SCLC leader Rev. Dwight Montgomery dies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dwight Montgomery, the pastor of Annesdale Cherokee Missionary Baptist Church in South Memphis, passed away early Wednesday morning.

Rev. Montgomery was elected as the president of the Memphis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 2004 and served as the chairman of the Education Committee for the Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association.

Funeral arrangements have not been released.

Just weeks ago, Rev. Montgomery spoke with WREG’s April Thompson about his continued work.

"Every since I have been President, we have worked to minimize negative gang activity, getting mentors and tutors for our public schools.  We have tried to stand up for people who have been cut from TN Care health care. We stood up with the Kellogg workers who were locked out."

Just recently the local chapter began working in the area of education.

"We must work with parents, work with young people. Show them the importance of education, being trained so they will not be impoverished but be empowered," says Montgomery,

He said getting people into positive things will have a direct impact on things like crime.

"You are not gonna have young people who are being educated and trained and moving in a positive direction be in a negative gang or participate in robberies or homicides," said Montgomery.

Local officials share condolences

"I was saddened to hear this morning of the passing of Rev. Dwight Montgomery. He was instrumental in my administration’s efforts to award grants to our 1968 sanitation workers. And I appreciated his support as we work to move Confederate statues from our city. I will keep his family, friends and congregation lifted in my prayers during their time of grief." - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland

“Dr. Dwight Montgomery was a servant leader.  He inspired me, and so many others, through his work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Annesdale Cherokee Baptist Church and other community organizations.  He will be missed.” - Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr.

“Rev. Montgomery leaves behind a lasting legacy and he will be sorely missed by this city. He empowered young people and imparted hope in times of need. We are all better for his example, and his memory will live on for generations to come.” - State Sen. Lee Harris

"Memphis loss a civil rights advocate today in the passing of Rev. Dwight Montgomery. As the president of the SCLC Memphis Chapter and Pastor of Annesdale M.B. Church, Rev. Montgomery would be at the forefront on critical issues facing the African-American community. He may not be with us, but his voice will not be silenced. His advocacy will continue through those individuals who worked with him and supported him. We will miss him." - Deidre Malone, NAACP Memphis Branch, President