be missed.”