Remembering the First African American Bahá'í


It is with great pleasure that we share with you news that a befitting monument has been approved for the gravesite of Mr. Robert C. Turner—the first African American to embrace the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, a believer so outstanding as to be designated a Disciple of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Herald of the Covenant by Shoghi Effendi. We offer our sincere gratitude to the devoted friends who have committed their time and resources as members of the project’s task force and to the Spiritual Assembly of Burlingame, California, which serves as its institutional sponsor. 

…We also call upon you to consider dedicating your teaching efforts for a period of time in Mr. Turner’s memory, especially those focused on reaching out to African American populations.

…Be assured of our prayers that the spirit of Mr. Turner may inspire all those who act in his name and strive to bring to fruition ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s reported promise to him: "Robert, if you remain firm and steadfast to the end, you will be a door through which a whole race will enter the Kingdom.

– Excerpts from National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States letter, June 15, 2021

Remembering the First African American Bahá'í