A Letter in the Fall River, MA, Herald News

LETTER: Like father, like son for missionary family

Posted Oct 01, 2012 @ 02:24 PM

The Rev. Harold Melvin, an Episcopal priest, after being a missionary in Brazil three years, came to Fall River in 1959 as pastor of St. John’s Episcopal Church. His family consisted of wife Joan, a graduate of Brown University and three children.
Rev. Hal, as many knew him, supported the downtrodden and persecuted. At that time the civil rights “battles” were being fought on southern buses, in restaurants, in courts and in the streets. The hottest spot was Selma, Ala., but other localities appealed for help.
Rev. Melvin joined the protest in Williamston, N.C. There, with 11 other New Englanders (including theologian Harvey Cox), he was jailed for trying to achieve equal treatment for minorities.
Upon release Rev. Hal returned to St. John’s on Middle Street almost in the shadow of St. Anne’s. But in the following years, many Episcopalians, like others, moved to the suburbs. Rev. Hal became a professor at Framingham State College; his wife Joan became dean at Wellesley College. Recently, St. John’s Church was demolished and replaced by a credit union.
John, the oldest of the three children, inherited some of his dad’s concern for the world’s struggling poor. Educated as an architect, Jack is now active helping uplift the housing of the people in Honduras, the third poorest county in the western hemisphere.
For those of us who knew Rev. Hal Melvin or of him, we invite you to join us in aiding Jack Melvin’s work by contributing $5 per month or some other amount God inspires. All contribution payable to SAMS, P.O. Box 399 Ambridge, PA 15003. Indicate Melvin on the memo line. For more information, call 508-678-0816.
God bless you and Jack.
Al and Joyce Sunderland
Click here for link to Fall River Herald


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