The Church Council of Greater Seattle mourns the loss of our beloved former Board President, friend, and fearless champion for justice, Verlene Jones Davis. Verlene served as Board President twice (2003-2005 & 2010-2012) and played a most pivotal role in the renewal of the Church Council’s mission, centering on congregations and their engagement for social justice in the public square.
Verlene brought diverse sectors and communities together in a spirit of faithful and tireless service. A person of great integrity, she practiced what she preached. And she most certainly could preach, from the halls of power to the lines of workers, to interfaith gatherings, to labor seminars and forums! For Verlene, faith came first and guided her path of regional and national leadership, both through the A. Phillip Randolph Institute and the Washington Christian Leaders Coalition. Hers was a prophetic word, bringing people together into relationship and holding all accountable to being their best and most authentic selves in inclusive community.
Verlene brought the labor sector, the community leaders and faith clergy and lay leaders together for ongoing conversation, meals and strategizing on how to build the Beloved Community in Martin Luther King Jr. County and beyond. Through her organizing and educational leadership in the Martin Luther King County Labor Council and beyond, her pioneering work forged new initiatives that resulted in strengthened unions and community-based organizations and reconnected faith communities with their roots as pro-worker and pro-community.
Most of all, Verlene was a devoted servant of the Lord. In a secular Seattle, she rekindled the flame of a faith that does justice. She modeled servant leadership in every way. For her life and her legacy, the Church Council expresses its unending gratitude. We share our deepest condolences with Verlene’s cherished husband, James, her family, her faith sisters and brothers, the labor movement and the wider justice community.
Verlene’s Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, October 13, at 11 a.m. at Rose Hill Baptist Church, 7550 Martin Luther King Way South, Seattle, WA 98118. Donations may be sent to the charity of your choice.