Dee Griffin (deegriffin) wrote,
Dee Griffin

Bishop G.E. Patterson: Living by Example

Earth's loss is heaven's gain. Yesterday, the world lost a true man of God and a true friend to mankind. I have been honored to serve as Mistress of Ceremonies on programs that recognized and gave awards to Bishop Patterson. However, what comes to mind most is the times I have come upon him by chance. Last year, I saw him in a local restaurant. I was a bit apprehensive about greeting him. I didn't want to intrude. But, something said "you know he's a great man and would love to say hello." So, I walked over. Suddenly, I saw a big, beaming smile. He said "hi Dee." As a southern girl raised to respect her elders and treat everyone with courtesy, especially Ministers, I apologized for my appearance. I explained that I ran 6 miles that morning, went home to change and headed out to the restaurant with friends. Bishop Patterson was the most welcoming and paid no attention to my non-anchor woman clothes. He was so kind and wanted to know how I was doing.

That's the Bishop Patterson we will all remember. He was the same with everyone. I, like millions of others, grew up watching him on television. When I moved to Memphis, I couldn't wait to visit his church. It was an amazing experience.

The world has lost a true soldier for peace and love. He walked the walk and talked the talk. He was always interested in knowing more about people. My friend, and Link sister, Kathy Kirk told me tonight about how he prayed for her and ministered to her. She said, "he helped me pass the bar." He was always willing and able to pray for you in any situation. Nothing was too big or small.

I wasn't a member of his congregation. Nonetheless, I cherished Bishop Patterson and his teachings. What I learned most from Bishop Patterson is humility. He was a humble servant. Instead of beating and bashing people, he listened and prayed for them. He truly made the world a better place. He set an example for so many. He's gone. But, the person he was will never be forgotten. Rest on great servant.
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