The Home Going of Rev. Cameron M. Alexander, Antioch Baptist Church, Atlanta

January 3, 2019

The Rev. Cameron Madison Alexander always wanted to keep Antioch Baptist Church North nestled in the city of Atlanta.

There, he felt, the historic African-American church could have the greatest impact and serve people who needed help the most.

“He viewed his role as a shepherd who was duty-bound to take care of people,” said his eldest son, Cameron Eric Alexander, an Atlanta Realtor and musician. “He really cared for the least of these. He put the needs of the church family sometimes above his own personal challenges. That’s the reason people loved him so. People saw that he put other people first.”

Alexander, who would have celebrated five decades in the pulpit at Antioch next year, died Sunday after a brief illness.

He was 86.

 

Under his leadership, Antioch became a beacon of hope in the community. It has a much-needed food, housing and clothing ministry and a recovery program for people fighting addiction.

While other pastors may have been hesitant to reach out to those battling HIV and AIDs, Alexander greenlighted a program to help.

He often guided others who wanted to become pastors. By one count, he trained 600 ministers and, of those, 150 are pastoring churches around the world.

“He was one of the most lovable preachers in town,” said former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who has known Alexander since 1961. The two worked worked together on civil rights issues and campaigns to help those in need. “He was the head man for a long time, but everybody loved him. He wasn’t pushy or bossy. He had this wry sense of humor. If he disagreed with you, he’d figure out a way to make a joke about it, but he’d let you know how he felt. Still, I never heard him say a harsh word to anybody.”

“He viewed his role as a shepherd who was duty-bound to take care of people,” said his eldest son, Cameron Eric Alexander, an Atlanta Realtor and musician. “He really cared for the least of these. He put the needs of the church family sometimes above his own personal challenges. That’s the reason people loved him so. People saw that he put other people first.”

Alexander, who would have celebrated five decades in the pulpit at Antioch next year, died Sunday after a brief illness.

He was 86.

 

Under his leadership, Antioch became a beacon of hope in the community. It has a much-needed food, housing and clothing ministry and a recovery program for people fighting addiction.

While other pastors may have been hesitant to reach out to those battling HIV and AIDs, Alexander greenlighted a program to help.

He often guided others who wanted to become pastors. By one count, he trained 600 ministers and, of those, 150 are pastoring churches around the world.

“He was one of the most lovable preachers in town,” said former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who has known Alexander since 1961. The two worked worked together on civil rights issues and campaigns to help those in need. “He was the head man for a long time, but everybody loved him. He wasn’t pushy or bossy. He had this wry sense of humor. If he disagreed with you, he’d figure out a way to make a joke about it, but he’d let you know how he felt. Still, I never heard him say a harsh word to anybody.”

Alexander served 29 years as president of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, which cites a membership of more than 600 churches. He’s a former vice president of the National Baptist Convention, USA and former dean for the Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Congress, an auxiliary of the state convention.

Alexander was invited to submit one of his inaugural sermons to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The sermon became part of the oral history and spoken word collections that preserve Americans’ accounts of and reactions to important cultural events.

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