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Edwin Tuller, American Baptist leader
New York, August 26, 2009 -- The Rev. Dr. Edwin Tuller, who presided over American Baptist Churches during the turbulent sixties and was a unyielding advocate for human rights and peace, died yesterday in Pittsburgh.
"Ed Tuller was one of a vanguard of church leaders who made it clear that support for the Civil Rights Movement was a Christian duty," said the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches. "He openly supported his fellow Baptist, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and he was prominently visible at the 'I Have a Dream' march on Washington in 1963 and other Civil Rights demonstrations. His strong Christian faith gave him unquestioned moral credentials to stand for freedom, justice and equality and he set an example for the generation of church leaders that followed him."
Tuller's successor as General Secretary, the Rev. Dr., Robert C. Campbell, died July 27.
Tuller served as general secretary from 1959 to 1970. He presided over the completion in 1962 of the American Baptist Mission Center headquarters in Valley Forge, Pa. The famously circular building has been referred to ever since as the "holy doughnut," but there are also those who called it "Tuller's Cruller."
“Dr. Ed Tuller was that rare mixture of both the prophetic and pastoral
leader," said the Rev. Dr. A Roy Medley, the ABC's current General
Secretary. "He became general secretary during the racially charged civil
rights struggle. Through his prophetic leadership, American Baptists threw
their support behind Dr. King and his fledgling movement. Yet, Dr Tuller was
pastoral in his approach to those American Baptists who questioned such an
active stance in "politics," patiently answering their concerns and helping
them embrace the struggle for equality as a biblical response to injustice.
Dr. Tuller will long be remembered for his leadership that paved the way for
American Baptists to be the most racially diverse denomination today."
He graduated from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, NY, in
1938, and did graduate work at La Faculte Libre de Theologie Protestante in
Paris, France, in 1938 and 1939.
NCC News contact: Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell) , firstname.lastname@example.org
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