Homewood Nation

Let's elevate the conversation!

Homewood15208 Post New Entry

Remembering Freedom

Posted by Elwin Green on September 7, 2016 at 11:35 AM


On Friday, Sept. 9, the House of Manna Faith Community will conduct the homegoing service (aka, funeral) for their founding pastor, the Rev. Eugene “Freedom” Blackwell, who passed away on Aug. 29 at the age of 43.


The 11 a.m. service will be preceded by a "Freedom Procession," starting at 9:30 at Westinghouse High School.


I visited House of Manna Sunday for their first Sunday service without Freedom. Pastor Jonathan E. (J.E.) Gamble brought the message, based on Philippians 4:2-4, a passage in which the apostle Paul encourages his hearers to walk in humility. He related that to the church’s situation, in which people who don’t walk in humility could get caught up in jockeying for position, especially for the vaunted role of lead pastor.


After the service, I spoke with the three of the elders who now share the pastoral role: Gamble of Homewood; Juan Williams of the North Side and John Swanson of Gibsonia. I asked each for the one word that he felt best described the Rev. Blackwell.


“Freedom,” Gamble said. “I think his name fit him, both literally and figuratively.”


“He sought to see your freedom in Christ,” he added.


“Even from a non-spiritual perspective, just the freedom to be a black man in America, and the freedoms that are being attacked — these things we remember when we think about the word ‘freedom’,” he said.


“And spiritually, of course, the scriptures that go along with ‘freedom,’ and how the Lord makes you free, and and he who is in the Son is free indeed.”


“I think that God changed his name from Eugene to Freedom for a reason, because it would be hard to champion ‘Eugene,’ ” he said — not quite laughing, but coming close.


Williams played football alongside the Rev. Blackwell at the University of Pittsburgh, leading to more than 20 years of friendship. His one word for his friend was “peaceful.”


“That was pretty much his mission, to bring peace back to this community, through the love of God,” he said. “You know, basically, that’s where we stand. We have to love each other before we could ever move forward or anything. So that was his thing, reconciliation, between African-American churches, white churches, whatever. Just to bring back the peace and the love. We all are Christians and we've got to have a common place to start — that's with love, love and peace.”


Swanson's word was “love.”


“I was a very close friend of Pastor Freedom. We were spiritual brothers, as close as close can get.”


He spoke about the people-centered approach to ministry that they shared, led, as he put it, by the Holy Spirit.


“What Pastor Freedom and I really loved to do was when we would speak with people, people on the street, in church, we always spend the time with the individual, and ask that person why they're hurting. And the Holy Spirit would tell us why they're hurting.


“And to answer their questions, and it would take … sometimes an hour, sitting on a curb, sitting on a car seat, sitting here in church, it doesn't matter where it is, in a restaurant — when that person sees that you love them and you care about them and you’re listening and that God truly loves them, they open up and they tell their problems. And once they release those problems to the Lord, you see a change coming over that person. And then you see that person (later), and you always tell the person, can you please, please pass this forward.”


Freedom. Peace. Love. Would that more people would be remembered for such things when they leave.


RWG, Freedom — rest with God.

********************

If you find value in Homewood Nation, please help it to continue by using the button at the right to make a donation. Thanks!

 

********************

A print version of this piece appears in the Sept. 8-14 issue of Print, Pittsburgh's East End newspaper. Pick up your copy at Baker's Dairy, 7300 Hamilton Ave., then SUBSCRIBE for more of Homewood Nation and other East End news!

