From the Boston Globe:
The Rev. Peter J. Gomes, who was known internationally as Harvard’s pastor and was just as pleased to be seen as a son of Plymouth, died Monday in Massachusetts General Hospital of complications of a stroke suffered in December.Read the rest here.
At 68, he had been dividing his time between a 1799 house in his hometown and Sparks House, the 19th-century residence reserved for the leader of Memorial Church in Harvard Yard.
Rev. Gomes cut an imposing figure at Harvard and was as memorable for his groundbreaking roles as he was for his aristocratic presence and a preaching style that set him apart.
He was the first black minister of Memorial Church and the only gay, black, Republican, Baptist preacher most people would ever meet. Descended from slaves, he nonetheless delighted in serving as trustee emeritus of the Pilgrim Society and celebrating his hometown’s Mayflower history, a distinctly white Anglo-Saxon Protestant tradition.
“The oddest thing about being an oddity,’’ he told The New Yorker magazine for a November 1996 profile, “is that there are very few oddities like you.’’
Drew Faust, Harvard’s president, called Rev. Gomes “one of the great preachers of our generation and a living symbol of courage and conviction.’’
O God, we pray to you for Peter and for all those whom we love but see no longer. Grant to them eternal rest. Let light perpetual shine upon them. May Peter’s soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.