In a post back in 2010, I wrote concerning an ex-prisoner friend of mine who had been gunned down in yet another senseless street killing.  Richard Joiner was a young man who had been released from prison and was trying to do the right things with his life when he was killed.  Several months later, a memorial service was held that was directed primarily toward having Rick’s/Red’s (I knew him as “Red” Joiner as did most at the prison where we met.  Since then, I have found out that many prisoners elsewhere in the system knew him as “Rick” – hence the dual nicknames) friends from that bible study have an opportunity to eulogize him, which did not occur at the service immediately following his death.

Christian Faith Missionary Baptist Church (courtesy of Google Maps)

The service was held at Christian Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, where Yusef Qualls is the pastor.  Mr. Qualls is Red’s stepfather (unbeknownst to me was his status as stepfather – not until after the video below was taken did I find out that he was not Red’s birth father, which will explain my referring to him as “Mr. Joiner – I just knew him as Red’s dad).  Mr. Qualls ministers in Detroit – a city that we all know has fallen upon hard times.  The streets there do not have much hope.  He has a difficult ministry, to say the least.

The video you will see is part of a much longer video, where several former prisoners (all of whom, by the grace of God, have not returned to the Michigan Department of Corrections) also spoke along with the chaplain at the prison where we knew Red.  The video had never been edited until recently and I am posting my contribution to the service.  Remember that I am a layman and not a trained minister (as evidenced by my death grip on the pulpit) or highly educated, just a man who loves his Lord and who loved Red and many like him who wore (and wear) state blue and have a number.

The audio quality is not the best, so you will have to turn your speakers up to hear.