Amsterdam News Editor

Let the church say Amen! And the people said, “Forward ever, backward never!”

Hundreds braved the cold last Saturday, Jan 31, to honor the Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry. Celebrating his more than 50 years on the pulpit and fighting injustice from Brooklyn to the Sudan were the likes of Iyanla Vanzant, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Assemblyman Charles Barron, Councilwoman Inez Barron, former Comptroller John Liu and Mayor Bill de Blasio. It was standing room only at the historic House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn.

The renowned Daughtry family were all amassed, watched over by matriarch Dr. Karen Daughtry, a vision in her black-and-white outfit that had the mayor describing her as a “fashion plate.” Speeches dug deep and the congregation went from Brooklyn-based grassroots politics to the White House. Activist Adeyemi Bandele took a moment to remember “The Chief,” Jitu Weusi, while passing roses to the fellow activist popularly known as “The People’s Pastor.”

Indeed, this was a time of tribute and community appreciation, organized by the very prominent religious leaders, Bishops Eric R. Figueroa, Albert L. Jamison and Gerald G. Seabrooks. Speakers included Sharpton, who brought the house down, motivational speaker Vanzant, Assemblyman Barron, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and developer Bruce Ratner. A letter from Kadiatou Diallo, the mother of Amadou Diallo, who was not able to attend, was read by Yvonne Ruby.

There was soul-stirring song from James Hall & Worship & Praise and dance from choreographer Deidre Dawkins. Acknowledged audience members included former Mayor David Dinkins, Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, and Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid. Among a who’s who of grassroots activists and community leaders were Viola Plummer, Salim Adofo and Bertha Lewis.