Rev. Calvin Butts 3rd died on Friday, Oct. 28. Reverend Butts was the pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and a frequent speaker each summer at Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs.

Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts 3rd was an exceptional spiritual force, community activist and health leader who improved our world.

Among his many contributions were his initiatives to improve the health and wealth of African Americans and others. This included efforts to reduce illness and deaths from tobacco use, to eliminate substance misuse, to improve efforts to prevent and to treat HIV infections, to improve infant nutrition, expand employment for low-income Americans and strengthen business development in Harlem.

At the time of his death, Mr. Butts was the co-chair of a national group of Black ministers working to increase Covid vaccination rates among the nation’s African- American community.

Mr. Butts was a charismatic leader and an eloquent speaker who always was in high demand in New York, Oak Bluffs, Atlanta and elsewhere around the country. Those who were fortunate to know Calvin Butts or to work with him were inspired by the experience.

The Sullivan Alliance and its members extend sincere condolences to his wife Patricia and family.

Louis W. Sullivan is president emeritus, Morehouse School of Medicine, and was the M.D. Secretary for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1989 to  1993. He is a longtime seasonal Vineyarder.