I was afforded the opportunity to meet Reverend Doctor Samuel 'Billy' Kyles on several occasions. He was such a meek and humble man...a humanitarian, and one who was passionate about his work.
For those of you who may not know, Kyles was the last person to see Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. alive. I remember hearing him say (some years back) that it was a day he would never forget. I also learned that Kyles was part of the Civil Rights Movement for over 50 years. He played a big part in bringing Dr. King to Memphis as well as worked on the board of the National Civil Rights Museum.
Kyles was head of the NAACP'S Education Committee in 1968 as well as being a part of the plan to end segregation in Memphis. He was also Pastor, and after being the leader for 55 years, preached his last sermon in 2014 at the church he founded (Monumental Baptist Church) at the very young age of 17.
I am very appreciative for Rev. Kyles paving the way for the sanitation workers, and for all of us. Let us remember his family and friends during this time of bereavement.
If you have any great memories (or you just want to leave a comment) of Rev. Kyles, feel free to click on "comments" and share them with us!