A personal emergency in South Africa kept Archbishop Desmond Tutu from arriving in Montgomery today, where city officials were relying on his notoriety to help raise money for needy children.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner was about to board a Montgomery-bound plane in Nashville just after 10 a.m. when he received the call from South Africa, according to the Rev. James William Webb.
Webb helped organize a fund-raising luncheon featuring Tutu as the guest speaker at the Montgomery Civic Center.
Webb would not discuss the nature of the emergency, except that it likely involved Tutu's family. Tutu promptly made plans to return to South Africa.
He said Tutu "is committed" to returning to Montgomery as soon as his schedule permits.
Proceeds from the private 300-person luncheon were to support SeedHarvest International's "Little Soles for Little Souls," a project designed to buy two-thousand pairs of shoes for poor elementary school children in Montgomery and in South Africa.