Friday, December 16, 2016

Board Passes Resolution Honoring Rev. Manley

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) and the broader community lost a valued member and leader on December 11, 2016, with the passing of Reverend Dr. John Ruffin “J.R.” Manley. Reverend Manley was a tireless advocate for all children and their families, as well as the entire staff entrusted to his care. Reverend Manley courageously served as the first African-American school board member, from the years 1959-1965, overseeing the construction and opening of Frank Porter Graham Elementary School and Phillips Middle School.

Reverend Manley and his fellow board member Henry Brandis began the move to integration when they alone in 1959 voted to let Stanley B. Vickers, an African-American student from Carrboro, transfer to an all-white CHCCS school. He also worked tirelessly so that the CHCCS could secure the land where Seawell Elementary School, Smith Middle School, and Chapel Hill High School are now located.

Reverend Manley set an example of love, compassion, peace and conviction as Pastor of First Baptist Church for 65 years, which, under his care, saw its congregation more than triple in membership. His kindness, integrity and sense of humor enriched those fortunate enough to know and work with him.

Reverend Manley’s true legacy lies in the immeasurable impact he had on the lives of all who locked arms with him in his life journey.

At its December 15 meeting, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the historic accomplishments and continued influence on our community of Reverend Dr. J.R. Manley, and gratefully acknowledged his many contributions to our students and our community.

On behalf of the entire school community, the Board of Education extends its sincerest condolences to his loved ones.

Reverend Dr. John Ruffin "J.R." Manley
picture from First Baptist Church of Chapel Hill's Facebook Page