Metropolitan AME Church Comments on the Passing of Member and Noted Journalist Gwen Ifill
Washington, D.C.—the following is the statement of Rev. William H. Lamar, IV, pastor of Metropolitan AME Church on the passing of journalist Gwen Ifill, a longtime member of Metropolitan.
“Metropolitan AME Church mourns the passing of our dear sister Gwen Ifill, a member since 1989. Gwen, the co-anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour, was a lifelong AME, a woman of deep faith, and a trailblazing journalist. Despite her busy schedule, she could be found in worship on Sundays when she was not traveling. She engaged visitors and members who approached her about career or who just wanted to take a picture. She found time to speak when asked or narrate a special program like the Church’s presentation of Handel’s Messiah.
Working first for newspapers and later in television, Gwen brought a still all-too-rare sight into the homes of all Americans: a black woman delivering the news and sharp insight on our nation’s political process. Gwen covered more than a half dozen presidential campaigns and her success inspired us all, especially generations of aspiring young black journalists and young female journalists following the path she boldly blazed, no matter how many racist and sexist attacks she faced. She used her platform to mentor countless young people and her fame to give back to her beloved church and community. When Gwen published the 2009 best-selling The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, she donated some of the proceeds to help restore Metropolitan’s historic building.
Gwen has been awarded some of the journalism industry’s highest honors, including most recently the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism from Columbia University and the First Amendment Award from the National Press Club. However, may she be remembered most for being unbought and unbossed and using her platform to improve the lives of others. While Gwen is no longer among us and has gone to be with the Father, her legacy of service, deeply rooted in her Christian faith, will live on.”