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Remembering Love
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Filed under News on Thursday, July 23, 2015 by Author: Admin.

Love BDD Foundation, Inc. sponsored, "A Labor of Love" weekend April 17-19, 2015. Love BDD Foundation board members include Omega men affiliated with James Madison University or initiated through Beta Delta Delta Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity at JMU, Harrisonburg, VA. BDD celebrated it's 30th anniversary in conjunction with sponsorship and funding of the historical highway marker dedicated to Bishop Edgar A. Love, born September 10, 1891 in Harrisonburg, VA. -Love BDD Foundation, Inc. is a Virginia 501 (c)(3) non-profit

Bishop Edgar Amos Love, a Methodist Minister Committed to Social Justice

Bishop Edgar Amos Love, 1891-1974, a Virginia native, was remembered and honored at a Historical Marker Ceremony held April 18, 2015 at John Wesley UMC in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Bishop Love, the son of Reverend Julius C. Love and Susie C. Love, was born in a parsonage in Harrisonburg where his father, a Methodist minister was serving as pastor. Harrisonburg is also the home of Beta Delta Delta Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, chartered 1985 at James Madison University. Beta Delta Delta Chapter sponsored the historical marker and dedication ceremony honoring Bishop Love who co-founded Omega Psi Phi Fraternity at Howard University in 1911.

Attendees at the ceremony included Bishop Love’s son, Jon Love, Sr., age 75, of Owings Mills, Maryland and his wife, Blanche Love, two grandchildren and a great grandchild. Also present was Bishop Love’s secretary, Thelma White, age 98, accompanied by her daughter, Brenda NeSmith and son-in-law, Samuel NeSmith, Virginia Conference clergy. Bishop Love conducted the NeSmith’s wedding, ordained Samuel and appointed him to his first pastorate.

Bishop Love was elected a bishop at the 1952 Session of the Central Jurisdictional Conference and was assigned to the Baltimore Area where he served until his retirement in 1964. He received his education at Morgan College Academy, Howard University and Boston University School of Theology. Prior to his election to the episcopacy, Bishop Love was Superintendent of Negro Work, Board of Missions, New York, 1940-52; pastor of churches in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and an army chaplain in World War 1.

Thelma White, secretary for sixteen years to Bishop Love and also Bishop Alexander P. Shaw, was privileged to be a part of the historical Central Jurisdiction. In reflecting upon the past, Thelma recalls the camaraderie among the office staff that included Bishop Love’s Administrative Assistant, Dr. Daniel Lyman Ridout, and his wife, Frances Ridout. Thelma remembers Bishop Love’s wife, Virginia Love, as a quiet, supportive spouse and recalls that the bishop maintained an active lifestyle, played tennis regularly and enjoyed activities with his fraternity that he loved dearly. Bishop Love often spoke poignantly about the racism that he experienced as an African-American that motivated his advocacy for human rights. As a social activist, the bishop was an outspoken critic of segregation in the Methodist Church and was an active member of several civic organizations, in which he participated even amidst controversy.

The fraternity sponsored the historical marker, not only to honor Bishop Love, but to give a sense of hope and pride to the community. United Methodists owe a debt of gratitude to the fraternity for the marker that will keep the memory of Bishop Love and our heritage alive for future generations.

Article published;
African American Methodist Heritage Center Journal
-Summer 2015
By Brother Samuel E. NeSmith, Sr. Retired Clergy,
Virginia Conference,

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