by Reverend Samuel F. Mosteller, President SCLC Georgia
A great American has passed from the scene. Reverend Dwight Graves, Cobb County President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was a great American.
Rev. Graves passed away at Kennestone Hospital in Marietta Jan. 10. He was a retired veteran and Senior Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force. He served with the NAACP prior to becoming active in SCLC. He also was a postal worker and advocated for the worker in the postal service as a union steward. He played football at Bluefield State College and loved the game. He graduated from the Interdenominational Theological Center with a Masters Degree in Divinity.
Rev. Dwight Graves was the senior Pastor of Emmanuel Tabernacle Christian Church in Marietta along with his college sweetheart and wife of 42 years, Rev. Dr. Cheryl Graves, who was by his side to the very end.
Rev. Dwight Graves was one of the founders of the Georgia State Unit of the SCLC and served as Secretary for several years. He also served on the National Board of the SCLC. His SCLC Chapter was recognized as the chapter of the year in 2008.
He was a friend to those who were in jail visiting the jails often, he was a friend of school children often advocating for them when they had no body, and he was a friend in courts often interceding for those who could not afford a lawyer. He was a preacher and pastor often having to find housing for members.
Being a West Virginia native he liked to fish and enjoyed the tranquility of the outdoors. We shared much in common and talked everyday. Dwight Graves was a man. He walked as a man and stood as a man. All who met him would hear his booming voice. All who knew him knew that he was a writer, often in the editorial of the Cobb papers. He was articulate and informed, often playing up his West Virginia roots as he assessed those who came into his presence. He worked with NSA; he worked with high level officials all over the world. He had knowledge of several languages and had led SCLC Georgia’s international initiative. This international effort culminated in the MLK Holiday celebration where 14 countries participated in the Cobb chapter celebration. Reverend Dwight Graves, a veteran, a civil rights leader, a union steward, an outdoorsman, a father, a pastor, a preacher, but most of all Reverend Graves was a friend.
Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.: 7th Annual Gala at the Double-tree Hotel-Marietta, 2055 South Park Place, Atlanta, GA 30339. The donations are $50. Please see Dell Alford for your ticket. The reception starts at 6:30 p.m. The keynote speaker is Rev. Dr. Keith Slaughter. This promises to be a great evening.
Rev. Dwight C. Graves was a son of the house of Historic Zion Baptist Church, Marietta, under the pastorate of the late Rev. Robert L. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Harris T. Travis.