Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Longtime Chicago pastor, Reverend James Meeks, delivers last sermon at House of Hope in Pullman after nearly 40 years

CHICAGO (WLS) — Sunday was the final service for a longtime Chicago pastor, as James Meeks delivered his last sermon after nearly 40 years.

He’s the only senior pastor the congregation at Pullman’s House of Hope has ever known.

“I married you all. I blessed your babies. I’ve been to your kid’s graduations. We’ve been together all seasons,” Rev. Meeks said. “I’ve been at the hospital when you miscarried. I’ve been at the cemetery when you buried your loved ones. We’ve done life together.”

Now, after 38 years at the helm, Pastor Meeks delivered his last sermon at Chicago’s largest African American church.

“I leave you. I’m out. Peace out. But I leave you in the hands of the Lord,” Rev. Meeks said.

So while there was a church service, the day was primarily a day of tribute.

“Pastor Meeks has done untold good. Not only here, not only in this community, it in our city our state and our nation,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

But for all the dignitaries present, it was the words of many of his longtime members that no doubt meant the most as Rev. Meeks and his wife made a celebratory lap of the 10,000-seat house of worship he built from the ground up.

“We’re going to miss. It’s going to bring tears to my eyes just to think that he’s leaving,” said Tommy Harris, a longtime House of Hope member.

“My whole family, they all joined. I have 11 siblings and nine of them joined with their kids,” added fellow longtime House of Hope member, Constance Doggett.

“I’m happy that we are able to celebrate him when he’s alive and well and can hear all the lives he has touched, especially mine,” said Wendy Howard, another longtime House of Hope member.

During his tenure Rev. Meeks combined religion with politics, serving as state senator from 2003 to 2013, and running for mayor of Chicago twice. So, even as he steps down from the pulpit work on his top priorities will continue, he said.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.

Comments are closed.