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The Home-going Send Off Apostle Richard D. Henton

Thu, Nov. 05, 2015 Posted: 08:08 AM


What a homegoing celebration to be remember. Some may wonder what is the difference between a funeral and a home-going service? Wikipedia explains it this way. A funeral is a ceremony for honoring, respecting, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. A homegoing (or home-going) service is an African-American Christian funeral tradition marking the going home of the deceased to the Lord or to heaven. Let’s make it real plain. In the religious setting a funeral is for one who died without Christ. A home-going is for those who knew Christ and lived their life in a manner that secured them a home In heaven. Again I say “What a home-going celebration for Apostle Richard D. Henton”.

If I can I will try to capture the highlight of the two day celebration for the Apostle, the Godfather, the General of Prayer, General of Spiritual Warfare, father, husband, brother, Pastor, Shepherd, teacher,prophet,evangelist,friend, mentor and spiritual father to many.

On Friday 10-30th there was a musical salute celebration. This was called the local service. This was a service for the Monument Family. The people came from the north, south, east, west, across town, out of town and across the sea as far as London. The seating including main sanctuary, dining room and chapel totals about 2,150. The place was filled to capacity with standing room only available. People parked their cars 2-3 blocks away. My God we knew that he was not only our pastor and that we shared him with the world but the demonstration of love was overwhelming. The atmosphere was charged with mixed emotions, some tears for the man we will miss, joy that he made it in, some still in shock trying to wrap their minds around the fact that he really is gone.

This was family night and so those who had worked closely with Pastor spoke and shared their memories. There is something to be said about integrity when people that know you outside of preaching can validate the integrity you demonstrated.

Minister of Music Bishop Willie Harmon led the musical prelude and long time member Elder Juanita Roberts facilitated the opening moments of service. Dr. Ray Berryhill and Bishop Rory Marshall facilitated the rest of the service. Evang. Shirley Green led the congregational hymn “O How I Love Jesus. Scripture reading Elder & Sister Nalls. Prayer Elder James Bratcher. We heard from 1st Lady Henton A loving tribute to my husband. She delivered it with eloquence, class and strength.

The following shared precious memories of their interaction with our Pastor and how he impacted their lives: Bishop Willie Loyd,Dr. Rosemary Gage, Deacon Charles Hedgspeth, Elder Donald Meeks,Sister Wilma T Blunt, Minister Randy Glass & Breakthrough Ministry, Elder Vance Washington who for many years introduced Pastor Henton with “there is a word from the Lord”. Elder Annie Owens, Mother Bobbie Owens, Sister Katie Wadley, Minister Adelaide Williams, Daisy Langston, Anthony Graham, Sister Pam Watson, Evag. Edward Green,Cetrina Williams, Stanley Buford, and Toconna Hazard each giving us a different glimpse at the everyday man side of Pastor Henton. Would could forget remarks by our own Sister Ruby Cloud who asked Pastor “why do you talk to me like that, you don’t talk to anyone else that way? To which he replied “you ain’t going no where” and she replied “you don’t know that. He was right and he knew it. She was there from the beginning and remains even now.

Lord, then Regina Mosley-O'Bryant close friend of Pastor Henton shared this Regina::I was so sick in my body I thought I was going to die Regina: Pastor Henton do you think I’m going to die. Pastor Henton: Yes. Regina: crying and screaming on phone. Pastor: what’s wrong with you? Regina: You said I’m going to die. Pastor: We all are going to die. Regina: Oh. Lord the church went up in laughter.

Ah,then there was the choirs. Monument Mass Choir delivering powerful praise and worship songs. Monument Reunion Choir where members past and present showed up in great numbers to honor the man of God. Then Sir Ricky Dillard showed up with the Levities and they showed up and showed out producing great sounds and energy that they are known for. If it had been a different occasion it would have been a great time to take pictures of the YATC,CCC and so many of the other groups that came back to celebrate our Pastor.

Psalmist Lemmie Battles. Nettie Guy and the Barrett Sisters had the church singing, clapping and shouting throughout the night. I don’t want to forget the incomparable Pastor Clay Evans 90 years old was in the house and gave inspirational words to family even calling First Lady Henton to the pulpit to speak words in her ears and plant a kiss on the cheek and then warned "don't nobody else try that"

What a time of rejoicing we had. BUT WAIT! Nothing could prepare us for the National Service at the House of Hope where Pastor James Meeks open up the doors of his church for the home-going celebration. The doors open up at 8:30 and the people poured in. The church holds 10,000 and it was almost full. The list of attendee read like a Red Carpet event as Pastors, Leaders and Psalmists around the globe came to participate in this celebration.

