In Memory of a True Leader
Lately it’s been hard to write. I lost someone who was apart of my life for 27 yrs and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. Rev. Dr. Haywood N. Goode. Sr. passed away on October 20, 2017. At first I thought I would be ok, because I knew for a fact that he lived a life to be proud of and I knew the many of people he impacted. He passed away at 88 years-old, which shows how blessed he truly was to live such a long life. I’m aware that we all have to leave one day so I thought I was okay until reality set in and I started thinking of all the sweet memories. I remember him always supporting me throughout school and telling my mom that I was his granddaughter. He was so proud of me and not only was he like a grandfather, he was the preacher I grew up listening to. My mom made sure I went to church every Sunday. I didn’t have a choice, regardless of how I felt I was going to church and if I showed out in church…well, you know the rest. I’m appreciative that my mom made that decision for
me as a child because it taught me about discipline and having morals and values. I started singing on the choir at Rev. Goode’s church at the early age of 6 years-old. He baptized me at 9 years-old. This man was something like a giant, in height and stature but he was as gentle as they come. When he spoke everyone listened, because his voice held so much power. He didn’t have to yell, or even raise his voice it was just something about it that reminded me of what it meant to be a natural born leader. His humility overflowed through the way he treated others. He never put himself above his congregation and he was the true definition of love and forgiveness. I seen members fall short, like we all do sometimes because we are human. When this happened, he corrected them and forgave them holding them to the expectation of not making the same mistake again. The love never changed, no matter the mistake.
I remember meeting with him to get prayed for. I was going through a lot during that time in my life. I injured myself exercising and there were other outside pressures I was facing to live a life of conformity with the mainstream. Rev. Goode called in his team, the prayer warriors. I knew the two women who came in, because they were active members in the church. They held hands in a circle and prayed for me. I could feel the amount of power in the room. The power came from the prayer and the belief. The same day Rev. Goode shared with me that he started working as a young boy. He then told me of the racial discrimination he had to overcome growing up in the deep south. His life wasn’t a cake walk. He started out working for 50 cents a day as a 9 year-old to support his family. He walked to work at night and if he heard anyone in the woods, he had to immediately hit the ditch or hide so that he wouldn’t be kidnapped by the white men. This was the only way his mother wouldn’t lose their home. By agreeing to do this as a child, Rev. Goode put himself in the position to be a great leader for his family, and then years later, to a church that would be the biggest church in Thomasville, NC, known as “Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.”
My life will never be the same without Rev. Goode. Anyone can preach the gospel but not many can live it. This man lead by example. I’m blessed to say that he was apart of my life for as long as he was. He taught me that the size of the person has nothing to do with a person’s strength. When he was a young boy, he had the heart of a lion and when he grew to become an influential force in his community he lead with grace and humility. May he continue to rest in paradise. I am grateful that he left a blueprint for me along with many others to live by. Life is not a fairytale, therefore we will all have to one day leave this world so prepare yourself and live your life according to the legacy you would like to leave behind. I hope this is a blessing to someone!
Love Trish xoxox
I'm an East Carolina University alumna. I have experience in journalism, law, radio broadcasting, television production and teaching. My goal is to make a difference in the world through media and motivational speaking.