Honoring Bishop Gordon Arlester Humphrey, Jr.by Representative Barbara Lee
Posted on 2015-01-21
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the extraordinary life of
Bishop Gordon Arlester Humphrey, Jr. Bishop Humphrey was a beloved
pastor, husband, father, and friend. With his passing on Sunday,
December 14, we look to Bishop Humphrey's personal legacy of
leadership, service, and the outstanding quality of his life's work.
Born to Gordon Humphrey, Sr. and Helen Humphrey, in Ohio, Bishop Humphrey was educated in the public schools of Chicago and graduated from Hirsch High School. He went on to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, and then went on to follow in his father's footsteps, entering the ministry with his wife, First Lady Diane and their two children, Gordon III and Cha'Rena.
[[Page E93]] Bishop Humphrey was noted for establishing ``Sunday Night Live,'' a service where all are welcome to attend without any condemnation or judgment, aimed at those who otherwise may not have attended a church service. This model proved so successful that it was replicated across the nation. He was also a powerful singer and a talented musician, using his gifts to minister through music and song. He was the executive producer of an acclaimed album entitled, ``Olivet Oakland, Sunday Night Live! You're in the Right Place at the Right Time.'' The album was nationally and internationally recognized for its inspirational message.
After the passing of his father, Bishop Humphrey moved to Chicago, away from his 30-year ministry at Olivet Institutional Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland. Upon his return to Chicago, Bishop Humphrey assumed the position of senior pastor at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, the church his father once led for more than 40 years.
Eventually, Bishop Humphrey would become the Senior Pastor at three churches: Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, Olivet Institutional Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland, and Olivet's sister church of the same name in Stockton, California.
Bishop Humphrey was known as a bridge-builder, and he opened the doors of Olivet to the community for the Oscar Grant Forums, which took place weekly for more than three years. He was noted for his prolific urban message and was in great demand as an evangelist, preaching the Gospel across the nation. For years, he was known to walk the streets and meet with drug addicts and gang members, and was able to bring them together and begin the healing process.
Today, California's 13th Congressional District salutes and honors an outstanding individual, Bishop Gordon Arlester Humphrey, Jr. His dedication and efforts have impacted so many lives throughout the state of California and the nation. I join all of Bishop Humphrey's loved ones in celebrating his incredible life. He will be deeply missed, but his life, legacy, and spirit will live in our hearts and our community forever.