by Robert Earl Houston
Hello everyone. I took a “blogging sabbatical” for a few months (including the homegoing of my mother, Naomi Houston in December) and now I’m back!
SAN DIEGO, CA – The Rev. Dr. Clyde Elliott Gaines, pastor of the Greater Trinity Missionary Baptist Church and religious/community leader went home to be with the Lord on May 7, 2017.
Dr. Gaines served Greater Trinity faithfully for over 38 years, assuming the pulpit on December 10, 1978 and moving from the Los Angeles area the following month.
He was an active and highly respected leader. He served as . . .
– Member of the Comprehensive Health Advisory Board, 1981-1995.
– Member of the Mayor’s Black Advisory Board (appointed by Mayor Maureen O’Connor)
– Member of the San Diego Civil Service Commission (appointed by Mayor O’Connor)
– Member of the Congressional Ministerial Advisory Board.
– Member of the Congressional District Advisory Committee.
– Featured in the 100 African American Role Models by the Museum of Arts in San Diego.
– San Diego City Council proclaimed February 11, 2002, “Rev. Clyde E. Gaines Day”
– “Man of the Year 2002” by The Women of Distinction
– Member, Public Welfare Advisory Board of San Diego
– Member, Hypertension Council Board of San Diego
– Member, the Black Development Task Force
– Member, the N.M.A. Advisory Board
– Religious Advisor to former President, William J. Clinton
Dr. Gaines was a leader in the Religious Communities. He served as . . .
– President of the Baptist Ministers’ Union, 1981-1995.
– Moderator of the Progressive Baptist District Association (and Moderator Emeritus)
– President, California Missionary Baptist State Convention (and President Emeritus)
– Vice President of Auxiliaries, National Missionary Baptist Convention of America
Greater Trinity experienced growth as he implemented a New Members Class; Pastor’s, Youth and Inspirational choirs; Scholarship Committee; Sunshine Band, Parents Advisory Committee; Dance ministries; Young Adult Bible Study; hiring of a full-time Secretary; and acquisition of additional property on Ocean View for the planned building of a new church edifice.
On a personal note, he was my pastor. He was profoundly generous and yes, no-nonsense. While traveling across the country in the interim period between my assignment at New Hope Friendship in San Diego and moving to Nashville to serve at Westwood Baptist Church, University Center, I was his organist and he gave me preaching and teaching opportunities at Greater Trinity. On my last Sunday at the church, he received a love offering for me. He never called me “Rev. Houston” . . . he always called me son – and that was after I moved to San Diego in 1995. Matter of fact, our churches had a quarterly communion service that both churches looked forward to. It was remarkable between the two churches split from each other in the 1940s and we decided to bring us together for worship. It was awesome.
I served as his Corresponding Secretary at Progressive District and upon his recommendation, I became the first-ever General Secretary of that District. Later, even without pastoring a church in the District, he recommended me as Third Vice Moderator, which the District accepted.
I preached at Greater Trinity after I went to Nashville on several occasions. He would tell me, “Son, whenever you’re in town, you can always preach at Greater Trinity.” He was just that generous. He had a wicked sense of humor and this very tough man of God would melt being around his grandchildren. He loved being “Pa-Pa.”
His wife of approximately 60 years, Sis. Barbara Gaines, labored by her husband’s side. She supported their move to San Diego and was a visible presence in every endeavor by Dr. Gaines. The mother of their children, Clyde and Traci, she became known as a Band Mom, traveling to every competition. She too has served in denominational work as President of the Ministers’ Wives and Widows Auxiliary of the State and National conventions. They modeled a Pastoral family.
Last week Doc called me. It was the last time we talked and the call began with “Son” and ended with “love you Son.”
Homegoing services are pending.