Again, I’m going to try to create for you a word picture of this amazing service.
Quennie Lenox led the opening song “All Hail the Power” as the family procession came in. Bishop Claude Timmons led the trademark song of this ministry “Christ is the answer” assisted by Pastor DeAndre Patterson. Prophet Edgar Aaron and Pastor Anthony Mallet read Old & New Testament with authority. Lord help us, Pastor Kimberly Ray-Gavin gave the opening prayer that shook the house and usher in the glory of God. Host Pastor James Meek then gave words of inspiration and hope to the church. Lady Helen Henton demonstrated strength as she once again gave a Tribute to her husband, the Apostle.

Let’s back up a second. The Program facilitators were the cream of the crop in the persons of Dr. Ray Berryhill,Bishop Rory Marshall and DeAndre Patterson. They seamlessly led the congregation from one phase to the next balancing protocol while yet allowing the presence of God to be acknowledge throughout the service. Even Bishop Rory Marshall who is known for timeliness and moving a service along; gave in to the spirit of the Holy Ghost was observed several times breaking into a shout along with others in the assembly.

Monument of Faith Reunion Choir render in song one of Pastor Henton favorite song “Stretch Out” led by Pamela Walters who did a wonderful job yet we could not help thinking about our “Honey Sykes” no longer with us who led this song down through the years

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Remarks by administrator Daisy Henton who has worked with the ministry since she was a teenager and over 25 years. She gave us insight of how Pastor handled legal business and the respect he received from the legal team. Pastor’s last words to her “You know what to do” .Monument we do know what to do – continue the course, keep the faith. Similar remarks from Deacon Hedgepath and Evangelist Rosemary Gage was expressed.

The next phase of service involved description of Five-Fold Ministry (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist Pastor, Teacher). Apostle Henton walked in the anointing of all five callings. Speakers and Psalmist in this phase included Bishops Darrel Hines, Noel Jones, Claude Timmons, Richard “Mr. Clean” White,Willie J Campbell, Larry D Trotter, Liston Page, Samuel Carruth, James Everett Jr., Marvin Winans and Marvin Sapp. Apostles Rodney J. Washington, Dana Carson, Christine Liddell. Drs. Horace E Smith,Bryon T. Brazier and Edwin Hawkins. Pastors Shirley Caesar, Bill Winston, Steve Munsey, Evangelist Regina Mosley-O’Bryant, Prophet Brian Carn. Psalmist Tiffany (Tiffjoy) McGhee, the Barrett’s sisters, Keith Pringle and others. We also heard from Roland Burris and several other city officials including representative for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Video from Bishop T.D. Jakes, phone messages from long time friend Bishop Ernestine Reems. I told you it was the Red Carpet list of those in the Religious Arena.

The central theme from speakers and psalmist was the humility, anointing,character and integrity of our beloved Apostle. I cannot possibly portray all that took place but let me say that there were several praise breaks throughout the service for after all this was a home-going celebration. I encourage you to google “Home-going service Apostle Richard D Henton" to see the wonderful posts presented there.

I do want to highlights just a few more areas of the service. Pastor Steve Munsey joked about bringing a live lion to service at Monument on one occasion and about touching Pastor Henton boots stating Apostle will be the only one in heaven wearing “them” boots. Bill Winston shared coming to Chicago and reaching out to Pastors but “I guess I was too small for them but Apostle Richard D Henton open up his door to me”. I believe it was Pastor Darrel Hines that spoke of buying Pastor Henton tape sermons and preached one sermon verbatim only to discover another minister was present who had the same sermon. He was preaching right alone with Pastor Hines. It was a sentiment that was echoed by many of the Pastors after all the Apostle was a preacher’s preacher and mentor to many. Christine Liddell spoke prophetically about seeing the mantle of Apostle Henton upon his son Mark and that of Donald Henton upon John. Prophet Brian Carn shared how Pastor Henton called him to encourage him during a difficult time in his life telling him that he would recover from that test. Prophet Carn also shared being humble to be able to speak with Pastor Henton as he faced with courage his impending death.

