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Rev. Graylan Hagler


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Rev. Graylan Hagler continued

"Those with connections, those with wealth, those of the upper class, tend to escape carrying the burden [during wartime]. And those who are on the bottom rungs of society economically have to carry it and have to become victims of it. It does no good to talk about somebody as a hero after they are dead or after limbs have been blown off." - REV. GRAYLAN HAGLER

GRAYLAN SCOTT HAGLER, of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C., has been an activist for civil and economic equality for decades. Before it started, he knew that war with Iraq would hurt not only the soldiers sent to fight, but also the people left behind to live with the economic fallout of a multi-billion dollar conflict. A founding member of United for Peace and Justice, he has expanded his ministry and his mission to address an America at war.

   More About Rev. Graylan Hagler

Reverend Graylan Scott Hagler's ministry is one of Word and deed. In 1980, he founded a congregation in Boston, Massachusetts, and in 1991 ran for Mayor of that city. During his 12 years as a pastor in Boston, a racially charged setting, Reverend Hagler's work was one of empowerment and opposition to racism. He campaigned to protect citizens from unconstitutional and illegal police practices and to safeguard democratic participation in the selection and election of political leadership. He also led the Free South Africa Movement to force divestiture of dollars from the suppor of the apartheid system.


In 1992, Reverend Hagler moved to Washington, D.C., where today he is the Senior Minister of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ and continues to preach and organize. He has fought the proliferation of liquor stores in the Black community and has insisted on community participation in development issues. In 1993 he opposed the EXXON Corporation’s plans to build a ‘super gas station’ in the neighborhood where he lives and where his Church is located.  In 2003, Reverend Hagler broke ground on that same EXXON site after acquiring the property. Instead of a ‘super station,’ 69 units of subsidized apartments for the elderly opened in February 2005.  Reverend Hagler worked to preserve the only publicly funded hospital in the District of Columbia, organized a successful effort to oppose the death penalty from being instituted by Congress on the District, and continues the fight against public school vouchers, which he sees as a plan to divert funds from public education to private schools.


The U.S. and international media have interviewed Reverend Hagler countless times.  His writings have appeared on, an online magazine of thought and opinion.  Reverend Hagler is on the Steering and Administrative Committee of United for Peace and Justice, a national coalition working to oppose aspects of U.S. foreign policy that the group believes contribute to war and aggression.  Reverend Hagler is the Development Director of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), the largest neighborhood stabilization organization in the United States, which helps working class people become homeowners.  Reverend Hagler is chaplain to Local 25, Washington, D.C. of the Hotel Employees, Restaurant Employees/UNITE. He believes in the dignity and worth of workers and continually strives to support that principle. 


Reverend Hagler was born on March 1, 1954 in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended public schools in Baltimore and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion from Oberlin College, Ohio, in 1976. Three years later, he graduated from The Chicago Theological Seminary with a Master’s Degree in Divinity. On February 3rd., 1980 Reverend Hagler was ordained into the United Church of Christ (UCC), where he is currently National President of Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice, a national clergy organization within the UCC. In 1981, Reverend Hagler was also recognized with full standing in The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Visit Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ

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