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In Memory: Herbert White

Retired minister Herbert De Revere White died October 19 in San Antonio, Texas, at the age of 81.  The Rev.  White, a former member of Church of the Crossroads,  served as Associate Director of Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE) in Honolulu from 1995 to 1999 and then continued as a consultant to the organization until 2005.


A 1958 graduate of Union Theological Seminary,  Herbert served as Secretary for Citizen Organizing and Public Policy Development of the UCC Board for Homeland Ministries from 1972 to 1979 and again from 1982 to 1988.  Through his work with UCBHM, he funded organizations and trained community organizers throughout the United States.


From 1979 to 1982 he was Co-Director of the Bombay Organizing Program of the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (CISRS) in India, and co-organized the People’s Responsible Organization of United Dharavi.


Prior to serving with the UCC, Herbert was Pastor of Presbyterian churches in Maryland and New York;  was Director of the Board for Urban Ministry in Rochester, New York,  where he worked with Saul Alinsky in creating the Freedom, Integration, God, Honor – Today (F.I.G.H.T.) organization; and was  Associate Director of the Institute on Urbanization at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, where he trained Koreans in community organization and contributed to the Democratization movement in that nation.


Through his work in the Philippines as Training Director of the Philippine Ecumenical Council for Community Organization (PECCO) from 1970 to 1972, he trained and mentored organizers in the Philippines and other countries in Asia and organized the Zone One Tondo Organization (ZOTO) with a membership of over 89 block clubs, vendors associations, social clubs and youth groups.  ZOTO represented a squatter community of 250,000 on Manila’s waterfront.   From Zoto came the street slogan, “People Power,” that was broadcast around the world during the overthrow of the Marcos regime in the mid 1980s. 


Herbert is survived by his spouse Jessica Fernandez; children David and Susan; sister Marie Bodin; grandchild Zachary Marine; and brother-in-law Carl Bodin.   Condolences may be sent to Herbert’s spouse, Jessica Fernandez White, 102 Bella Vista Drive, San Antonio, TX 78228.

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