Rev. Victor Elijah Washington: From the Pulpit to Politics

February 8, 2007

Reported by: Evan Johnson

In the 1960s, Rev. Victor Elijah Washington worked with other black ministers, their wives, and black comminity leaders for peaceful desegregation of lunch counters and buses in Lake Charles. He was the first black to be elected to the Calcasieu Parish School Board, on which he served from 1970 to 1986, and organized the first licensed daycare center in southwest Louisiana.

Reverend Washington is also the founder and organizer of the area-wide Baptist Youth Week, a spiritual program that brings youth of surrounding cities together for training to be leaders. Those who knew Reverend Washington describes him as a visionary who touched many lives.

Rev. Julian Woods says, "The legacy and life that he lived, he exemplified Christ. It's very much alive today. Armajean DeCouet believes, "Our visionary has gone, but the vision is here. It's living, it's alive, and it's well."

The area-wide Baptist Youth Week held its 46th annual mass meeting on Superbowl Sunday, and Declouet said they are already preparing for their 47th.

Reverend Washington died in his mid-70's, but many say that he definitely will not be forgotten.

KPLC celebrates the late Reverend Victor Elijah Washington for today's Moment in Black History.