May Reed Receives Lifetime Service Award

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

As part of the festivities for the Oscar Haynes Exhibit celebration, on March 15th, the Disciples of Christ Historical Society honored former DCHS staff member May Reed with a Lifetime Service Award for her contributions to our understanding of African American Disciples history.

President Emeritus, Peter Morgan, shared the following tribute:

"May Reed is a walking, talking treasure chest, who, for a lifetime, has enriched her church family with the stories of Black Disciples history.

At the drop of a hat May shares the stories of her historic friends: enslaved Disciples evangelist Alexander Campbell, Civil War drummer boy Preston Taylor, who became an entrepreneurial genius and leading Disciples organizer, musician/teacher Sarah Lue Bostick, Disciples ambassador of racial reconciliation Rosa Page Welch, Disciples healing humorist Emmett Dickson, prophetic voice William Fox, pulpit power T. Garrott Benjamin, ecumenical statesman Walter Bingham....

May teaches us again and again that in Disciples history Black lives matter. In the telling of the story she embodies the full meaning of that phrase: righteous anger, worthy pride, empowering celebration.

From the slave balcony of the old Cane Ridge Meetinghouse in 1801 to the offices of General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens in 2024, May knows that story. She embodies that story of Black pride and Black power.

Hers is the Black pride and Black power of dignity, poise, and grace as she tells that story with the elegance of a poet.

Today, by this honor, we place the name May Reed with the luminaries Sarah Lue Bostick, Preston Taylor, and Rose Page Welch and the others whose stories she so ably and eloquently preserves and tells."