My Pastor Passed Away

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Pastor David L. Fisher Sr, 1942-2017

Historic St. John Missionary Baptist Church

Founded 1869

The pastor of my baptist church died last week. 75 years old.  Funeral yesterday.  This morning, I’m sitting in my beloved little church.  The attendance is 7 members strong.  One white face.  Six beautiful and glorious black brothers and sisters.  They are all dear and very close friends.

As part of black history month, we sang The Negro National Anthem.  A gorgeous and touching hymn that brings tears.  I realize that the civil rights struggle also won a great freedom for me.  The liberty to associate with, love and be loved by people of all colors.  It freed me to realize that I am no better than any. We are equal.

My faith transition has also won me a great freedom. The liberty to associate with, love and be loved by people of all Mormon stripes, including resigned, excommunicated, atheist, etc.  It freed me to realize that I’m no better than any. We are equal.

Funeral

It’s been over 3 years since I’ve been asked to give a talk, lesson or prayer in my Mormon church.  So, I’m out of practice and maybe a bit unprepared for what happened below.

Over 300 people attended my pastor’s funeral yesterday. There might have been 30 who I had met before.  Of course, a baptist service is much different from a Mormon one.  Two hours long.  About one hour in, I was sitting there enjoying the lively music, the the loud and forceful preaching.  Minding my own business.   Then a startling announcement. “Brother Sam Young has been asked by the family to share ‘expressions and reflections’ at this time.”  Startled and taken aback….but not nervous.  Although, I haven’t given a talk in years, I knew just what to say.  This Baptist pastor was my friend, a good friend, a very good man.  For a brief and shining moment, a white Mormon face stood before a sea of black baptist faces.  We laughed and cried together.  We honored our mutual friend.  Nothing between us but a feeling of love and unity.

Community is so beautiful.  I love…

  • My Baptist community
  • My Mormon community
  • My exMormon community
  • My atheist community
  • My work community
  • And of course, I love the most important community– my family.

Thank you to all my good and kind friends.  You are dear.

8 thoughts on “My Pastor Passed Away

  1. My Good Brother Sam,

    Thank you for sharing a very touching and meaningful experience with us.

    To know you is to love you, Sam. Anyone who does not love you, either does not yet know you, or else has been captured by some kind of dark agenda.

    You wrote: “It’s been over 3 years since I’ve been asked to give a talk, lesson or prayer in my Mormon church.”

    Really? REALLY?

    Living organisms have the natural ability to autonomously detect any foreign, invading entity that is not “one of us” or “our own”. The Mormon Church is a collective, living organism with this same ability. It has sensed, Sam, that you are not “one of them” or “their own”. It has surrounded you with protective antibodies designed to protect itself from becoming “infected”.

    Infected with what?

    The Mormon Church organism is protecting itself from any danger of infection with the Unconditional Love for all Humanity exemplified by Jesus Christ … and exemplified by Sam Young … up close and personal.

    Sam, you are, albeit politely, seen as a clear and present danger to the Morganism.

    And I am so proud of you, and nontrivially enriched spiritually to know you.

    Every time you have contact with your Mormon friends and associates, you are tacitly offering them an opportunity to personally, and in real time, sense what real, Christ-like love and non-judgment looks like and what it feels like.

    I know you ain’t looking for Kudos, but you just collected a big pile of ’em from me, Sam.

    You are awesome. I cannot help but love you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Gary–my treasure friend,

      You are correct. I’m not looking for kudos. However, your words bring tears to eyes. When are we going to meet?

      Here, in Invisible’s comment pages, you have shared intimate and tender details of your story. It’s drawn my heart to you.

      I love you, too, my brother!

      Like

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