Ex-Addict Who Became Prominent Pastor Found Dead in Church

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Addict who became celebrated pastor found dead in NJ church.

IRVINGTON, N.J. (AP) — A former heroin addict who turned to religion and became a prominent pastor after he was released from prison was found dead Friday in the church where he preached and ministered to those who walked in his shoes. He was known for visiting the sick at all hours. “He didn’t make apologies for what he was — he knew he had a higher calling,” said Hunter. “One-hundred precent of what he preached was about not being perfect.”

As a young man, he’d gone on to be a prison guard himself, and taught at a community college — but it wouldn’t be long before he was on the other side of prison bards. Broke and desperate, she confessed that she and her five children were facing eviction if they could not pay their rent. “Reverend Ron reached in his back pocket and reached for the envelope and gave it to this lady,’ said Lewis. “He said ‘God has blessed me too much for me to be stingy.'” Though momentarily taken aback, Lewis said he was hardly surprised at the generosity shown by Christian, the prominent pastor of Christian Love Baptist Church who died suddenly Friday morning at the age of 51. Outpourings of love and support came from all corners of the Newark area Friday to honor Christian, whose generosity was matched only by his seemingly limitless energy and compassion. In a statement, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. said Christian’s energetic sermons, dynamic personality and kind words inspired everyone he met. “It didn’t matter who you were because Rev. He began visiting local rehab clinics and homeless shelters, and developed a reputation as an energetic, fiery preacher with seemingly limitless compassion.

An autopsy is pending, but his death does not appear to be the result of foul play, a spokesperson for the office said. “He said, You know what, Farrah? Despite his conversion to a life of morality, friends and parishioners say his checkered past was never far from his mind or his sermons — exemplified by the large “All Sinners Welcome” sign posted outside his church. He was able to befriend both law enforcement and some of the people involved in criminal activity in the street.” By 9 a.m. this morning, more than 100 people had gathered outside Christian Love church as word of his death spread.

Anthony Ambrose, chief of detectives for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, said a family member found Christian unresponsive at the Lyons Avenue parish around 6 a.m. Volunteers and staff will be modeling the quality clothing donated by people in our communities to help men, women and children in need. 330-535-1563. Wallenfang, assistant professor of theology at Walsh University, will hold a special presentation and discussion about the Gospel’s role in healing pain caused by relationships, Good Blood: From Taylor Swift to Selfless Gift. Members and friends are also invited to place a stone on the table in honor of a saint they have lost to death. 330-836-2226 or www.westminsterakron.com.

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