Bishop Arthur Brazier is perhaps the tallest tree in the forest of faith and work. He has made a peaceful transition. He never stopped fighting for freedom and dignity to end tyranny at home and abroad. Bishop Brazier offered his body to fight the Nazis in World War II. When he returned home, he fought against segregation. He combined building a church from a small assembly to a mega-church with outstanding social consciousness. He was one man who made a difference, fighting gangs, urban renewal and institutional racism to make Woodlawn a better place. He was among the leadership that invited and hosted Dr. King in Chicago in an effort to eradicate the slums and bring about open housing. I met him as a seminary student when I first came to Chicago and he was a mentor and tutor for our family. The pastor was a pillar of strength in President Obama’s quest for the Senate and the White House, and prophesied his victory while working hard to make it a reality. While our hearts are heavy with his passing, we rejoice in the giant that God placed in our midst. We stand with Pastor Dr. Byron Brazier, the family, and the church family as they prepare for the next phase of their work.
Rev. Jesse Jackson
Founder of Rainbow/PUSH
Bishop Arthur Brazier of the Apostolic Church of God was an asset to the City of Chicago, not only as a spiritual leader but as a civic activist who was driven to improve the lives of the less fortunate in this city and in this nation. His love of Chicago transcended race, religion, gender or economic status. His life’s work was an example for all people. Chicago was his home and we are a better city and a better society because of it. I feel honored to have known him as a mentor and friend. On behalf of the Daley family and all the residents of Chicago my deepest condolences go to Bishop Brazier’s family, his wife Esther Isabelle, his son Byron and his daughters Lola, Janice and Rosalyn.
Mayor Richard Daley
Bishop Arthur M. Brazier was a good friend and he will be missed greatly. I have had the honor of knowing Bishop Brazier for a long time and can attest to his tireless devotion to his congregation and the community as a whole. He was an agent of change who never wavered from his mission of confronting the larger issues that faced the community. His passing is a great loss to the people of Illinois. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn
Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend, a stalwart of the city of Chicago, and one of our nation’s leading moral lights, Bishop Arthur M. Brazier. Through his service as a pastor and his work on behalf of our communities, Bishop Brazier touched the lives of countless Americans. Bishop Brazier grew up during the Great Depression and never forgot how the sting of poverty can shape a community and a nation. A committed patriot, Bishop Brazier served as a staff sergeant in the United States Army in India and Burma at the height of World War II. He returned to Chicago where he promoted spiritual empowerment and economic development through his pastorate of Apostolic Church of God. There is no way that we can replace the gentle heart and boundless determination that Bishop Brazier brought to some of the most pressing challenges facing Chicago and our nation. His spirit, however, will live on through the parishioners, leaders and friends that he touched each day. Michelle and I join the Brazier family, the Apostolic Church of God, and all of Chicago in this moment of prayer and mourning, and in our commitment to ensure that Bishop Brazier’s legacy lives on through our service to others.
President Barack and Michelle Obama