At the end of the day, albeit more than a century later, the Presiding Prelate of the 1st Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church said the vindication of Reverend Vinton Monk “represents a victory for truth and justice.
In a statement released after the Writ was formally presented to the St Paul AME Church’s leadership, Bishop GM Ingram said he was “elated” by the posthumous pardon granted by the Governor.
Rev Monk served as pastor of Allen Temple AME Church in Somerset when he was arrested and jailed for “criminal libel” because he wrote the truth about the extremely poor working conditions imposed on workers brought here from Jamaica to build the Royal Naval Dockyard.
The Bishop, who presides over seven annual conferences in Delaware, New Jersey, New England, New York, Pennsylvania and Bermuda, said: “I am elated and immeasurably pleased in receiving the momentous and historic news concerning the granting of a posthumous pardon to the Rev Charles Vinton Monk
“From its inception the African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in response to racism, social injustice, and discrimination, and has been a beacon for justice and equality. For over 200 years we have continued as a church committed to these ideals.
“Those persons called into the ordained ministry, and who embrace the tenants of our beliefs, have been called by God to minister to all the needs of the people: spiritual, economic, political and social. Thus, the late Rev Charles Vinton Monk fulfilled his calling by championing the cause of a people who had no voice, and suffered dehumanizing discrimination,” he said.
“On behalf of the First Episcopal District we recognize the monumental significance of this unprecedented event. This Pardon, albeit over a century after his trial and conviction, represents a victory for truth and justice.”
Bishop Ingram also commended the Rev Nicholas Tweed “for his vision and courage in advancing this noble cause, and the Bermuda Annual Conference for their support in pursuit of this goal; the Government of Bermuda for having the courage to press the case; and Bermuda’s Governor for his fair consideration of the facts and for doing what is right”.
“I am sure that The AME Connectional Church joins the First Episcopal District and Bermuda in welcoming and marking the significance of this historic news.”
- Feature Photo Courtesy of DC: Rev Howard Dill, Presiding Elder East District; Rev Terry Hassell, Pastor, Heard Chapel AME Church; Premier David Burt; Rev Larry Dixon, Presiding Elder of the AME Church; Rev Nicholas Genevieve-Tweed, Pastor St Paul AME Church; and Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban