The Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, Dynamic Harlem Pastor, Dies at 73
April 24, 2018
The Rev. Calvin O. Butts III on Aug. 3, 2013 at Trinity United Church of Christ in Harlem, following an evening performance of the Christian singer, Mariah Carey. / Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Says Butts, ‘I Want to Thank Everyone’ for His Work
A few hours before his death on Wednesday evening, the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III died of a heart attack while running on the Bronx River Track at Westchester County Park, in a story that was described in detail by the Rev. Butts’ family member, Rev. Rev. Al Sharpton.
A family member, Rev. Rev. Al Sharpton, is in the Bronx on Friday, April 27th and will be there every day until his funeral on Saturday April 28th at 9am. He will also be making live radio calls from the pulpit there.
Rev. Butts was born in Harlem, the son of a New York police lieutenant, and grew up there and in the Bronx.
He was ordained in 1982. He served as pastor of Harlem and the South Bronx, and then returned to Harlem. From 1990-2005, he served there as the pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, a church he and his wife, Dr. Ethel Butts, co-founded in 1972.
He was pastor of the church in Harlem until 2013. Before that, he served as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in New York City for three years before that, in the mid-1990s.
He is survived by his daughter, Sarah Butts, of Atlanta. He is also survived by his son, Calvin Butts IV, of Atlanta. He is also survived by his brother, the Rev. Calvin J. Butts III, of Charlotte. Dr. Ethel Butts was his wife for 34 years. They were married for 49 years.
A tribute to Rev. Butts, a leader of African-American churches and a passionate and accomplished evangelist, will be delivered by the Rev. Dr. Charles T. Jones, the senior minister of Trinity