THE REV. DR. HERBERT D. DAUGHTRY
The Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry hails from a family of five generations
of Black church leaders. As national presiding minister of the
House of the Lord Churches, chairman emeritus of the National
Black United Front and president of the African People’s
Christian Organization, he has risen to a position of national
and international acclaim and responsibility. Rev. Daughtry’s
more than 46 years of involvement in community and church service
has earned him the title, “The People’s Pastor.”
Active in the struggle for integration in the 1950s and community
control of schools in the late 1960s, Rev. Daughtry has been
involved in protest actions in cooperation with Brooklyn CORE
and Operation Breadbasket, the economic arm of Dr. Martin Luther
King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
During this period, in addition to serving as co-chairman of
Ministers Against Narcotics, he also served as vice chairperson
of the board of directors of Bedford Stuyvesant Youth in Action
and executive vice chair of Operation Breadbasket’s Metropolitan
New York Chapter.
In the field of religion, he has served in various capacities
with the World Council of Churches; has studied and done research
at the Theological Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland;
and has been the preacher in residence at the Interdenominational
Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. Rev. Daughtry has
also lectured at Harvard University School of Divinity and at
both Union and New York Theological Seminaries in New York City.
Additionally, he was one of the principal lecturers at the 150th
anniversary of the Virginia Theological Seminary and his lecture,
“A Theology of Black Liberation: the Who, What and How,”
was published in the school’s journal.
Rev. Daughtry is a prolific author. His book, No Monopoly on
Suffering: Blacks and Jews in Crown Heights and Elsewhere, published
by Africa World Press in 1997 with a foreword by Dr. Cornel
West, gives a chronology of the building of a movement in Brooklyn
which can serve as a guide for the empowerment of any people.
His other books include My Beloved Community, published by Africa
World Press, Effectual Prayer and Dear 2pac: Letters to a Son,
published by Seaburn Press. Other publications to his credit
include “Jesus Christ: African in Origin, Revolutionary
and Redeeming in Action,” “South African Reader,”
“Seize the Future,” “From Magnificence to
Wretchedness: The Sad Saga of Black Humanity,” “Inside
the Storm: A Report on the Uprising in Crown Heights,”
and another work on Tupac Shakur – who joined his congregation
at the early age of 11 – entitled, “A Seed Planted
in Stone: The Life and Times of Tupac Shakur.”
In 1997 as a result of the unprovoked killing of 15-year-old
Randolph Evans by a New York City police officer, Rev. Daughtry,
became a major force in organizing the Coalition of Concerned
Leaders and Citizens to Save our Youth; the group was instrumental
in using economic boycotts to win jobs and services for Blacks
from merchants in downtown Brooklyn. The effort resulted in
the establishment of the Randolph Evans Memorial Scholarship
Fund, the Randolph Evans Memorial Crisis Fund and numerous other
initiatives. In June 1980 he played a major role in organizing
the National Black United Front, a progressive Pan African organization,
and was elected its first national chairman. In 1982 he initiated
the founding of the African People’s Christian Organization
(A.P.C.O.), with the express purpose of building an African
Christian movement through emphasizing Africanness and Biblical
Christianity in the context of struggle and self determination.
Rev. Daughtry is the past chairperson of the New York Citywide
African American Clergy Council; the African American Clergy
and Elected Officials; and the Association of Brooklyn Clergy
for Community Development, which was responsible for the building
and renovation of more than 500 units of housing in Brooklyn.
During the 1984 presidential campaign Rev. Daughtry served as
special assistant and confidante to the Rev. Jesse Jackson and
was a member of Jackson’s National Campaign Committee.
In 1984 he accompanied Rev. Jackson and Roman Catholic Bishop
Emerson Moore on a visit to Rome where, in addition to meeting
with the prime minister and the American ambassador, they met
with the Pope and encouraged the Vatican to make a consistent
stand on human rights in South Africa. Subsequent to this they
visited London and Canterbury where they met with the Archbishop
of the Church of England.
For more than three decades Rev. Daughtry was a prominent participant
in African liberation struggles, particularly those in Zimbabwe
(formerly Southern Rhodesia), Mozambique, Angola, Namibia and
South Africa. In 1991 he was a member of New York City Mayor
David N. Dinkins’ delegation to South Africa where they
met with Nelson and Winnie Mandela, Oliver and Adelaide Tambo
and other prominent South African leaders.
Rev. Daughtry has also involved himself in the struggle for
human rights and self determination in the Caribbean, especially
Jamaica, Trinidad and Grenada. He maintained a friendship with
Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop until his assassination
In the most recent series of cases involving the police abuse
of power, Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Patrick Dorismond and
Dante Johnson, and with racial profiling, Rev. Daughtry has
continued to be on the case.
Among the first to warn of the danger of AIDS, he is a founding
member of the Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. In addition,
he is founder of the Alonzo Daughtry Family Life Services, Inc.
which has served the needs of the community through various
programs including Project Enlightenment, an AIDS education
program and Families of Victims Against Violence (F.O.V.A.V.).
The Alonzo A. Daughtry Memorial Day Care Center, Inc. provides
early childhood programming following the motto, “Nurturing
and Educating the Leaders of Tomorrow.”
Rev. Daughtry was instrumental in the formation of the New York
Yankees Community Council to foster better relations with Bronx
community. He also served for five years as unofficial chaplain
of the New York Jets football team and as a mentor to and president
of the Mo Better Jaguars Football Team, whose Midgets won the
national championship in the Pop Warner League in Orlando, Florida
In March 2003 Rev. Daughtry helped organize and led a multi-faith,
multiracial delegation to Iraq in one last desperate appeal
for peace. Before departure they met representatives from the
Iraqi Mission, United Nations and the State Department.
Rev. Daughtry currently is one of a handful of community leaders
negotiating with Forest City Ratner Companies, owned by developer
Bruce Ratner, who plans to bring a 19,000 seat arena to Brooklyn
to house his Nets NBA team. The pastor is working to put together
a legally-binding Community Benefits Agreement that would bring
a wide range of services to the area.
He has traveled and lectured in Africa, Asia, the Middle East
and the Caribbean. Rev. Daughtry has spoken to countless community
and civic associations and lectured at numerous high schools,
colleges and universities. On two occasions he spoke at United
Nations subcommittees about South African apartheid, Cuba, the
Middle East and the state of U.S. civil rights. He has been
interviewed extensively on radio and television and has been
the subject of numerous newspapers and magazines articles.
Rev. Daughtry served on the Credentials Committee for the 2004
Democratic National Convention, helping to ensure that no injustices
occurred and that delegates were properly seated.
The pastor appeared in Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues
as the minister who married Bleak Gilliam (Denzel Washington)
and (Joie Lee).
Among the numerous citations and awards Rev. Daughtry has received
are honorary doctorate degrees from Seton Hall University (1980)
and the State University of New York, College of Old Westbury
(1992). Additionally, he has received Citations and Resolutions
from the U.S. Congress and New York State Legislature honoring
him for his many years of service to humanity. During the Clinton
administration he was among a select group of religious leaders
from across the United States to be invited to meet with the
president at periodic breakfasts at the White House.
Rev. Daughtry has been the host and principal speaker for the
past 34 years on a weekly radio program aired Sunday mornings
at 10:30 a.m. on New York City’s WWRL-AM. He has been
married to Dr. Karen Smith Daughtry for 42 years and is the
father of three daughters, Leah Denyatta, Sharon D’Boya
and Dawnique Dakeba, and one son, Herbert Jr., all college graduates.
The Daughtrys have two grandsons, Lorenzo Alexander Daughtry
Chambers and Herbert Daniel Daughtry III.