Orange County NC Website
<br />ORANGE COUNTY <br />BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS <br /> <br />ACTION AGENDA ITEM ABSTRACT <br /> Meeting Date:October 20, 2020 <br /> Action Agenda <br /> Item No. 4-b <br /> <br />SUBJECT: Resolution Honoring and Remembering Reverend Robert E. Seymour <br /> <br />DEPARTMENT: BOCC <br /> <br /> <br />ATTACHMENT(S): <br /> <br />Resolution Honoring and Remembering <br />Reverend Robert E. Seymour <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />INFORMATION CONTACT: <br />Janice Tyler, Aging Director, 919-245- <br />4255 <br />Greg Wilder, Clerk to the Orange County <br />Board of Commissioners, 919-245- <br />2300 <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />PURPOSE: To adopt a resolution honoring and remembering the life and service of Reverend <br />Robert E. Seymour to the people of Orange County. <br /> <br />BACKGROUND: Reverend Robert “Bob” Seymour passed away on Sunday, October 11, 2020. <br />From his dedication to improving the lives of older adults and those less fortunate in the <br />community, to his leadership in advancing social justice and inclusion, to being a champion for <br />racial equity, Reverend Robert “Bob” Seymour was a strong advocate for Orange County and <br />North Carolina. <br /> <br />Robert Seymour was born in Greenwood, South Carolina. He completed his undergraduate <br />degree at Duke University, a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a Ph.D. from the <br />University of Edinburgh in Scotland. In 1956, while serving as a minister in Mars Hill, NC, Bob met <br />his wife, Pearl. In 1959 the Seymours moved to Chapel Hill for Bob to serve as the first pastor of <br />the Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church, which under his guidance became a church <br />committed to social justice and inclusion. With Bob as a champion for social justice, Binkley was <br />one of the first interracial congregations in North Carolina that challenged racial segregation. Bob, <br />along with many parishioners including UNC Basketball Coach Dean Smith and former Chapel <br />Hill Mayor Howard Lee, was a driving force behind the civil rights movement in Orange County. <br /> <br />Reverend Seymour was compassionate and an advocate for those less fortunate in the <br />community. From that passion, Bob helped organize the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service in <br />1963 and served as its first president. He was also an advocate for affordable housing. In 1984 <br />he was instrumental in helping start Orange County Habitat for Humanity. In honor of his service, <br />the first building in the Crescent Magnolia senior community was named the Beloved Community <br />in honor of him and his life’s work of pursuing justice and fairness in Orange County. <br />1