One of my dearest friends, Jeff Haskins, is finally getting some of the recognition he so rightly deserves. In today's New York Times there is an article about his church, Unity Fellowship. The Unitly Fellowship movement was started by Archbishop Carl Bean (he sang the gay anthem "I was born this way!") in 1990, in Los Angeles, California. Rev. Jeff Haskins is the senior pastor of the NYC church, along with being one of the founding members of GMAD (Gay Men of African Descent) and was once executive director of POCC (People of Color in Crisis). Jeff is on the front lines of any fight that affects the Lesbian and Gay communities. His accomplishments are too numerous to mention, but if it takes marching in the community, counseling those living with HIV, speaking with local politicians, or whatever needs to be done, you can ALWAYS count on Jeff to be there.
I first met Jeff on a trip to the Dominican Republic, that James Saunders gave. He and I were supposed to be roommates, but something happened and we didn't end up sharing a room. But from that meeting he and I bonded. Anytime I feel despair, or just need some encouragement, I can always count on Jeff to make me feel better and to hold me up, and me being a big guy, that ain't no easy feat.
I believe Jesus Christ is my savior, but don't go to church, or get on my knees and pray as often as I should, but Jeff is my rock. He told me, "you're covered in the blood of Jesus, so don't worry about what man is trying to do to you." There have been many days when I didn't know how I was going to pay my bills, or just how I was going to survive, and I would call Jeff and my armor would be strengthened and I would feel renewed.
Jeff, I'm so proud of you and the work you do for others. Keep up the good work!
Okay, I've just climbed down from the pulpit.
(You can read the article in today's Times by clicking here. If you are asked to register you can go to this great website called www.bugmenot.com and get a login and password.)