Three Presbyterian ministers personify genuine leadership (June 19)

by Louis ‘Hop’ Kendrick, For New Pittsburgh Courier

There exists throughout Allegheny County an unbelievable number of churches, which consist of a multitude of denominations. It came to mind one day that three of the most involved ministers, were out front, particularly during the heights of the civil rights movement, they were Rev. Leroy Patrick, Rev. Jimmie Joe Robinson and Rev. Johnnie Monroe. All three were of the Presbyterian faith.

These three men come to mind because it is a weekly occurrence that there are lists of persons who are referred to as leaders. How do we make the determination who qualifies as a leader, what makes a man or woman a leader? We often refer to sports figures, politicians, self-appointed or appointed by outsiders, as leaders. We should pay homage to those persons who truly made a difference and we are proud to stand on their shoulders. This column was written this past Sunday, on Father’s Day, and I can’t think of a more significant day to write it on.

Daddy was truly my leader and instilled in me the importance of self-worth and the absolute belief in myself that I was somebody, no better than anyone else, but just as good. As I was introduced into politics, I was introduced to some of the richest and most powerful men in America, but because daddy had prepared me, I was never intimidated or in awe of any of them. I have always known who I was and truly knew that I served an all-powerful God. I truly understand that as I write about my father, there exists untold numbers of readers who can identify with my situation. I recollect a number of years ago we were in a meeting and the question arose, who was the most influential man in our lives, and the names of the national and international figures surfaced—Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Paul Robeson, Congressman Rev. Adam Clayton Powell. They all deserved to be referred to as great, but I was the only one to state my daddy.

The telephone rang at 7 a.m. Sunday, Father’s Day, and it was my oldest nephew calling from Detroit to wish me a happy Father’s Day, and over the course of the day, my daughters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren called as well. Over the course of my life I have done the best that I can, because I have always wanted my family to love and respect me as I did my father.

(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)


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