My Southern Book Tour has Come to its Completion

Ecclesiastes 7: 8    Better is the end of a thing than its beginning; the patient in spirit are better than the proud in spirit. [1]

Atlanta: The past week has been fantastic on so many levels. It began with a long drive, perhaps because I was tired, from Detroit to Atlanta, Georgia. My wife, Denise along with Atty. Taylor Segue and Leonard Davis helped with the drive. In Atlanta I stayed at the home of Desiree and Dwight Andrews, my longtime friends.

The "Detroit" Reception at the home of Dr. Desiree and Dr. Dwight Andrews
The “Detroit” Reception at the home of Dr. Desiree and Dr. Dwight Andrews

They had a “Detroit” Reception on Saturday evening and invited several former members of my church who have moved to Atlanta. I preached at the First Congregational Church, where Dwight is the Pastor. Lamar Willis, the Minister of Music at my church in Detroit, the Plymouth United Church of Christ joined me and accompanied me as I played the harmonica and led the congregation in song. The next day Monday, October 26, 2015 I lead a Workshop on Prayer at the church. I autographed books after worship and the Workshop on Prayer.  Dwight has asked me to leave him some books to sell after I return to Detroit.

Daytona Beach:

Cheryl and Emory Bell after worship in Atlanta, Georgia
Cheryl and Emory Bell after worship in Atlanta, Georgia

On Tuesday, October 27, 2015 I drove from Atlanta to Daytona Beach, Florida. Along the way I stopped for a delicious breakfast at the home of Cheryl and Emory Bell who are former members of my church in Detroit who have relocated to Villa Rica, Georgia. After breakfast I continued on my way to Florida. I spent the night at the home of Maria and John Long. John is the second minister that I ordained at the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit.

Workshop on Prayer at Tubman- King Church in Daytona, Florida
Workshop on Prayer at Tubman- King Church in Daytona, Florida

The next day Wednesday, October 28, 2015 I led a Workshop on prayer at the Tubman – King Church where John is the Pastor. Following the Workshop I autographed several books.Maria assisted me with the book sales.  In addition, she asked me to leave a box of books for her to sell after I return to Detroit.

  Miami, Florida: Friday October 30, 2015 I drove from Daytona Beach, Florida to Miami. Sunday November 1, 2015 I preached at the 8 AM and 11 AM worship services at the Church of the Open Door, UCC, where Joaquim Willis is the Pastor.

Preaching at the Church of the Open Door in Miami, Florida
Preaching at the Church of the Open Door in Miami, Florida

Denard McClary, who is the musical director for our Wednesday Noon Worship Service in Detroit accompanied me on the piano as I played the harmonica and led the congregation in singing before I preached. Joaquim and his wife, Clarissa were great hosts. On the Saturday before worship I was hosted to a great lunch by Enid and Frank Pinkney and their niece, Bonnie Hariston. The next day after worship, Bonnie and

autographing books after worship at the Church of the Open Door in Miami, Florida
autographing books after worship at the Church of the Open Door in Miami, Florida

Enid handled the book sales while I autographed several books. I received a pleasant surprise on Sunday morning when Albert Berry who is a deacon at my church strode into church with his friend, Irna.

            The Road Home: Following a dinner at the church after worship I drove back to Daytona Beach where I had dinner and spent the night with Maria and John Long. Monday, November 02, 2015 I will drive back to Atlanta and spend the night with Desiree and Dwight Andrews. Denise, my wife is flying to Atlanta to help me drive the last leg of the trip back to Detroit on Tuesday.

   Lessons and Blessings from the Southern Book Tour: Every city I have visited I was hosted by ministers and their wives that I have known my entire ministry.   What a blessing! Dwight and I have known each other since we were 10 years old.

Dwight Andrews and Nick Hood3 before the "Detroit Reception"
Dwight Andrews and Nick Hood3 before the “Detroit Reception”

His wife, Desiree, is a great friend and tremendous host. Joaquim and I met as church youth advisors 43 years ago when I brought my youth group to Washington DC to meet with his youth group at the Peoples United Church of Christ. John Long is the second of seven persons that I have ordained into the Christian Ministry at the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit. His wife, Maria is the godmother to one of my sons. One of the lessons that have not been lost upon me this week is the support of my friends. By drawing upon and receiving the support of my friends I have been able to distribute my first book of prayers and photographs, “The Test, The Strength, The Endurance and the Way Out” to a much larger and more diverse audience than under normal circumstances. Every aspect of this Southern Book Tour has gone well: my car has held up; the reception I have received in each church in each city has been fabulous; and most of all through it all I see the handiwork of God at play in my life.

            Prayer:

God, I thank you for the blessing of friendship. I thank you for those who love me, care for me and receive me as I am. I thank you that in a world which is often callous and cold, that there are persons who are beyond pretense, who seek nothing in return but love, and try in their own way to love their neighbor as they love themselves. I thank you this day for the blessing of friendship. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior we pray. Amen.

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Miami Photos by Denard McClary, Daytona photos, Maria Long,

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about Nicholas Hood III Ministries at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ec 7:8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.