Rev. Lynwood H. Leverette
The Rev. Lynwood H. Leverette died from pneumonia at Northwest Hospital on Dec. 30th. He served for more than two decades as the pastor at Mount Pisgah Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
Rev. Leverette’s work extended beyond the church. He affected the community through his work with “The Bea Gaddy Foundation,” founded and run by the one-time homeless woman who became a tireless advocate for the homeless. “Before she passed she passed the mantle on over to him. For the last Thanksgivings he’s had his hand in the distribution of foods and turkeys on Thanksgiving,” Clarence Leverette, 68, of Baltimore, said about his brother.
“He was not one to rush to judgment,” said the Brenda Thomas, a Mt. Pisgah member and longtime friend of Leverette. Being the longest standing pastor came with great authority, yet Leverette was humble. “He gave every minister an opportunity to preach the gospel,” Thomas said.
The Rev. Joanne Jackson, interim pastor, said, “He was the pastor of the church, but yet, he didn’t have to constantly say or prove it. He didn’t want to eat off of gold plates and his people off of paper plates. He didn’t have the ‘chief seat’ in the assembly.” Jackson co-pastored with Leverette for over 20 years. “My role will be to carry on the vision as laid out by the Pastor Leverette; infused with the lessons he has taught me,” Jackson said.
“Dr. Leverette’s style of leadership allowed people to blossom into who they are and what they can be. He didn’t micro-manage. He gave instructions or assignments and allowed individuals to get the job done. He trusted in the person’s ability to do the assignment. Discernment was another of his qualities.
“Most importantly, forgiveness was his mantra. If there was an insult or grievance perpetrated against him, he didn’t hold grudges. He sought to restore relationships,” Jackson added.
Leverette leaves behind a legacy of service. He served in the Navy Seals from 1966 through 1968 as a patrol boat trainer, family members say. He later went on to earn his doctorate in human letters from Eastern Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va.
Mt. Pisgah’s website lists Rev. Leverette’s achievements: leading the church to burning the mortgage, renovating the lower fellowship hall, adding handicap accessible restrooms to the main level of the sanctuary, purchasing an outreach and administrative building adjacent to the church, and developing the church’s transportation ministry.
Last year his church hosted the General Conference for the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, held at the Baltimore Convention Center. There over 5,000 people attended, including 3,000 delegates from all 50 states and representatives from Haiti and several African countries.
Rev. Leverette was ordained as a Christian Methodist Episcopal minister in 1982, and was pastor of St. John CME Church in Harrisburg, Pa., from 1982 to 1984. From 1984 to 1993, he was pastor of Brown Temple CME Church in Asheville, N.C.
His funeral took place on Jan.9 at New Shiloh Baptist Church located at 2100 N. Monroe St., Baltimore, Md. Bishop James B. Walker, presiding prelate of the 7th Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, gave the eulogy.
He shared some other thoughts with the AFRO. ” Rev. Leverette lived by the philosophy of keeping the joy in worship. Mt. Pisgah is a place wherein the worshippers are engaged and valued,” he said.
” While Rev. Leverette will be missed, his work anticipated this day. Pastor Lynwood leaves us a living legacy. During his life, this pastor mentored pastors, ministers, laypersons, as well as members of his family. The race that Rev. Lynwood Leverette ran in life will not end at his grave. He passed on the baton to the multiple persons with whom he shared his life and imparted his ministry. He indeed planted trees of leadership for the generation that follow him to enjoy.”
He was married to the former Valensey Mitchell and was the proud father of Suzette, Lynette (deceased), Lynwood Jr., Myesha, and Sir Michael.