Shirley Caesar sang “Sweeping through the city” and as Tanya Ray joined her near the end of the song the church went up in praise. The talented Shirley Green who served and travel extensively with Pastor Henton was overcome with emotions as she lead “Marvelous” handing the mic over to Audrey Washington who finished the song with power. Most likely only those who know Shirley Green detected what happen. We are allowed to show our emotions that is why God gave us the ability to cry. The Barrett’s sisters brought the crowd to the floor with “Jesus Will”. I thought I would break down when Dee Smith took the mic and sang “I Bow My Knees” I dreamed of a city called Glory, So bright and so fair.When I entered that gate I cried, "Holy" The angels all met me there: They carried me from mansion to mansion, And oh what sights I saw.But I said, "I want to see Jesus, He's the One who died for all."

It brought back so many memories of those gone on.

The Henton family demonstrated class, integrity, strength, poise and grace. Surely the prayers of the saints enabled them to go through the service and the grace of God was sufficient for them. Kudos to each family member, Helen, Mark, John, Amelia, Melodie, Ted (all step-children). His brother Vernal who recently experience the transition of his only daughter Beverly. He is the only remaining sibling left. Carolyn Bibbs in attendance and support of her daughter, Melodie who spoke eloquently of her father building a “Monument” of Faith, encourage the Church to "live" and to love each other.

John Henton introduced his brother Pastor Mark Henton and it was clear to all how much he loves and support his brother and his father's decision to install him as Pastor almost two years ago and one who would carry on the family legacy.

The Eulogy: Pastor Mark delivered a powerful, prolific and anointed word of God "He Laid His Hands On Me”. He described his father, the man of God who lived the life he preached. The man who preached so until Mark was drawn to a place where he accepted Christ as his savior. He spoke of lessons learned from watching how his father conducted himself.

On Monday November 2nd, hundreds of the congregation gathered at the church as the body of Apostle was placed in a white horse driven carriage. Did I mentioned the casket was gold and Apostle Attire was white? There was a long procession from the church to the Evergreen Cemetery a few blocks away from the church. So Pastor took his last ride to the cemetery where as he would say to meet the last person “that will let you down”. He did have a sense of humor.

Richard D. Henton was a man of God, hand picked and anointed, second to none. The mantle has been passed. The foundation has been laid. Joshua 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

Our beloved Apostle Richard D. Henton take your rest. We will meet again at the great family reunion. We know what to do. You must be proud of how Monument (ushers, deacons, men of monument, all of those behind the scene) stepped up and was on their posts. The legacy shall live, Monument shall stand. There is a saying "may the life I live speak for me" Well, the volume is turned up and your life speak loud and clear. Surely all that hear will see, recognize, perceive and understand that here lies a true servant of God. I don’t think the Apostle even envision how his life impacted so many nor anticipated such an outpouring and demonstration of love. MONUMENT OF FAITH we have a new journey ahead of us. The Apostle has spoken and there is a vision to fulfill. Let the church say Amen.

SPEAK THE ANSWER NOT THE PROBLEM. THE ANSWER IS THE WORD OF GOD. Heavenly father, we submit to your will as you have chosen to take our beloved Apostle Henton home to rest with you. We now ask that your holy Word will sustain us and the Blood of your son, Jesus cover us as we are in this time and place of transition. Guide us with your eyes, hold our trembling hand and lead us in the path you would have us to go. We pray for our Pastor Mark Henton that you give him strength, courage, integrity and fortitude to carry on this great legacy. As we undergird the father we now undergird the son asking you to clothe him in sanctification purified him with holiness, perfume him with righteousness, bind his heart to yours and let him be led by your Holy Spirit. We cover even the impending marriage and ask for your seal of approval upon Grace. Prepare her for this role she is about to step into that she would be the help-meet and support that he will need and an asset to his ministry and to the church. Cancel any plans, plots, scheme that are meant to derail this ministry. Keep us on track and let us be alert to any tricks of the enemy that would come to attack us during this vulnerable season. Let his circle of friends be small at this time that he would not be confused by many voices but will be surrounded with wise counselors who hear from heaven and will speak into his life. Pour your strength into each family members especially the children who must carry on without their father. Let them make him proud as they set their faces like a flint towards heaven gates and do great things in the kingdom. We bind up division, confusion, hurt feelings, disagreements and loose the power of unity, oneness, compassion, love, strength and grace among families and church families that this "Monument" will stand. We call forth the fulfillment of the vision laid before us. We speak increase in every area of the church. For this cause we bow our knees to you, lift up our voices and Bless your Holy Name for you are yet worthy of the praise and All power belongs to you. Thank you God that you allow us to walk close to you, draw nigh to you and you will draw nigh to us.

BTW: Apostle Henton has recorded over six thousand sermons and written six books. Thanks to modern day technology his voice can still be heard. Contact Monument Book store (773) 918-0180 to make purchases.

Yvonne Perkins