Friday, February 19, 2010

A tribute to Bishop Larry McGriff

My friend Bishop Larry McGriff passed away yesterday, Thursday, February 18, 2010.

I mourn his loss; he was a friend and a true interfaith leader. I have known him for about six years and have attended his church, the Church of Living God in Oak Cliff several times. Larry asked me to do the Pluralism greetings every time I have been to his church; in short they are religious greetings from Bahai to Zoroastrian traditions and every one in between.

I will miss his graceful presence at our events; he attended every one of the Unity day USA programs, the Holocaust and Genocide event, the Thanksgiving Celebrations event and the commemoration event to pay tribute to my late wife’s life of exemplary service. He sang ”the Change is coming, hold on" song, and indeed it was uplifting.

Right after one of the Unity Day events, Dallas Morning News captured him on the camera and published his picture, which he had framed and made a point to show it to me every time I visited his church.

On December 27, 2009 he married Dr. Karen Hollie, another interfaith leader; as a groom on the stage, he sung the song "change is coming, hold on" again. Their wedding was the interfaith wedding of the year, where several religious leaders blessed the couple.

Together the couple has served their community well through their programs "walk to the destiny" where they served the children with new shoes, clothing and school bags in collaboration with the interfaith network service of Memnosyne Foundation.

Bishop Larry McGriff’s and I have been associated through the Universal Peace Federation, where he was bestowed upon the recognition as an Ambassadors of Peace; he has been a part of my organizations the Foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim Congress; and we have collaborated service projects through Memnosyne's center for interfaith.

Selected Pictures, slide show:
Facebook: Wedding pictures!/album.php?aid=368523&id=851280248&op=6

Walk to destiny pictures

Selected pictures

Meanwhile, I found another song to honor him, he uplifted interfaith in his community as the following song "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke traces the African-American history, from the struggle of black Americans from the early days up to the present.
Link to this tribute:

Bishop Larry McGriff, a fixture in southern Dallas church and politics, is dead at 58
04:57 PM CST on Thursday, February 18, 2010
By SAM HODGES and RUDOLPH BUSH / The Dallas Morning News
Bishop Larry McGriff, a well-known clergyman from East Oak Cliff, died this morning at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas.
McGriff, 58, was pastor of the Church of the Living God on Overton Road near Lancaster Road. He was active in local politics and interfaith work and was known for helping the poor.

Dallas pastors marry in interfaith ceremony
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“He had a heart not only for his congregation but for the entire community,” said Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, a friend of McGriff's. The mayor said he admired McGriff's charitable work, particularly a program to provide Christmas toys for needy children.

Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins, another friend, said the pastor suffered an aneurysm Wednesday night and was rushed to the hospital. He died about 11:30 a.m. today
"He gave people food, clothes. Every day he was helping people," Atkins said.
"I could call him at four in the morning. He wouldn't ask why. He'd just show up."

McGriff's wedding last December to Karen Hollie, pastor of Lifeway Church in the Red Bird area, drew various dignitaries, including Leppert. The pastor's interfaith commitment was demonstrated by having a rabbi and an imam participate in the service.

1 comment:

  1. My deepest sympathy to all. I know My father touched many lives.HE WAS A GREAT LEADER OF FAITH.He will be missed.
    Sara McGriff-Call