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Real Men Love Jesus



By Elder Gerald DeForest Tyler


Among the many “message-type t-shirts” that I have at home, the one that kept popping up in my heart and coming to the very forefront of my mind at the passing of Bishop Barnett Karl Thoroughgood on Super Bowl Sunday afternoon, was the one with this embossed inscription: “Real Men Love Jesus!” Now I didn’t get to see Super Bowl 46, because after having been at the New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ for perhaps one of Bishop Thoroughgood’s most powerfully anointed messages, entitled, “Lord, My Eyes Are Upon Thee” (II Chronicles 20:12), and then just several minutes later to actually witness his sudden and unexpected natural death, I really had no serious interest in a Super Bowl at that time. For I realized at that moment that there will quite likely be many more Super Bowls, but I can assure you that there’ll never be another Bishop Barnett Karl Thoroughgood. “Real Men Love Jesus” and the likes of Bishop Thoroughgood simply just don’t come along every day.


Now in the previous paragraph, I said “perhaps” one of his most powerfully anointed messages. I expressed it that way simply because during the almost 18 months that I’ve been visiting New Jerusalem COGIC on a regular basis, I have yet to hear a single message preached by the Bishop that was not anointed. And of course now with his passing, sadly enough, I won’t get to hear any more of his great messages that blessed my heart, soul, and spirit so tremendously. But you know, I’ll try real hard not to cry because our Christian fellowship has come to an end here in this earth realm, rather, I intend to rejoice, praise, and thank my Heavenly Father for blessing me with the privilege of meeting, hearing, and fellowshipping with this dynamic servant of his, spiritual leader, and great preacher for the year and a half that I did. Yes, our fellowship here was quite brief, but it’ll be eternal in our heavenly home. I had developed somewhat of a routine of telling folk that he was a good singer and an even greater preacher! That’s because he was.


Bishop was one who learned, loved, lived, and gave the Word of God to so many others, including me. And I will always be eternally grateful to God for Bishop Barnett Thoroughgood. While I only knew him personally and up-close for a brief period of time, I can truly say that I never heard him bring a message that did not bless me deeply. I cannot make that statement concerning all preachers. Now understand me if you will, first of all, I love the Word of God! And Bishop Thoroughgood put the study and preparation time in for the Holy Spirit to give him the kinds of messages that encouraged, uplifted, inspired, and just blessed saved people’s souls. Might I quickly add that he also had a sincere passion for preaching to reach the souls of the unsaved. I know these things about him because God the Holy Spirit revealed them to me.


At the mere age of just 62, he had done a great work for kingdom building already and certainly wanted to do even more for the Lord. Nevertheless, God in his own infinite wisdom, called his faithful servant home according to his own timeline, not man’s, and Bishop Barnett Karl Thoroughgood was ready for his heavenly calling. I say to the rest of us, as Jesus taught his disciples in the “parable of the goodman of the house” found in Saint Matthew 24:43-44 and Saint Luke 12:39-40, “Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh!”


Elder Gerald DeForest Tyler is an ordained minister with years of senior pastoral experience.


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