Middle Baptist Church holds first service since Hooks' death

By Ben Watson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - On the first Sunday at Middle Baptist Church in Memphis since the death of Dr. Benjamin Hooks death, members dedicated a men's day service in honor of their former leader.

"He was a father figure," church member Jacqueline Fields said. "He was a preacher.  He was a teacher."

And through song and worship, members at Greater Middle Baptist celebrated what Dr. Hooks taught them about having faith.

"Our happiness and delight this morning is that we are confident that Dr. Hooks is resting with the one he talked about," Pastor Robert Mason said.

The title for this men's day was "Men of God United in Spirit" The program for the event highlighted Hooks' impact inside and outside of the church.

"He was just so humble, and took a young man like me under his wing and nurtured me," church member Steve Carter said. "I will never forget that.

Portions of the program showed Hooks' influence on celebrities, from Michael Jackson to Bono.  Pictures also demonstrated his impact on the struggle for civil rights.

Members of Middle Baptist Church said Hooks, who was pastor there for 53 years, will never be forgotten.

"He loved people, and his loved his church," Fields said.

Sunday, church members announced plans to hold a memorial service for Dr. Hooks at Greater Middle Baptist Church at 4982 Knight Arnold Road.  The event will begin Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.,  and the public is invited to an afternoon of praise and worship in honor of the civil rights leader and preacher.

The service will be in addition to the funeral service planned for Wednesday.

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