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Annual pilgrimage honors Daniels and Alabama martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement Aug. 11

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

The annual Jonathan Daniels Pilgrimage will be held  Saturday, August 11 beginning at 11 a.m. in the Lowndes County Courthouse Squad in Hayneville and will feature guest speaker  the Rev. Ed Bacon, a retired rector, currently living in Birmingham.

The pilgrimage is held to honor the memory of Daniels and Alabama martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement.

Daniels was an Episcopal seminarian who answered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to come to Selma to help register blacks to vote. After he was arrested in Fort Deposit for picketing white-only businesses, he was later released from the Lowndes County Jail in Hayneville. Daniels and several others went to the Cash Store in Hayneville where Daniels was fatally shot, taking a bullet to prevent the death of a teenage girl named Ruby Sales.

According to the Rev. Fannie L. Davis, local coordinator of the pilgrimage from Burkville, Bacon’s last assignment as rector  was All Saints Church in Pasadena, Calif., a 4,000 member multi-ethnic urban Episcopal parish with a reputation for energetic worship, a radically inclusive spirit, and a progressive peace and justice agenda.

Davis said Bacon’s energies “focus on leadership in anxious times, peacemaking, interfaith relations, integrating family, faith and work systems; and articulating the Christian faith in non-bigoted ways.”

She said, “He is a passionate advocate for peace and justice in the community, the nation, and the world. He has received several honors for his peace and interfaith work. He is a founder of Beyond Inclusion and Claiming the Blessing (working for justice for the LGBT community) and a co-founder of the Abrahamic Faiths Peacemaking Initiative. He serves on Human Rights Watch California Committee South and on other national and community boards.”

Also, according to Davis, Bacon has been a guest on Oprah’s Soul Series on XM’s Oprah & Friends Radio, as well as The Oprah Winfrey Show, which led to a regular role as guest host on Oprah’s Soul Series and contributor on Oprah.com. His first book “8 Habits of Love: Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind,” was published in September, 2012.

She said Bacon served as Dean of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Jackson, Mississ.; Rector of St Mark’s in Dalton, Ga.; and Dean of Students and Campus Ministry at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. He holds honorary doctorates by Church Divinity School of the Pacific and Mercer University. And, he and his wife, Hope Hendricks-Bacon, have two adult children and two grandchildren.

The pilgrimage, which begins. at the courthouse square, will go to the old county jail where Daniels and Sales were among those detained for a week and will move to the location of the old Cash Grocery Store where Daniels was killed.

The pilgrimage will end at the Courthouse where a service of Holy Communion will take place in the courtroom.