Transition of U. S. Senator John S. McCain

Statement from the Council of Bishops

The Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church extends its sympathy to Mrs. Cindy McCain, daughter Meghan and other members of the family of United States Senator John S. McCain, on his passing. Senator McCain was blessed to live a wonderful and fruitful life. He was a man of character, courage and principle. John McCain, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father served his country in the United States Navy. He was captured and taken as a prisoner in the Vietnam War, where he was tortured and held for five years, suffering great pain and physical disability. Upon his release, he returned to the United States and gave of himself to public service, serving for more than thirty years in the United States Congress, six terms in the United States Senate, from Arizona.

While John McCain was defeated in his bid to be elected president, and while we disagreed with him on a number of issues, we are thankful and honor him for the example of his life. He was not ideological, which enabled him to work with Democrats on important issues. He exercised political courage, admitting he had exercised expediency by first supporting, before denouncing the confederate flag and other symbols. He also stood up in opposition, to his detriment against those who claimed Barack Obama was not an American citizen, and was gracious in defeat, saluting Barack Obama upon his election as President of the Unite States.

Known as “the Maverick”, McCain spoke his mind, and stood his ground. While fighting brain cancer, he returned to Washington DC to cast the deciding vote against efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. A vote which brought him the disdain of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. In the midst of Mr. Trump’s polarizing leadership and embarrassing foreign policy, Sen. McCain was one of the few Republicans who refused to be intimidated and boldly spoke out.

The nation has lost one of its finest servants, the last “lion of the Senate”, and one of the few public servants who put country above party, a true patriot.

We pray that God will comfort his family and the nation he loved in our sorrow, and now give him life eternal, in that land, “where the weary are at rest.”

Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, President, Council of Bishops

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