Memorial service planned in memory of talented young man

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 14, 2003

Derek Lamont Henry, 24, was a famous musician in the area and played in many churches. He was multi-talented and played several instruments. Thursday, Feb. 20 will mark the first anniversary of his death, and his mother would like to give a special gift in his memory. Therefore, a service will be presented at 7 p.m. in St. Timothy Baptist Church, 1613 E. Washington St., in order to establish a scholarship fund in Derek’s name.

He was the only child of Evangelist Carolyn Hodges. She said she wanted to tell the story about Derek because most young people think that if they are young nothing tragic can happen to them. However, as the saying goes, tomorrow is not promised to anyone. She submitted the following story:

As a youth, Derek was an extraordinary child and was unique in his own special way. He was full of love and expressed that toward his family, church, and friends. Like David, God anointed Derek at a very young age and he loved to play the piano, keyboard, drums, and the bass guitar.

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As a young man, Derek matured in the Word of God. His priorities were in order and God was always first in his life.

He gave of himself, his time, energy, patience, money, and musical gift for the Lord’s service.

Derek’s grandmother often saw him down on his knees. He witnessed to other young people and they were inspired by his living example.

The night before he died, he called his friend Marcus in Florida to check on his salvation because Marcus was saved months before by Derek leading him to Christ.

Shortly before 7:30 a.m. Feb. 20, 2002, Derek left his grandparent’s home.

He stared at his grandmother before leaving but did not say his usual, &uot;I’ll see you later.&uot; Just minutes away, he died in a single car accident when he lost control of his 1999 Nissan Altima.

Neither speed, drugs nor alcohol were contributing factors and he was wearing his seatbelt.

The police officers seemed not be able to make any sense of the accident.

The car hit a tree in the yard of one of his classmates’ parents. Paramedics had to cut the roof of the car to get to him. Only God knows what happened. We can only speculate that something crossed the road in front of him.

One year has passed and our hearts are still very heavy and saddened by this sudden tragic loss. As the month of February rolled in, the event of the loss unfolded as if it were yesterday.

We know that &uot;weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning&uot; (Psalm 30:5).

We thank God for guiding us through this pain each day and we also thank Him for every act of love and kindness shown to us. Even now, people are still holding us up in prayer.

Only 24 years old, Derek is a legend in his own right, and we want to do our part to make sure that he stays that way with the creation of the Derek Lamont Henry Scholarship Fund.

For more information on the fund contact Hodges at 934-1545.