Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Fond Farewell to the Right Reverend Clyde McCrae

Hundreds gathered from far and wide Friday at the Open Bible Evangelical 
Church of God to pay respects to Bishop Clyde Rufus McCrae.

Posted by: Noël Jones

It has been many years since I have been in an evangelical black church, and Sunday was a reminder of why, although I am not religious, I can love the experience. Open Bible Church is the real deal--warm people, Sunday hats, the smell of frankincense and soft perfume, charismatic preachers, call and response with the congregation, an energetic band (with a pipe organ!) and not just a good choir, but a congregation that is a choir in and of itself. It is a joyful place, full of people clapping, dancing, waving hands and getting happy (for those of you who don't know what that means, you'll just have to go to church to find out). And even on such a sad occasion as the passing of such a great minister, neighbor, family man and community leader, the people and visiting pastors that came to pay their respects were focused on the joy, beauty and important life's work of the Right Reverend Clyde McCrae, many of them telling funny anecdotes from their years of friendship with a man who was known not only for his warm heart, but his sense of humor.

Bishop McCrae's motto, hanging at the front of the church, was "Whatever it takes, we will give." In addition to leading his church, he
served as West Ward Block Watch President, President of the NAACP Easton Branch, the Chaplain of the Hunterdon Development Center, Chaplain of the Children's Home of Easton as well as serving on the boards of the EANHC, Warren County Prison, and as Commissioner of the Easton Housing Authority. He was also extremely generous in lending the use of the church basement for activities hosted by other community organizations, among them, the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership, and Easton Community Organizers.

Bishop McCrae died at the age of 69, and is survived by his wife Carolyn of 46 years, three sisters, five children, 18 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. The West Ward and the greater Easton area have lost a great community member, but we will continue to benefit from the strong generous community that he brought together in our neighborhood.


Anonymous said...

Sal Panto says:
Thank you for posting your kind thoughts about Rev. McCrae, an individual I am proud to have had as a friend. Although I was out of town for the service my thoughts were about the many good things he did for our community and its residents. He was a true community activist, never afaid to state his position, but it was never delivered with malice or personal attack. He was a genuine human being and he will be missed.

noel jones said...

Thanks for posting, Mayor!