For a group of relatives and friends, celebrating the life of a happy, loving, and kind departed one, Rev. Jervis Witherspoon of the Reeves Memorial Church of Crozierville, on Saturday drew on a mixed-culture-and-faith marriage to show how such a marriage a could serve as a model for others, notwithstanding the cultural and religious differences between husband and wife.
Rev. Witherspoon was delivering a homily at a memorial service celebrating the life of Hon. Latifa Cynthia Cooper Kamara, at the St. Andrews Chapel of Trinity Cathedral, on Broad Street in Monrovia.
The memorial service was planned and coincided (corresponded, happened together) with the actual funeral service held on Saturday, the 13, and funeral rites said over the remains at the Grace Covenant Church, at 4600 Brookfield Corporate Dr. The rites were followed immediately by interment at the Chesnut Grove Cemetery, at 831 Dranesville Rd., Herndon, Va., USA.
Cynthia had passed away on August 6, this year, at the Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, Rockville, Maryland, USA, after a period of illness.
“Today, we are gathered to celebrate the life of a woman who transcended the barriers of culture and faith,” Rev. Witherspoon began his homily.
“Married to Samba, a career diplomat and a devout Muslim, Latifa remained firm in her faith as a Christian, but yet, respected Samba for what he believed and loved him for what he was,” Rev. Witherspoon told the congregation. He could have added that their home might very well have been a model for others, notwithstanding the religious and faith difference between the two.
“Drawing on the books of Hebrew and John (3:3), Rev. Witherspoon recalled the Lord Jesus telling Nicodemus that “…except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven.”
“In Christendom, there are many types of Christians,” Rev. Witherspoon continued, mentioning what he called “nominal Christians and those professing to be Christians while denying the very essence and power of their faith.”
“Cynthia was a devout Christian and a strong woman of faith. The former diplomat was exemplary in word and in deed and had lived a life worthy of emulation: she read the scripture and prayed daily; she witnessed to other about her faith and was not ashamed of the Gospel,” the prelate told the friends and relatives present.
“But far more important is the issue of faith, especially for a Christian; in that connection, “…Cynthia gave her life to Christ, accepting Him as her Lord and Savior,’ the preacher told his listeners.
And then it would become the question of things eschatological (dying, the resurrection, judgment, heaven, hell, the final resting place of the soul, albeit, the final destiny of humanity) that would prompt Rev. Witherspoon to go beyond this life and stress the issue of faith and trust in the Lord Jesus, in preparation for the next level.
Thus, the Rev. raised the question: “If we should die today, where will we spend eternity? What would be our testimony? Are we born again? Have we accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior?”
On behalf of the deceased, Rev. Witherspoon gave this response: “Today, we can boldly declare that Cynthia is with her Maker; for to be absent from the body is to be away with the Lord.”
The memorial service was attended by Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara, Former Chief Justice Henry Reed Cooper, Carmena Abdallah, Mrs. Coo-coo Tucker, Mrs. Sugars Gbeyon Cooper, Counselor Fulton Yancy, Chief Cyril Allen, Rev. Tokumba Lawrwence, Mr. C. T. O. King, Mr. Bill Smith, and Mr. S. L. Fleming among others.
Randolph Cooper, brother of the deceased, held the fort on behalf of the family, locally. The entire Weeks clan including Rocheforte Weeks, Angelique Weeks, Milton Weeks, and Alex Weeks.
Representing the local members of their family at the funeral in the U.S., were Counselor Seward M. Cooper and his wife, Rev. Dr. Anne Cooper, among others.