Dr. Fern Nelson (left), Denise and me

Friendship –



San Diego is a long way from home. Last night I gave a book talk at the home of a friend, Dr. Fern Nelson. Later this Sunday morning I will preach at the Christian Fellowship United Church of Christ in San Diego. Fern grew up in Detroit. We attended the same church. I am a few years older than Fern, but at a critical point in my life-process of deciding to transition from music to ministry, Fern was there for me. During the summer of 1972, organized and led the first black college tour from my church. I asked Fern to volunteer as a youth advisor on the tour. That first Black College Tour had two buses and 80 children. The youth had worked for a year to save money for the Black College Tour. The children who made that first Black College Tour traveled free of charge. We slept in dormitories, gymnasium floors and in the homes of members of the Central Congregational Church in New Orleans. We traveled from Detroit to Nashville to visit Fisk University. From there we drove to New Orleans and toured Dillard University. Our next stop was Talladega. After Talladega we toured LeMoyne Owen College in Memphis. Our last stop was the Atlanta University Center with Spelman and Morehouse. We also met Corretta Scott King. In Memphis, Fern, who told me she wanted to become a doctor, let a boy with a stomach ache lay his head on her lap, for most of the night while our group slept on the floor of a gym at LeMoyne Owen College in Memphis. I recognized during that experience that she would make a great doctor.

I am sharing this story because even though Fern and I have not talked a lot since that experience in the summer of 1972, she did a wonderful thing for me last night in San Diego. Fern had about 20 or more of her friends come over to her home to hear me talk about the books I have written. It was a heady experience for me to realize that I had traveled across the country to a city I did not know, go to a house I had never been, meet a whole house of strangers who came at the invitation of Fern to hear me talk about my two books. I spoke about “Endurance” and showed photos from my books. While I enjoyed talking about the books and photos, the thing that really moved me was that a friend from a long time ago was willing to invite her friends to meet me and Denise, cook a delicious meal, and after my talk have a “throw down party” with one of the guests leading a series of line dances. The whole experience caused me to think all night last night about the value of friends.


Proverbs 20: 6    Many proclaim themselves loyal, but who can find one worthy of trust? [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How many friends do you have?
  2. How do you determine who is a friend?
  3. What are your thoughts about Proverbs 20:6 in the context of friendship?


Prayer: Lord, I thank you for my friends. I thank you for the people in my life who accept me as I am, who do not ask a lot of questions, but are willing to help me follow my path and my dreams. God, I thank you for those who are open to share their thoughts, time and feelings. Lord, I thank you today for friends. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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

More about the ministry, mission, photos, publications and books by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Pr 20:6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.