mid 80s era memory from Atlanta
neighbor died in his apt
lonely grad student from GA Tech
mid June heat and flies did their work
the smell of death walking nearby
dozen eggs long expired exploding
as breath of life liquified and melted
like gaslight unlit in a room with locked windows
no one noticed his silence or absence
until the smell reached beyond his walls
the slow creep of rot ignored by us all
During one of my morning surfing ventures through the web theGrio.com led me to Dr. Shaw’s blog post about “magic,” or more accurately, perceptions of the world and technological advances. It has occurred to me that someone dumped into 2012 from 1812 or even 1912 via a time machine (and we’re working on that one-trust me!) would think we were all sorcerers who sold our souls to the Devil himself for having these contraptions with sound and sight. Musical instruments with buttons instead of strings (iPods/iPads?). Metal books without paper yet able to hold thousands and thousands of pages you find just by pressing more buttons. Read more and tell me what you think you would do if you were plopped into the 24th or 28th century of our planet. First of all, would anything be left? We seem to enjoy burning out our planet’s ability to sustain itself, lately.
This week I interview my uncle, the Reverend Dr. Gregory E. Thomas has pastored the historic, Calvary Baptist Church of Haverhill, MA for 22 years. Since coming to the predominately African-American 140-year-old church, he has grown the membership, acquired new property, revamped Christian education and initiated ministries of spirituality. He initiated a revamped scholarship program for high school graduates pursuing higher education; instituted food ministries to combat hunger throughout the Merrimac Valley; started a nonprofit development corporation dedicated to taking the mission of the church outside of its walls, and created the Reverend Dr. Gregory E. Thomas African American Church Lecture Series. A native of Cleveland, OH, he entered the preaching ministry in 1980 in Elizabeth, NJ. Dr. Thomas completed his undergraduate study in history in 1970 from Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, OH, where he was a star football player. He received his master’s degree in theological studies in 1989 from Harvard Divinity School and his doctorate of ministry in 2001 from Boston University School of Theology. He is a doctoral candidate at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in practical theology. Dr. Thomas has taught at Goethe University, Harvard Divinity School, Gordon Conwell Seminary and Leslie College. He has written for the American Baptist Quarterly, the National Baptist Voice and has contributed to several books. He is married to the former Janie R. McMillian & has two adult children, Staff Sgt. Eli D. Lavelanet & Jennifer L. Thomas. Dr. Thomas has served on many boards, including the Haverhill Housing Partnership, the former Bradford College, Habitat for Humanity in Greater Lawrence, the United Baptist Convention of MA, RI and NH and as Advisor to The Center for Practical Theology, Boston University School of Theology.