Homegoing Celebration Service Details:
Date: Saturday, July 7, 2018
Place: Metropolitan Church of God, 13400 Schaefer Hwy, Detroit, MI 48227
Time: The family hour is at 9:00 a.m., followed by the funeral service at 10:00 a.m.
Video from an interview with Faith & Leadership.
Dr. James Earl Massey worked through seven decades with joy and faithfulness. What was his secret?
“Spiritual reality is a key to a serene and happy life; we must not look at the things that are seen. We must live by the things that are unseen, which calls for true faith in God. As long as a person has that, there’s a steadiness and a surety by which they can live. After all, in the beginning — God. And in the end — God. And in-between — God,” Massey explained in an interview with Faith & Leadership back in 2010.
The distinguished pastor, theologian, musician, and author known the world over went home to be with Jesus on Sunday, June 24, 2018. Massey will be laid to rest on Saturday, July 7, 2018, at the Metropolitan Church of God in Detroit, MI, where he served as senior and founding pastor for more than 20 years (1954-1976). He was 88.
Affectionately called the “Prince of Preachers,” Massey was spiritually formed by Wesleyan theology, the Holiness movement, and African American tradition. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, a colleague and friend, shaped and influenced him, along with mentor Howard Thurman. Massey authored several articles and 18 books, including Aspects of My Pilgrimage, The Responsible Pulpit, Designing the Sermon, The Burdensome Joy of Preaching, and Sundays in the Tuskegee Chapel. He was the on-air voice of the Church of God broadcast, “The Christian Brotherhood Hour” (1977-1982), dean of the Tuskegee University Chapel (1984-1989), dean emeritus and distinguished professor of the Anderson School of Theology (1989-1995), and senior editor for Christianity Today magazine in 1995. Massey earned a bachelor’s degree at William Tyndale College, a master’s from Oberlin Graduate School of Theology, and a doctorate from Ashbury Theological Seminary. He is survived by his wife, Gwendolyn.
Social Media Tributes
Across social media, heartfelt tributes show the impact Massey had on so many — he preached and lectured at more than 100 colleges, universities, and seminaries in the United States and on four continents.
The Church of God (and many others) mourn the passing (late yesterday) of one of our greatest voices, James Earl Massey. He walked through this world with exceptional grace, strength, and wisdom. Jesus was his preoccupation, the church was his friend, the world was his stage.
— Jim Lyon (@PastorJimLyon) June 25, 2018
Heard this morning of the passing of Dr. James Earl Massey. One of the great leaders and men I’ve had the honor to grow under. His Impact and influence on God’s Kingdom and people are substantial: his work in the civil rights movement, his preaching, teaching, leading and example
— John Crump (@john_crump) June 25, 2018
Dr. James Earl Massey will be remembered by me as a profound teacher, scholar, mentor, and friend. Most important he was a follower of The Christ. We will see you again. Until then your voice here will be missed.
— Ron Mitchell (@safraven) June 26, 2018
The legacy of Dr. James Earl Massey is that he convinced me, a white girl from WV, that the ministry of reconciliation is *my* job. Fly high, brother. We will meet you again on Zion’s Hill. #ChoG
— CareerObsessedBanshee (SisterMaryDande) 🌈🏳 (@SisterMaryDande) June 25, 2018
Dr. Massey was my pastor at Metropolitan Church of God when I was a young wife and mother and until he left there as pastor. He blessed my life and my family with lasting spiritual guidance, wisdom and warmth. Our daughter, Joy D. Calloway, shared his birthdate. He was always interested in her progress. I spoke with Sis. Massey on the Friday before his passing to check on both of them. They will forever be cherished by our family.
Dear Sister Massey: You may not remember me at all. However, I remember both your Husband and yourself while you had been with us in Jamaica. I was quite young then, enjoyed going to Camp with Dr. Massey as our Spiritual Leader. Kindly accept my heartfelt condolence on his passing. May the Lord comfort you at this time of sadness. May He over-shadow you with His richest blessings and love. Sincerely, Eleth Ann Watson. New York City.