My Pastor Passed Away


Pastor David L. Fisher Sr, 1942-2017

Historic St. John Missionary Baptist Church

Founded 1869

The pastor of my baptist church died last week. 75 years old.  Funeral yesterday.  This morning, I’m sitting in my beloved little church.  The attendance is 7 members strong.  One white face.  Six beautiful and glorious black brothers and sisters.  They are all dear and very close friends.

As part of black history month, we sang The Negro National Anthem.  A gorgeous and touching hymn that brings tears.  I realize that the civil rights struggle also won a great freedom for me.  The liberty to associate with, love and be loved by people of all colors.  It freed me to realize that I am no better than any. We are equal.

My faith transition has also won me a great freedom. The liberty to associate with, love and be loved by people of all Mormon stripes, including resigned, excommunicated, atheist, etc.  It freed me to realize that I’m no better than any. We are equal.


It’s been over 3 years since I’ve been asked to give a talk, lesson or prayer in my Mormon church.  So, I’m out of practice and maybe a bit unprepared for what happened below.

Over 300 people attended my pastor’s funeral yesterday. There might have been 30 who I had met before.  Of course, a baptist service is much different from a Mormon one.  Two hours long.  About one hour in, I was sitting there enjoying the lively music, the the loud and forceful preaching.  Minding my own business.   Then a startling announcement. “Brother Sam Young has been asked by the family to share ‘expressions and reflections’ at this time.”  Startled and taken aback….but not nervous.  Although, I haven’t given a talk in years, I knew just what to say.  This Baptist pastor was my friend, a good friend, a very good man.  For a brief and shining moment, a white Mormon face stood before a sea of black baptist faces.  We laughed and cried together.  We honored our mutual friend.  Nothing between us but a feeling of love and unity.

Community is so beautiful.  I love…

  • My Baptist community
  • My Mormon community
  • My exMormon community
  • My atheist community
  • My work community
  • And of course, I love the most important community– my family.

Thank you to all my good and kind friends.  You are dear.