Anglim Honored by National Urban League

July 01, 2022

On this 4th of July holiday weekend, a staple of New Orleans tourism has returned. The Essence Festival of Culture is back in-person, in New Orleans, after a two-year hiatus due to COVID.

The music, cultural and leadership festival brings more than half a million people to the Crescent City. 

As the festivities kicked into high gear Friday, the National Urban League's Gumbo Coalition gathered at the Lakefront airport to recognize and award a broad cross-section of political, business, community, faith-based, and other leaders for the work that they have done to advance the cause of political, community, and economic empowerment over the last quarter-century.

One of those recipients, was the Rev. Shawn Anglim, pastor of First Grace United Methodist Church.  

"Your contributions align and are consistent with the philosophy of the Gumbo Coalition, said Marc Morial, President, and CEO of the National Urban League. "Your hard work, which I have followed for many years, is too often unappreciated and unrecognized. With that in mind, this celebration has as its objective, recognition of you and your contributions to our community and the nation at large."

Anglim is the founding pastor of First Grace United Methodist Church, the merger of a historically Black church and a historically white church in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. 

Anglim asked the two congregations, 'In this moment, do you believe we can do more for our city as one body of Christ, more than we could ever do as two bodies one long mile apart?' 

He is also the founding Executive Director of First Grace Community Alliance and its two missions: Hagar's House - a residence for women and children without a home, and Project Ishmael - a free legal clinic for immigrant children.

Anglim led the clergy group, Clergy for a United New Orleans, which called for the removal of Confederate Monuments and was the first church to publicly declare itself a sanctuary church housing an asylum seeker for 11 months. 

"This Gumbo Award, like most honors, is the recognition of the ministry and work of a community, the good people known as First Grace UMC," Anglim said Friday in New Orleans. "Often, in the struggle for the common good, outside the protection of the King's castle and in the field and trenches of people's lives, we receive a lot of negative attention. It's messy. Mistakes are made, and they are all pointed-out. But in time, the good shines through. Keep the faith. Stay the course. Discover the joy of the Gospel."

For more on First Grace UMC, head here.

For more on the National Urban League, head here

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