Thursday, July 28, 2011
By SUE WATSON
An elegant funeral service for recently retired Holly Springs Police Chief Robert Pearson, killed in a motorcycle accident July 17, was held Friday at Doxey Auditorium.
About 400 attended the service, including law enforcement officers, elected officials, Holly Springs motorcycle riders, dignitaries, family and friends.
Pearson took his final rest at Mt. Evergreen Cemetery in Jackson, Michigan, on Monday of this week.
Members of his family made tributes at his funeral.
Edward Moses, pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church, thanked Pearson’s family for holding services in Holly Springs, where Pearson contributed to law enforcement, to his church and to the community.
His brother John Pearson prayed, his brother Clarence read Scripture and Monica Pearson (his sister-in-law) sang “There Is a Lean in This Old Building and My Soul Has Got to Move.”
Pearson’s friend and challenger at dominoes, chief Anthony Gibson, of the city of Drew, gave testimony to the leadership and professional life of Pearson as well as his competitiveness at the game of dominoes.
He said Pearson, a personal mentor, taught him to always be only the best.
“He was committed to excellence and his standard was his calling card,” Gibson said. “He had a determined heart to excel in everything he did.”
Wanso Hayes provided a tribute to Pearson’s work with Asbury Church where he joined the Men’s Group, was chairman of the Pastor/Parish Relations Committee, taught Sunday school, served as an usher, and worked with the church youth.
“He was an astute Biblical scholar, a historian and had visited many historical places (of Scripture),” Hayes said. “He was a military man, a law enforcement man and most importantly, the man behind the badge was a Christian and a spiritual man and did all he could to make life better for everyone.”
Rust College President David Beckley, who was with Pearson on his last ride, called Pearson a great man and expressed deep sympathy to Pearson’s bereaved family.
“Rest on, dear friend, rest on,” he said. “We will forever remember you. Move on. We are not in a hurry today. Robert, we shall forever love you and always remember you and keep you and your family in our hearts. Farewell, dear Robert.”
On behalf of the Alley community downtown, which Pearson visited often on patrol showing care, love and respect, Walter “Blind” Rooks sang a moving rendition of “The Meeting.”
He sang for a friend, a father and especially a man of God, Rooks said.
Armastine Gipson sang “If He Changed My Name.”
In a glorious eulogy to the life of Chief Pearson, Moses read the Scripture where Jesus was talking to Philip and to Nathaniel.
Pearson, was “the Nathaniel among us,” a man without guile or deceit, Moses said.
He always looked for the good in things. He called and checked on the elderly.
Moses said Pearson consulted him when he had decided to resign as chief of police – to make a change.
“Pastor, this is it. I’m getting ready to make that change,” Moses recalled Pearson saying.
“He made a turn in the road and God sent Philip (Beckley) to go motorcycle riding. No one can call it back. No one can change it. God said, ‘Philip, you turn away.’ I had to turn away. Mama had to turn away. Phyllis (Pearson’s wife) had to turn away, to let him go. For Jesus decided this time, ‘Nathaniel, I called you.’ Jesus changes names.
“He is no longer the chief. He’s God’s child. Let him go.”
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