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Jerry Louder a Peacemaker

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Matthew 5:10 Blessed are the peacemakers for they are called the sons of God

When I got the news Sunday of Reverend Jerry Louder’s passing, I thought there goes a peacemaker. Ever since I have known Rev. Louder he has been a servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ always smiling, with words of encouragement and seeking to bring people together. Author Howard Clarke interprets the peacemaker verse in Matthew 5:10 as those who calm disputes in a community. Some other writers have interpreted peacemaker to mean if it takes doing violence to end a conflict then that is keeping the peace.

I like Jerry’s kind of peacemaking because when it is done there is no resentment left or conflicts to keep growing. Most people do not like peacemakers because it is not macho or confrontational but in the eyes of God, He calls them Sons of God according to the scriptures. Not bad to have peacemaker as your tag line.

I recall during the height of the police shooting and killing of Tyisha Miller, Jerry was always seeking to bring people together. He would meet with the clergy of all denominations to present his views of getting the people together. He would meet with the elected leaders to convince them to meet and seek common ground where others felt no common ground existed. His actions reminded me of Jesus standing between the stoners and the woman who had sinned. Jerry knew the Tyisha Miller Steering Committee had legitimate grievances against the police department from past treatment and that there were also good police officers in the department. He also knew that the elected officials wanted to find a solution to end the conflict but the trick was how to do that without looking like they threw the entire police department under the bus. Jerry pressed forward with his smile and jovial demeanor for the entire year without giving up on seeking peace for the community he loved.

As a husband he was faithful, loyal and very proud of his children and wife Phalia. Not many people could organize a large event in a short period of time and have a professional performer on the program like Phalia. You have to be a peacemaker in the home because she always enjoyed making him look good at all of their events. He was an example to all of us of what a marriage relationship should be.

The last time I spoke with Jerry, last year at the Riverside Convention Center, he was talking about his struggle with cancer. He had just gotten up from his sick bed and was on his way back the next day for chemo treatment.

We shared our faith in God and the power of Jesus to see us through these obstacles in life, while telling me of the other events he was planning. I liked that about Jerry, he never took the “pity on self road” that so many people go down when faced with his situation.

His smiling face and his voice has been silenced from us but his legacy of seeking peace in community conflicts will forever be remembered by every one who knew him.

Black Unemployment Rate a National Disgrace

Congress took a recess from working and failed to extend the unemployment benefits for the unemployed. This is the only income millions of Americans have coming into their house to put food on the table. It is bad news for this group with a national rate of 9.4% of unemployed people, but for Blacks it is 14.4% unemployed with no let up in sight. Michigan has the highest unemployment rate for Blacks at 22.5% and in California Black unemployment is at 15.3%. Now if 9.0% is called a recession what do you call it at 15.0% and holding? I call it a “National Disgrace.”

Congress should be ashamed to collect their $174,000 salary that these same unemployed people helped by paying taxes when they were working. The leadership of congress gets $193,000 per year no wonder they want to stay elected.

Rev. Marvin Yancy sings a song on Men of Gospel CD called “Heavy Load” with words that, God is going to lighting up the heavy load we are carrying; until He comes He is expecting our so-called Christian government leaders to pick up the slack by doing the right thing until He comes. The Black community has been carrying a heavy load for a long time. President Obama should issue an Executive Order to extend the unemployment benefits and let congress deal with it when they get back.

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