PROFILE: Rev. Marilyn J. Ramsey

Reverend Marilyn J. Ramsey with President of NAACP Keith Caldwell.

Rev. Marilyn Ramsey is the oldest living female affiliated with the Nashville NAACP and one of the oldest living female clergy in the city.

Ramsey joined the Nashville NAACP in the late ‘70s. She participated on the frontlines in many issues impacting the African American community.

“There are so many experiences that some of them I have forgotten, but the ones that are most significant are the March on Washington with Jesse Jackson; marching in Forsyth, Ga. with Dr. Hosea Williams; marching and rallying from Haynes Manor to the Police Department for the unfair slaying of Jackie Brooks; and feeding the students at Tennessee State University during their protest and sit-ins against deplorable conditions on the school campus.

“I have had the opportunity to work with legendary leaders of the African American community, namely Mrs. Curile McGruder; Rev. James ‘Tex’ Thomas; Rev. James Turner; Dr. Dogan Williams; Sen. Avon Williams; and Rep. Harold Love, Sr.—just to name a few.

“I honor Rev. Enoch Fuzz who continues to stay in the fight. We worked together for years, and he is still on the frontlines.

“Civil Rights and the NAACP has changed, and our communities are suffering,” Ramsey said. “In the past, NAACP members and African American leaders worked collectively on the issues affecting our people. They kept the community abreast of the issues.

“The leadership was also more concerned about our children who are suffering more today than ever before.

“In the ‘80s and ‘90s, the issues that impacted the African American community were called civil rights, but today it is called ‘social justice.’

“It appears that today many individuals affiliate with civil issues to gain socialization and recognition, rather than standing up for the community.”

Rev. Marilyn Ramsey was ordained by Bishop Vernon R. Byrd in 1989 at Bethel AME in South Nashville, where she has been a member all her life.  She was also one of the first female members of the IMF, which was started by Rev. Andrew White who was pastor of Bethel AME and an officer in the United Methodist Church.