Orange County

Orlando civil rights leader Father Nelson Pinder passes away, sources say

ORLANDO, Fla. — Father Nelson Pinder has passed away, according to sources.

WATCH: Father of Orlando’s civil rights movement describes what living in the city was like in the 60s

Pinder was known in the community as the father of the Orlando civil rights movement.


Last year, Vanessa Echols had a rare opportunity to speak with him for a special Black History Month report.

Pinder became the first full-time priest of color at the Episcopal Church of Saint John the Baptist in Orlando.

READ: Juneteenth celebrations emphasize ending racial disparities

He was also front and center during the civil rights movement, organizing sit-ins at lunch counters that refused to serve Black customers.

Pinder is credited with building bridges during the civil rights movement preventing violence from erupting in Orlando, like it did in other cities during that time.

READ: Jackson sworn in, becomes 1st Black woman on Supreme Court

His passing was announced during service Sunday morning at the Episcopal Church of Saint John.

He would’ve turned 90 years old on July 19.

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