By Portia A. Scott (www.atlantadailyworld.com)
Dr. Howard W. Creecy Jr., pastor of Olivet Church in Fayetteville, was remembered Saturday, Aug. 6, as a strong, charismatic and spiritual being, who loved and helped people whom he “made happy.” He had a “magnificent human soul” with no fear and understood whom he was, what he was, and where he was going.
Eulogized by Dr. Rev. Jasper Williams Jr., pastor of Salem Bible Church on Bakers Ferry Road, N.W., Creecy was also recognized as a “true negotiator who was gifted inside, not outside, and knew how important that the soul be saved.” Rev. Williams said the body has returned to dust and it is only worth $2.79, so it should never be worshipped. “We will all be returned to dust when we die, but it is the soul and spirit that is a part of God.”
There were a number of other speakers at the service, held at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church on Fairburn Road, N.W. They all gave reflections from preaching, teaching and spiritual giants, who remembered the deceased as a servant of God, admired by the women and revered by men. Dr. Creecy is “absent from the body, but present with the Lord,” said Deacon Emory Wilkerson of Olivet. He added, everyone Creecy met, claimed him as their pastor.
The Rev. Dr. Eric Vincent Thomas, a longtime friend and now senior pastor of St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church in southwest Atlanta, said the deceased had been his pastor of more than 34 years. Rev. Creecy “had people who loved him all over town and he was a true pastor, brother and father in ministry. I am thankful I will see him again,” said Rev. Thomas. The Rev. Dr. James Perkins, senior pastor of Greater Christ Baptist Church of Detroit, praised Dr. Creecy for being an aristocrat, but never looked down on people. He was a great preacher, who carried on the Creecy family legacy of being a pastor for more than 100 years. Rev. Perkins added that Creecy was excited about his church’s progress and had just become president of the Southern Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Rev. Creecy died suddenly in his southwest home on July 28, of an apparent heart attack. He was 57. He had recently become president of the SCLC organization and was the keynote speaker at the Moore’s Ford Reenactment Program in Monroe, Ga., on Saturday, July 30. The lynchings of two couples in Monroe occurred in 1946, and to this day have not been solved. GABEO and state Rep. Tyrone Brooks have kept these murders alive for seven years with the Annual Reenactment.
Isaac Farris, the new president of SCLC, said Dr. Creecy was a true brother “who lifted you up and made you happy.” He praised the deceased as saving SCLC and said he “did a job well done on earth and deserved to go home.”
Farris followed Ambassador Andrew Young, president of Good Works International, who remembered Creecy “as not being gone, but one who is laughing and joking and looking down on all of us.” The former mayor added, “So, let’s celebrate his joyful life.”
Other speakers at the funeral included: Congressman John Lewis; Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, president of The Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda and president emeritus of SCLC; the Rev. Clifton E. Dawkins, senior pastor of True Worship Church, and longtime, beloved friend Brother Harold Watson, who said he first met the deceased in the 10th grade at Douglass High School and they went on to Morehouse College together. Watson also said Creecy was “very much loved.”
Music for the occasion was rendered by the combined choirs of Olivet Church and Jackson Memorial Baptist Church, and Karen Lowery, soloist, who sang “We Shall Behold Him.”
Reflections and acknowledgements were given by his beloved daughter, Teresa Creecy, and the service concluded with entombment held in The Abbey at Westview Cemetery on West Drive.
The Rev. Dr. Howard Creecy Jr. modeled his life on the values he learned from his parents, Mrs. Marguerite Portis Creecy and the late Rev. Dr. Howard Creecy Sr., and from his experiences as one of the first generations of African Americans to have gained broader educational and professional experiences because of the Civil Rights Movement.
Rev. Creecy, a richly blessed man with a unique spirit, is also survived by another daughter, Kennedy Grier Tate; two sisters, Dr. Doris Creecy and Candace Creecy; and one nephew, Alton William Waters Jr.
An overflow crowd attended the service that was handled by Willie Watkins Funeral Home. Bishop W. Ron Sailor Sr., senior pastor of Christ The King Baptist Church in Dacula, Ga., and the Rev. Dr. Gregory A. Sutton, pastor of Jackson Memorial, were among the pastors that officiated at the funeral.