Uncertainty existed this week among family members of the Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy concerning the whereabouts of the prominent D.C. clergyman, civil rights activist and political figure.
A statement posted in a nephew’s blog said relatives do not know exactly where to find the 82-year-old Fauntroy.
In the statement, Michael K. Fauntroy thanked those who have “reached out to my family and me in genuine friendship and concern regarding recent reports concerning the health and welfare of Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy.”
The statement, which indicated that it was posted Thursday from Los Angeles, said the family is “concerned about his well being” just as any relatives would be about a man of his age traveling alone.
Michael Fauntroy, an associate professor of political science at Howard University, called his uncle “a man of great faith and determination” and said he “is also a man that has done so much for so many for so long.”
Whatever “circumstances he faces in the winter of his life, we are confident that his great work has created a wonderful legacy that many people appreciate,” the statement said. “While we are uncertain of his current whereabouts, we remain hopeful that he is well and will return soon to his beloved District of Columbia.”
The statement asked Walter Fauntroy’s many friends and supporters to pray for him and his safe return. Reports began to appear in the new media earlier in the week that posed questions about his whereabouts.
Over his long career as a pastor and activist, Walter Fauntroy served as the District’s nonvoting delegate to Congress from 1971 to 1991 and was vice chairman of the first appointed D.C. Council of modern times.
He served as minister of the New Bethel Baptist Church in the Shaw community from 1959 to 2009 and was head of the Washington bureau of Southern Christian Leadership Conference.