(Extensions of Remarks - January 29, 2018)

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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 19 (Monday, January 29, 2018)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E109-E110]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                             HON. JIM COSTA

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Monday, January 29, 2018

  Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today along with my colleagues Mr. 
Clyburn, Mr. Lewis, and Ms. Waters, to pay tribute and honor the life 
of Reverend Dr. James Hester Hargett. Reverend Dr. Hargett was a 
community and civil rights activist who dedicated his

[[Page E110]]

life to helping others. He passed away on January 1, 2018 at the age of 
87. His presence will be greatly missed by those who had the 
opportunity to know him.
  James Hester Hargett was born on July 24, 1930 in Greensboro, North 
Carolina to Reverend F.A. and Mrs. Florence Hargett. Throughout his 
childhood and into high school, he forged a love for reading, music, 
and extra-curricular activities. Following his graduation from Dudley 
High School, he attended Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, 
North Carolina. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Political 
Science. While attending university, James met the love of his life 
Louilyn Funderburk and married her in 1954. In his senior year of 
college, he responded to the call of Christian service; the culmination 
of his childhood and influences from a professor in college.
  Reverend Dr. Hargett would go on to earn a Masters of Divinity from 
Yale University Divinity School. Shortly after his graduation in 1955, 
he was named Associate Minister at the Church of Crossroads in 
Honolulu, Hawaii. After three years in Hawaii, James moved to Los 
Angeles in 1958 to join the Congregational Church of Christian 
Fellowship, United Church of Christ. The predominately African-American 
church focused on social justice in the community while also initiating 
change in vital areas. This included the development of a mental health 
clinic for low income earners, a student transportation program for 
overcrowded schools, and an enrichment program for minority students. 
James would march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from Selma to 
Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. He also helped organize the Poor People's 
Resurrection City in Washington, D.C.
  In 1969, James became the Secretary for Black Ministries, United 
Church of Christ Council for Church and Ministry in New York City. 
Through this role, he mentored young people and facilitated the 
creation of scholarships for seminary education. His journey would 
eventually take him to New Jersey, Chicago, and San Diego. No matter 
where he served, Reverend Dr. Hargett's ministry always focused on the 
recruitment of African Americans in Christian service in addition to 
community advocacy, education, human relations, mental health, and 
social justice.
  Reverend Dr. Hargett retired after 42 years of service to the United 
Church of Christ in 1997. He was named Pastor Emeritus of the Christian 
Fellowship Congregational Church, UCC, San Diego. Following his 
retirement, he was awarded numerous honors, including being named a 
Living Legend by the United Black Christians and the Ministers for 
Racial, Social and Economic Justice of the United Church of Christ, 
General Assembly.
  James leaves behind his beloved wife of 63 years Louilyn, daughters 
Meloni and Hester and son Darryl; sons-in-law Joseph and Eric; 5 
grandchildren and numerous cherished family members and friends.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join us on this day for a moment 
of silence in memory of the life and service of Reverend Dr. James 
Hester Hargett. His generous spirit and selfless way of living should 
serve as an example to us all. Reverend Dr. Hargett's memory will live 
on through the contributions he made to countless individuals. It is my 
honor to join his family and many friends in celebrating his life.