Categories: None

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In

18 Comments

Reply Thomson
11:03 AM on October 1, 2019 
These crazy inventions are worth to see because people who made, these are good scents. It looks like weird https://customessaysreviews.com/essay-on-time-com-review/, inventions but if you see this you will realise that you need these in your life. technology is far behind from our thoughts.
Reply BuyInstagram Followers UK
1:36 AM on October 11, 2019 
Homewood is a predominantly African-American neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, officially divided into three neighborhoods: Homewood North, Homewood South and Homewood West
(http://epicfollowers.co.uk/)
Reply buyinstagram followersaustralia
2:08 AM on October 11, 2019 
the Homewood 100 initiative. Session Host: Elwin Green Reporter: Carmen Lee Participants: Carmen Lee, Lauren ...By Followers Australia
Reply buyinstagram followersaustralia
2:09 AM on October 11, 2019 
The leaders of this project, Andrew Thornhill, founder of Thornhill & Studio and Elwin Green, of the hyperlocal news site Homewood Nation, say ...By https://buyfollowersaustralia.com.au
Reply followers uk
6:53 AM on November 6, 2019 
Access hourly, 10 day and 15 day forecasts along with up to the minute reports and videos for Homewood, PA, PA 15208 from AccuWeather.com.by buyfollowersuk
Reply followers canada
5:55 AM on November 30, 2019 
Remembering 'Freedom Summer,' the civil rights effort that changed America 50 years ago. Nation Jun 24, 2014 12:27 PM EST. Fifty years ago this summer, ...
byhttps://epicfollowers.ca/
Reply followersitaly
9:55 AM on December 17, 2019 
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (NURFC) continues its Freedom 55 Programming Series this spring as part of its ... by http://buyfollowersitaly.com/
Reply followersuk
10:03 AM on December 17, 2019 
Homewood Nation, a hyperlocal news experiment, is citizen journalism focusing on economic development, sustainability, education and the arts.by http://buyactivefollowersuk.co.uk/
Reply buyinstagramfollowersuk
4:51 AM on January 7, 2020 
The latest Tweets from Elwin Green . I publish the website Homewood Nation, a journalistic experiment attempting to answer. http://followersuk.co.uk/
Reply jessica
10:03 AM on January 30, 2020 
Get social media services at cheap rates Buy Instagram Followers uk and Buy Instagram Likes Uk at the lowest price what you need if you will get all things at one place, secure payment via PayPal, money-back guarantee 24/7 customer support.
Reply jessica
10:04 AM on January 30, 2020 
We are UK based Company serving social media service since 2013 and satisfying hundreds of customers daily. If you are worried about your social presence just ping or visit the site to get a quote. We are always here to help you. https://epicinsta.com/
Reply Buy Instagram Followers Australia
1:10 PM on February 24, 2020 
Attractive, post. I just stumbled upon Your weblog and wanted to say that I have liked browsing your blog posts. After all, I will surely subscribe to your feed, and I hope you will write again soon!Buy Instagram Followers Australia
Reply Buy Instagram Followers Australia
1:11 PM on February 24, 2020 
Attractive, post. I just stumbled upon Your weblog and wanted to say that I have liked browsing your blog posts. After all, I will surely subscribe to your feed, and I hope you will write again soon!Buy Instagram Followers Australia
Reply williamjacob656
10:24 AM on March 3, 2020 
On the contrary, I will show you some practical recommendations which could possibly be useful for your requirements buy instagram followers personally. after them, if you know how to devote the right time and quantity to Instagram, will surely increase your likelihood of reaching 1000 followers in not too long periods
Reply william jacob
10:25 AM on March 3, 2020 
Therefore do guess what happens it is that you're doing there. Strength and
guts maintain yourself calm, and simply take all the time you need to concentrate on reading the upcoming few paragraphs, and also most importantly, attempt to follow the instructions I will give you. https://buyfollowerspro.com/
Reply followerscanadsa
5:04 AM on March 23, 2020 
Remembering 'Freedom Songs' To Mark Anniversary Of Mandela's Release. Folk Music, Anti-Apartheid Movement Joined Forces In South ... by https://buyfollowerscanada.com/
Reply followers uk
5:05 AM on March 23, 2020 
Remembering Freedom Summer. 1965. In this excerpt from her 1965 book, Freedom Summer. Sally Belfrage remembers the tension at the training session for ... by https://followersuk.uk/
Reply Karl N.Wilson
8:23 AM on March 26, 2020 
Attractive, post. I just stumbled upon Your weblog and wanted to say that I have liked browsing your blog posts. After all, I will surely subscribe to your feed, and I hope you will write again soon!Buy TikTok Likes