Bethel In the News

Below you will find past articles highlighting Bethel’s role in various Social Justice and other events.

Senate President supports

Criminal Justice Reforms…

-2017 Bay State Banner

Last December, activists briefly disrupted a meeting of legislative leaders in protest of a criminal justice reform push they said wouldn’t go far enough to ameliorate racial disparities in sentencing and reduce the number of non-violent offenders serving hard time.
In January, Second Suffolk District Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz called out legislative leadership during a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial breakfast in which she made a forceful plea for action on substantive reforms.

At Church, Confronting an Ugly Election – 2016 Boston Globe


The Sunday service at Bethel A.M.E. Church, in Jamaica Plain, began with a bright surge of gospel music that seemed to push away the anxiety of this election season for a time. But just for a time.

“I can’t remember the last time I was so anxious for an event — in this case the election — to be over,” said the Rev. Ray Hammond, shortly after taking the pulpit, to a sprinkling of “mm-hmms.”

All the scandal, deception, and sexual impropriety had left him with a feeling of nausea, he said. All the racial stereotypes, high-priced speeches, and innuendo had left the country with a nasty stench.

“The country of which I am a part,” he said, “smells awful.”

After DNC Speech, Pastor leads hundreds in Local Social Justice Service – 2016 Boston Globe


On the heels of his rousing speech last week at the Democratic National Convention, the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II led hundreds of people Monday evening at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in a wide-ranging service focused on inequality in America.

“The first word of the constitution is ‘We,’ ” said Barber to cheers and laughter. “It is a suggestion that you can’t have a country with just one person.”

A North Carolina political leader and NAACP national board member, Barber was part of a slate of faith-based speakers that painted a portrait of a troubled nation with a political climate that is dividing the country. During the program, several local residents delivered emotional accounts on income inequity, environmentalism, access to education, and criminal justice.

“You and I will not be able to go away from this place and do business as usual,” said Barber, who emceed the program.

Interfaith Jamaica Plain gathering Decries Violence,

Prays for Healing -2016 Boston Globe


More than 100 people gathered at a Jamaica Plain church Wednesday night for an interfaith prayer vigil, asking for healing and unity following tragic gun violence in Orlando, Boston, and elsewhere.

Christian, Jewish, and Muslim clergy led the crowd at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in prayer for the victims of last weekend’s rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando, this year’s homicide victims in Boston, and the nine worshippers killed last June at a church in Charleston, S.C.

“We extended our deepest condolences” to the families of the 49 Orlando victims, said Sheik Yasir Fahmy of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center.