In his recent notice to Occupy Delaware that their members must vacate their encampment at Peter Spencer Plaza on or before May 1st, Mayor Jim Baker declared that the Occupiers desecrated that sacred burial ground, in part by the company they keep, indigent folk, drug users and such. I cannot speak for Peter Spencer, nor for the black citizens of my home town who rightfully revere him as the founder of the first independent black church in America. I suspect, however, that Peter Spencer, a follower of Jesus, who was criticized for keeping company with no-count tax collectors and sinners, would sympathize with the Occupiers, and would declare that his memory has been consecrated, not desecrated by the tent community which they have created near his grave. For Peter Spencer wanted a just society, as they do. He wanted love to prevail over greed for money and power, as they do. Spencer was criticized for resisting the back-to-Africa immigration solution to blacks’ grievances. As much as he and his people had suffered here, Spencer wanted to redeem this land, and he was willing to swim against the stream of popular opinion, even amongst his own people, to achieve that goal. Yes, it seems to me that Spencer would be at home with the Occupiers. They are not perfect people, but they share his spirit.
– Rev. Thomas C. Davis, Ph.D.
Rev. Davis is an honorably retired pastor in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (known as the P.C.U.S.A.).