‘We’ve lost OUR Giant’
The Home going Celebration of Rev. Edward Small
Several hundred including Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and a bevy of clergy colleagues joined alongside family and friends to say farewell last week to one the greatest men and pastor the City of Cleveland has ever known, the Rev. Edward Small.
The home going service was truly an uplifting celebration. The emotional service of losing one of the pillars of the religious community brought many in attendance to tears remembering a preacher who was extraordinary.
His surviving sons, all of whom are prominent in ministry presented their father with some of his favorite items such as his personal bible that he he always carried, roses and his late wife’s broach, the eyeglasses he wore to name a few. Each of his sons stood united and strong as they said their farewell before the celebration truly got started.
The Rev. John Ribbins officiated the service and kept everything tight and right. Bishop Larry Macon, President of The United Pastors and Mission read the scripture and Rev. Herbert Gator, President of The Cleveland Pastors and Vicinity gave a very soul stirring prayer. The choir was under the direction of Glen Brackens and Bishop Stephen Gulley and did a medley of songs that went down memory lane and came up to date with some of the latest songs.
East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton spoke about his relationship with Rev, Small and how he meant to the city of East Cleveland, and shared if you hit a pot hole in the city you are on your own.
The daughters came up and spoke about “Where’s My Dad?” Carol read a poem and Sharon belted out “When you hear my Home going.” Speakers from various organizations that included the Ohio Baptist General Convention, Northern Ohio Baptist District, United Missionary Baptist State Convention and The Cleveland Chapter of SCLC where President Rev. E. T. Caviness said a mighty word, sharing his memory of Rev. Ed. Small marching with himself and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Both Small and Caviness have been pastor’s for over 50 years and were friends. “I always liked Small, he was somebody and I knew he was somebody,” Rev. Caviness shared in a phone conversation.
Rev. Caviness switched gears and talked about the great words Dr. King spoke about and ignited the whole celebration to the next level. Caviness shared in his remarks and said while in high gear he told everyone “One day you will hear of Small being dead, but don’t believe it. Small is not dead, his will be speaking through his three sons and just like him they can preach, because Ed Small could preach the horns off a Billy goat,” said Rev. Caviness.
Family members spoke about “How we remember” which included a grandson Salem T. Simon IV. The Rev. Loversier Lewis who was greatly affected by the love and generosity of Rev. Ed Small introduced the three speakers Rev. Dr. Carl P. Small, Rev. Anthony L. Small and Rev. Michael D. Small (Rev. Small’s sons) to eulogize him.
Rev, Ed Small was born September 9, 1926, in Greensboro County, Alabama. Born into humble beginnings; at the age of nine Edward accepted Christ as his personal Savior at Springfield Baptist Church under Rev. P.W. Wooders.
In 1943, he met his soul mate, Tereatha Turner at New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Greensboro, AL, where she was drawing from the well. A year later, they reunited while he was visiting friends in Bessemer Alabama. The couple were united in Holy Matrimony on February 25, 1945. During its 61years, this union was blessed with four sons: Charles Edward (deceased), Carl Perry, Anthony Loren and Michael Dwayne; and two daughters: Carol Yvonne and Sharon Theresa.
In 1952, Deacon Edward Small moved his family to Cleveland, Ohio. Edward became a Deacon at The Calvary Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor Bivins. During this same year (1952) Edward accepted his calling into the Ministry.
In 1956, being led by the Holy Spirit and under a collective counsel, by the grace of God, Starlight Missionary Baptist Church was founded. Minister Edward Small was appointed to take leadership and become the First Pastor of Starlight Baptist Church.
During his tenure as the Pastor of Starlight Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Ed. Small achieved great things, including, but not limited to: serving as the Moderator of The Union District Association for (30) Years, appointed as moderator for the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. Under the Late President, Dr. T.J. Jemison, where He served for 10 Years. Pastor Small attributed his accomplishments to God and his supportive and understanding wife, Tereatha.
Rev. Ed Small will be missed not only by his members but the city of East Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio and across the United States. After pastoring Starlight for 56 years, many know that the work he has done will speak for him.
He leaves to cherish his memories and carry on his legacy: three sons Rev. Carl Perry (Sylvia), Rev. Anthony Loren (Carol), and Rev. Michael Dwayne (Sandra); two daughters Carol Yvonne Small Robinson and Sharon Teresa; daughter-in-law: Ladelle V. Small; 19 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren special care-giver: Barbara J. Williams; cousin: Louise (Alabama); a host nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.