Tony Butts (1968)

Tony Butts


BPU’s first president was E. Wellington Butts II, known as Tony. Born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1937, Butts graduated from Fisk University and McCormick Theological Seminary, and was ordained by the Presbytery of Southern Virginia in August 1962. In 1964 he took the pastorate of Bethany Presbyterian Church in Englewood, New Jersey. Committed personally to urban ministry, he was sold on Englewood as being a suburban community with city problems. Becoming a community pillar in a short time, after the 1967 uprising in the city, he was called as a witness to the Governor’s Select Commission on Civil Disorder. Notably, when asked when he first heard of impending civil unrest in Englewood, Butts testified that he first heard news from the mayor, who even knew the date and time rioting would begin in advance. Butts went on to serve a narcotics rehabilitation center in New York. He died 16 May 1972, only 35 years old, and was mourned by the people of Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church, back home in Newport News.

See More