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In “His Truth Is Marching On,” Jon Meacham considers John Lewis’ Christian faith and legacy

Steve Yount, a senior fellow with the Denison Forum, is a former newspaper editor and public-relations executive working with Christian ministries.


Civil rights activist and Rep. John Lewis, D-G
Civil rights activist and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. is introduced before speaking at the unveiling of a U.S. Postal Service stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Friday, Aug. 23, 213, at the Newseum in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham explores the relationship between Christian faith and peaceful protest in his inspiring biography of one of the icons of the Civil Rights Movement: His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope.

Lewis, who stuttered as a child, lacked the eloquence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but his courage was unmatched.  

“One test of a saint, closely tied to the test of a martyr, is the willingness to suffer and die for others,” Meacham writes. “Which Lewis was willing to do – again and again and again.” 

In fact, he was arrested forty-five times.

Lewis suffered a fractured skull when a state trooper hit him with a billy club while he helped lead a march for voting rights across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Fifty-eight of the marchers were treated for injuries.

Five months after “Bloody Sunday,” President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.

Lewis later served seventeen terms as a congressman from Georgia before his death due to cancer in July 2020 at the age of eighty.

“I have long believed – I have long preached – that our nation’s moral compass comes from God, it is of God, and it is seen through God,” he wrote in the book’s afterword. “And God so loved the world that he gave us the countless men and women who lost their homes and their jobs for the right to vote.”

His Truth Is Marching On will lift your spirits during these challenging times.