Jonathan Myrick Daniels (1939-1965) is considered a saint in the Episcopal Church, honored for giving his life at the height of the civil rights struggle in 1965. Born in New Hampshire, Daniels joined the Episcopal Church as a teenager and later enrolled in Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Mass.
He followed Dr. Martin Luther King’s call to join the civil rights movement in Alabama following Bloody Sunday in Selma in the spring of 1965. After being arrested for trying to register black voters in Lowndes County in August 1965, Daniels was released. Trying to find a cool drink in the Alabama heat, Daniels and his companions were threatened with a shotgun; Daniels died from a gunshot wound after pushing aside Ruby Sales, a 17-year-old African-American woman.
Since 1991, the Episcopal Church has celebrated his life and martyrdom every year on Aug. 14, the day of his arrest. The sculpture of Daniels in the Cathedral’s Human Rights Porch was designed by Chas Fagan, sculpted by stonemason Sean Callahan, and dedicated in 2015. Looking on was the young woman Daniels saved, Ruby Sales.