RIP: Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts, Harlem Pastor, Political + Social Activist

Heartbreaking news.

Harlem, New York, lost a hometown legend.

As reported by sources, Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts passed away. He was a staple in the community for decades, working as a pastor at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church. Established in the early 1800s, it’s of the oldest African-American Baptist churches in the nation and the first in New York State, according to the website. 

Rev. Butts, a Connecticut native, wasn’t an ordinary leader in the church. He was also a social and political activist. His official cause of death hasn’t been released. The news article points out he battled cancer.

ABC reports, “Mayor Eric Adams ordered all flags on all city buildings, as well as stationary flagstaffs throughout the five boroughs, to be lowered to half-staff, beginning at sunrise Saturday ‘as a mark of respect for the memory of Reverend Butts.’”

He worked closely with us at the station, plus our very own, LaMonda Williams.

Story developing, we’ll keep you updated as more details become available. Our hearts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.