Ambassador Andrew Young to Preach the Eulogy for Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood Sr.
When: Saturday, April 16, 2016
Time: 2 PM with a Family Hour at 1 PM
Where: Plymouth United Church of Christ, 600 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48201
In 1949, my dad and mom married in New Haven, Connecticut, then took the train to New Orleans, where he assumed the pastorate of the Central Congregational Church. The parsonage was under renovation so my parents stayed at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Young Sr. The Young’s had two sons, Andrew Jr. and Walter. Walt was in high school. Andrew was enrolled at Howard University. Andrew tells stories of returning home from college to find the young preacher and his even younger wife cooped up in the family home. Often he would return late from a night of fun in “The City that Care Forgot,” only to find the young preacher reading and preparing his sermons. At some point my dad invited Andrew to drive with him to a youth camp meeting sponsored by the National Council of Churches. The camp was called a United Christian Youth Movement, which brought together a lot of young people who were predominately white. My dad had attended seminary at Yale with one of the organizers of the camp.
Andrew told me that he had never been exposed to anything like this camp. The purpose of the camp was to identify and encourage young people to pursue Christian vocations and to work for racial harmony. One of the young people told Andrew that his parents would disown him if they knew he was at the camp. Andrew said he was embarrassed to hear the commitment for a better society coming from young white people at a time in his life when he had not yet expressed much of a commitment to anything. At the end of the week Andrew gave his life to Christ and the rest became history. His father became angry that he had decided not to follow his footsteps into dentistry. His girlfriend quit him and he started his career as a youth worker for the National Council of Churches in Hartford, Ct.
Because the NCC did not have housing for him, they put him up in a guest house on the campus of Hartford Seminary. Andrew eventually began to take classes at the seminary and he was awarded a scholarship and was admitted as a student.
Meanwhile, my dad became involved in the struggle for human rights in New Orleans. Andrew says he had never met a minister who did anything other than Sunday morning worship. When Andrew returned from seminary that first summer, my dad encouraged him to do an internship at the Congregational church in Marion, Alabama. Andrew thinks my dad and the mother of his first wife, Jean, cooked up a plan to set them up. They fell in love and the rest is history.
Through the years my dad and Andrew have remained close. Andrew and his brother, Walt, who is now a successful dentist, seem to look at my dad like an older brother. The three have remained close through the years. During the Civil Rights Movement my dad participated in some of the marches and slept in houses that were offered to Dr. King and his team, of which Andrew was part. During the planning of the March on Detroit, northern fundraising rally’s that were held at our church and conversations about the Poor Peoples Campaign after the death of Dr. King, Andrew would often stay at our home.
Before he died, my dad told me he wanted Andrew to preach his eulogy. If Andrew was not available, he wanted me to preach his home going service. I am so glad Andrew can do this because I would be so sad.
For those in the Detroit, Michigan area, I invite you to attend the home going service for my father this Saturday at 2 PM
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at the 80th birthday celebration for Ambassador Andrew Young in Atlanta, GA
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III can be found at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/