Reverend helps church member who can’t afford loved one’s funeral

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- When it comes to passing it on, we're never short of ideas from you about who should be the next recipient of our $600 gift, which is one of the reasons why you haven't seen us pull out the Pass It On sign in a while.

But a viewer recently emailed us and asked us to give the sign a try again, and it reminded us how kind Mid-Southerners can be, even when there's hardly any time to think about it.

Richard literally had to dust the sign off because it's been so long, then we chose one of our favorite spots by Wolfchase Galleria to see if it still had the Pass It On magic.

Sure enough, in just a few minutes, Reverend Cedric Jefferson pulled over to be our playmaker.

Richard: "So you saw the sign on the side of the road there and what'd you think?"

Jefferson: "I have a church member, I was thinking about her. She is unable to pay for her sister's funeral and when I saw the sign I said, let me see if I can get her some help."

Catherine Fleming's sister died from lung cancer. The funeral is just a few days away, and with no life insurance, she's desperate.

The reverend first made sure Fleming could meet him at the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Millington.

"Hello Sister Fleming, how ya doin'? This is Reverend Jefferson. Are you busy right now?" Rev. Jefferson asked while on the phone with Fleming.

Turns out, she wasn't.

"OK, meet me at the church in 30 minutes," Jefferson told her.

Richard: "That was easy. She didn't even ask why did she?"

Jefferson: "No. If I call her, she knows it's something good."

This time, $600 worth of good.

We actually hid behind the church, hoping Fleming wouldn't see us or our news car, but wouldn't you know it, the car pulls right up to where we're standing.

The good reverend told Fleming what happened. She wanted the reverend's sons, who were inside his SUV, to come out, then he got her to hold out her hand and counted off the cash.

Jefferson: "Will that help with the funeral?"

Fleming: "Yes sir, yes sir."

Jefferson: "Good. I'm glad to hear that."

Fleming was clearly surprised and grateful, as was Jefferson, who said he was just teaching his Bible study class about the value of patience.

"Just to be able to get it to her," he said. "That does a lot more than me running my mouth on a Sunday morning."