Rev. Daughtry's weekly article that appears in the NY Daily Challenge every Wednesday and Friday.
Journal of the People’s Pastor
“Writing The History I’ve Lived, Living The History I Write!”
A Week to Remember
The week of June 1st thru the 8th will be remembered forever by the Daughtry family as one of the most cherished weeks ever experienced. On June 1st one grandson was graduated from Poly Prep High School in Brooklyn, New York. Our first grand, 17 year old Lorenzo, who was a good student and football player, will be headed off to Franklin & Marshall College.
The family was there. Mother – Sharon D’boya, father – Lorenzo, maternal grandmother & father – Dr. Karen S. Daughtry and myself., paternal grandmother – Ms. Eva Johnson, two aunts – Rev. Leah Daughtry and Rev. Dawn Daughtry-Pemberton and her husband, Todd, uncle – Herbert, Jr. Esq., his wife, Danielle Daughtry, Esq. (large with child) and their son Herbert III, and a visitor – Keyonada all the way from Jacksonville, Florida.
Out there on the manicured green grass rolling to the street and off to the golf course, surrounded by distant trees, which provided a little shade for those who came early enough to secure seats beneath the friendly branches; the hot sun demanding all the attention, the stage with the usual podium chairs, flag, faculty, dignitaries and honorees behind which was the Atlantic ocean, it was hard to believe that Lorenzo was graduating. It seemed that he was just born yesterday. Even deeper, it seemed only yesterday we were attending the graduations of our four children – elementary, high school and college... Oh time how swift is thou feet!
There he was, all 250 pounds of him, walking across the grass to the dirt aisle up to the stage, smiling broadly, hand out for the diploma and proudly returning to his seat – but, not before pausing for picture taking. Afterward there was more camera activity. Then came the congratulations and the reception and promises of keeping in touch and it was over.
Poly Prep has an interesting history. John Howard Raymond, 1814-1878, founded Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic University. Later named Polytechnic. He was its first principal. He later founded Poly Preparatory High School in 1854. He was a friend of Fred Douglass, the preeminent abolitionist, publisher, writer and orator, and Dr. Henry Ward Beecher, Pastor of Plymouth Church in Brooklyn. On Emancipation Day 1863 at Cooper Union, he appeared on a program with Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, another well known abolitionist, and Louis Tappan who with his brother Arthur were generous financiers of the abolitionist movement. On our annual walking tours, we visit significant sites of the Underground Railroad. The Tappan brothers’ house is one of the stops along with Plymouth Church. The tour takes place on the lst Saturday in August. Mr. Raymond delivered a moving invocation during the 1863 program. One of Polytechnic present building houses the old Bridge Street Church, which played a major role in the anti-slavery movement. It was also a stop on the Underground Railroad. Bridge Street is also a stop on an annual walking tour.
After the graduation and reception and good byes, the family made its way to our customary dinner. While we reveled in the delicious food stuff, word came via cell phone, that Danielle was due to deliver our third grandson in 4 to 5 hours. We laughed, we cried, gave high fives and tried to finish our dinner. As always in the Daughtry family, it is about detail planning - sometimes, most of the time tension packed. It was decided who would go to the hospital immediately, who would pick up other members of the family and who would be central command.
It was 7:30pm when I arrived at Lenox Hill Hospital. On the way, I was informed it was a boy. I rushed to the 6th floor maternity ward. I was greeted by the staff with usually gladness and congratulations. I’m not sure if it was due to my celebrity status or because their was an addition to our family.
I was led to the room where the family had gathered. The mother was relieved, proud and happy. The father was all smiles. The grandmother was glad and solilicitous. The baby was cradled in the arms of Leah, who sat in a chair next to the bed starring down at that the baby as if trying to understand the mystery of birth and the unknown future. The mother’s sister – Colette stood around the bed talking and rubbing her sister’s hand. The baby weight 8lbs 14ounces.
Driving home I kept thinking, wow! One grand was graduated from high school and another grand was graduated from the womb.
On Sunday June 3rd after the morning worship where Rev. Leah delivering a powerful sermon, the family returned to the hospital. In the room with our slowly recovering daughter in law, Danielle, our son Herbert Jr. sitting with a book of names for hours, we discussed and debated what we would name this new addition to the family. We departed without a decision being made. (I told you every decision in the Daughtry family is a UN deliberation within a democratic process.) Later a name was chosen, again after several days of debate, Miles Andrew (Andrew being the name of the paternal grandfather).
The next day, Saturday June 2nd, I spoke at a fundraiser for Darfur sponsored by Ms. Jewel Allison. Actually it was the annual concert by her youthful piano students. Once she became involved with our organization, the National Religious Leaders of African Ancestry Concerned About Darfur, she decided to donate all proceeds to the Darfurian refugees. On the program were State Senator Eric Adams, Rev. Herbert Oliver, Brother Yahya Osman and the Mighty Sparrow. I did a brief progress report on Darfur and expressed gratitude for their support.
The next stop was my church, where Dr. Charles Ogletree, a Harvard Law Professor, was lecturer. These 1st Saturday, monthly programs are sponsored by Dr. Ron Daniels, President of the Institute of the Black World. After his presentation, Dr. Ogletree autographed his new book, All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the 1st Half Century of Brown vs. the Board of Education. Also present on the program was Councilman Charles Barron and Betty Dopson of CEMOTAP. These Saturday programs at the House of the Lord Church are the place to be. They are all there – scholars, activist, elected officials, authors, artist, vendors and brothers and sisters of all classes from all parts of the Diaspora. The programs culminate with the most delicious food prepared and served by the House of the Lord Caterers, coordinated by Peggy Iman Washington, Earline Davis, Gloria Daniels & Betty McBride.
Sunday, June 3rd thru the 10th, commenced my 49th Pastoral Anniversary. The opening speaker was the Rev. Leah Daughtry, our eldest daughter. Rev. Leah serves as Chief of Staff to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) responsible for managing day to day strategies and operations of the National Party. She was recently appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Democratic Convention, which is scheduled to take place in Denver, Colorado. Rev. Leah also Pastor a church in Washington D.C. Teaching and preaching for three nights and closing the Anniversary on Sunday, June 10th, was our baby daughter, Rev. Dawnique, who is also a Pastor in Bergen County New Jersey and an Assistant Principal at Ronald Edmond Middle School. I should note that our daughter Sharon, who is our church’s National Director of Music, Art and Dance, was present only for part of the anniversary. In her adventuresome spirit, which she received from her father, had made plans to be away climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. Our son, who is the Principal of Ronald Edmond II, appeared as oft as he could, but his attention was consumed by the birth of his second son.
As I lived through the week, I was compelled to constantly think on how blessed my life has been. I thought to myself there may be some people some where who feel as fulfilled as I do, but none feel more fulfilled. Indeed, God thru Jesus Christ has been good to me!
PS: On June 11th I, along with other Ministers who have been pastoring for over 35 years, was honored with a tribute by the Frank R. Bell Funeral Home on their 50th anniversary.
Saturday, June 23rd - Clergy Breakfast Meeting discussion on the conditions in Darfur – 8:00am
Bethany Baptist Church, 275 West Market Street in Newark, New Jersey
Saturday, June 30th - Clergy Breakfast Meeting discussion on the conditions in Darfur – 8:00am
The House of the Lord Church, 415 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York
Organizing Meetings regarding Darfur every Thursday - 12noon @ the House of the Lord Church
Material Support Drive to Help the People of Darfur going on until June 30th.
BCAT Program every 2nd and 4th Sunday @ 2p.m.
For further Information on all events, contact The House of the Lord Church @ (718) 596-1991