Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley is a legendary “warrior/prophet” minister who, for more than a quarter of a century, has not only transcended his Christian faith and his Providence Missionary Baptist Church pulpit, but has embraced and encouraged an entire generation of Atlanta’s unique brand of civil and human rights-based leadership.
The nearly one thousand distinguished leaders and lay people spanning all faiths and spectrum’s of civil society present at his recent retirement celebration on August 4, 2012 proved to be an outpouring of testimony, richly heralding that
extraordinary, almost indefinable leadership quality and energy that is so uniquely Gerald Durley’s .
“Gerald Durley is a pastor’s pastor,” defined Ambassador Andrew Young. “He is a pastor of this city, of our nation, and of our community.” Rev. Timothy McDonald, a close ally, seconded, “He’s the only one of his kind.”
Civil Rights icon and President of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian elaborated:
“Durley is one of the very few men we have in clergy that is both a professional psychologist and a well- trained minister. His[Durley] commitment to what he does and has done goes as deep as his own life. . . He’s one that expands beyond his faith as well. He is a faith leader across a multiplicity of faiths. He goes for the highest standards of moral and spiritual understanding. . . He is a good fellow. ”
WSB-TV retired anchor Monica Pearson also pointed to Dr. Durley’s powerful combination of public servant and faith servant leadership as the epitome of faith leadership. “Rev. Durley is a public servant whose motivation is so strong for the people, he doesn’t mind blocking things when it becomes necessary, speaking out for civil and human rights, just like Jesus was doing, in the Bible.”
Read more: Carrie L. Williams, Maynard Eaton Cascade Patch