Capitol Words a project of the Sunlight Foundation

  • and

Honoring The Life Of Reverend Dr. Isaiah Madison

Rep. Bennie Thompson

legislator photo

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of a great African American educator, pastor, attorney, and highly respected member of our community, Reverend Dr. Isaiah Madison, who passed away March 1, 2012, at the age of 71.

Dr. Isaiah Madison was born on February 16, 1941, in Lake Cormorant, Mississippi. He later graduated from Delta Center High School in Walls, Mississippi in 1960. Dr. Madison went on to receive an Associate's Degree from Owens Jr. College in Memphis, Tennessee, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Howard University in 1964. He continued his education at Howard University, where he received his Juris Doctorate. Additionally, Dr. Madison received a Masters Degree in Political Science from Atlanta University and a Masters Degree in Theology from the International Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Reverend Dr. Isaiah Madison began his career as an instructor teaching Political Science at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and the Clinical Law Program at Howard University School of Law. Dr. Madison was a retired Associate Professor of Political Science at Jackson State University, where he taught courses in Public Law, American Government and Legal Research and Writing. While at Jackson State, he was Co-Advisor of the prominent Fannie Lou Hamer Prelaw Society in the Department. The Reverend Dr. Madison was a prolific writer and author. He published several poems and essays dealing with a wide variety of subjects--ranging from the law to social justice issues.

Dr. Madison was a man of deep and abiding faith, and served wholeheartedly as a United Methodist Pastor and Church Leader. Using his God-given gifts of teaching and exhortation, Dr. Madison pastored churches in Mississippi and Georgia. Dr. Madison was a member of New Dimensions International Ministries, where he served as an Assistant Pastor.

In 1973, Dr. Madison was the lead attorney in the development of the high profile Ayers Case. In fact, he was the Chief Architect of the Ayers decision. Madison was the Founding Chairman of the Black Mississippians' Council on Higher Education which was the support organization that provided financial and organizational assistance to the Ayers effort. Madison was primarily responsible for the $503,000,000 settlement that was reached in the Ayers Case.

Dr. Madison was married to Carol A. Madison of Memphis, Tennessee. Her son and his stepson, William L. Poston, is serving in the United States Navy.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in extending our sincere gratitude to the life and legacy of Dr. Madison. This extraordinary man was an unsung hero of his generation, who did not seek recognition but always sought justice. Our country was blessed with his service, strengthened by his faith, and bettered by his devotion to his family and the state of Mississippi.