But at age 25, which wasn't exactly a highlight year for me, I laid in bed flipping the channels until I saw something I had never seen. I wasn't one for watching ministers on television; but I stopped. I could not look away from this guy. He was walking but his feet didn't seem to touch the ground. Then he took off running, knees high in the air. Oh and he had yet to stop talking.
The next week, I searched and found the program again. And the next week I found it again. He was still running. He had his bible; but for the most part it was closed. Didn't stop him from quoting multiple scriptures in that time.
On July 27, 1997, I got there for my first service. Only July 27, 1997, I signed on as a member. It wasn't long before I was that little girl, settled under the wings of (at that time) Pastor Frank Summerfield, later ordained as Bishop Frank Summerfield.
Over the years, he prayed, he walked, he talked, he taught, he loved. He prayed, he walked, he talked, he taught, he loved. He did what a father does...to all of us. He corrected, he prayed, he walked, he talked, he taught, he loved. He corrected, he prayed, he walked, he talked, he taught, he loved. The greatest of these was love.
I was doing great, he loved. I wasn't doing so great, he loved. The moments I am sure he was frustrated, he pushed and he loved. He said try harder. If I did, he loved. If I didn't, he loved more.
"Love like God. Wait like God. Forgive like God. God's Love always forgives in advance."
Bishop Frank Summerfield
There hadn't been anything like it for me from someone without a natural familial bond. But I understood quickly this bond was different. God had done this. He was dad. My hero. He was Superman. In every way he was a Super Man.
In that time, he made sure we knew God was the source of it all. He wanted us to see God and not him. Still, God empowers some who still don't manage to correct, pray, walk, talk, teach and love in the way he did. In all of the accomplishments was a humble character, a servant who just wanted the best for everyone. Like a hero, he used what God gave him to come to the rescue.
At 37, I had to revert to a little girl when life got scary. After a long illness, my husband died leaving me with a 6 year-old daughter, a 2 month old son and a big grieving family. He corrected, he prayed, he walked, he talked, he loved. He helped me bury his spiritual son and he helped me take the steps to go forward on my own. He loved me. He loved my children. And when it got crazy, and it does, I could hear his voice.
"How long should I say it? Say it until you can see it. How long should I confess it? Confess it until you possess it. Don't give up."
Bishop Frank Summerfield
At 44, I had to say goodnight to Bishop Frank Summerfield...dad...my hero. He was Superman. He was a Super Man. Even as he walked slower, and the reality came to the front, his body wasn't invincible, his spirit, which was of God was faithful to love.
I will miss him. I will miss his smile, his sure steps, his humor, and that goofy "Look what I've got, I'm so in love," look he had whenever he looked at Pastor Joe Nell. But he left us so much.
He corrected, he prayed, he walked, he talked, he taught, he loved. He did it all with everything God gave him and now, God, in his infinite wisdom has taken him home. It hurts. I want to question, "why now?" but I would have never been ready. I want to ask "why us?" But he taught us we were most definitely not above tragedy, just equipped to push through it.
All that's left is Rest now Bishop Frank Summerfield...dad...my hero. Rest Now Superman. I love you. Thank you.