Memphis pastor provides message of hope during uncertain times, as funerals increase


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Between COVID-19 and record breaking violence, it has been a deadly year in Memphis, where one pastor said unfortunately he has seen about a 50% increase in funerals he oversees.

Pastor Bartholomew Orr, Senior Pastor with Brown Missionary Baptist Church, reflected on the loss this year, particularly what he has dealt with.

“This has been such a year of loss. 2020 is one of those years I think we will remember for all that it does and all that we’ve gone through,” Orr said.

He said some of those funerals have been because of COVID-19. Some families in his congregation of more than 12,000 have lost multiple members due to the virus. 

When he spoke with WREG-TV on Tuesday, Orr was at a funeral. He said when it comes to what he calls the “P’s” —the pandemic, political unrest and plagues we have seen in 2020 — he reminded his congregation they can look back on biblical times and reminds the congregation they can still be thankful.

“I believe that it is our faith that keeps us grounded in the midst of these times and that keeps us hopeful in the midst of these times,” Orr said.

As families get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, he said every effort must be made to keep our community healthy, and he gave this message:

“To avoid the large gatherings, really just going back to avoid really large family gatherings at this time just so they can remain safe,” Orr said.

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