What Will Your Legacy Be?

What Will Your Legacy Be?

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Two weeks ago, I received a devastating text message that one of my former Pastors and spiritual leaders had suddenly and unexpectantly passed away at the vibrant age of 50. As I continue to process this reality, I’ve found myself over the past couple of weeks reminiscing about my former Pastor, Bishop Alexis A. Thomas and my time at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church: remembering the first time I met him, processing various sermons that are forever etched in my mind, the last time I saw him, him at my wedding, seeing him preach then sing, and so many other random memories. My heart aches for his family, especially his children – I know how it feels to lose a parent; and my heart aches for my Church family, the thousands of Parishioners, who like I mourn his life cut short.

I am comforted by the Word of God, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8). However, his life well lived, but cut short has reminded me that life is precious; life is fleeting and life is finite. I’m reminded of the poem by Linda Ellis, The Dash.  The poem is about a man speaking at a friend’s funeral; who references the dates on the tombstone, the beginning (our birth) to the end (our death). He states that what matters the most is the dash between those dates. The dash represents our life and that only those who know us, know what that line is worth.

For Bishop Thomas, his celebration of life and legacy was indicative of the lives he touched and the life he lived. The News reported that his funeral, which was held at the Phoenix Convention Center was attended by over 6,000 people who came from all over the country to say their goodbyes to the Phoenix Pastor affectionately referred to as “The People’s Prince”. He not only transformed Pilgrim Rest during his tenure as Pastor, but through his vision, guidance, and leadership helped transform the community block, neighborhood and city. Phoenix, Arizona will be alright, but will never be the same. He will be dearly missed and is immensely loved by many.

My final words, “rest well Bishop! Your course is finished, you completed your race.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

Further reflection: How will you be remembered? What legacy are you building?

Terry Cato About Terry Cato

Terry Cato is a Talk Show Host, Author and relationship blogger. She is the Founder of Relationships 411, a blog community dedicated to healthy relationships and marriages. She is the Host of Real Talk w/Terry a Bay Area talk show focusing on relationship and lifestyle topics. Her memoir, “No Longer a Bridesmaid!” chronicles the 7 years she was single, celibate and believing God for a husband. Feel Free to Follow Terry on Twitter and visit her website for more information about the Author.


  1. What a beautiful tribute! Even though I never knew Bishop Thomas, your quote from 2 Timothy brought goosebumps.

  2. Sandra Laster says:

    I’m so blessed by what you’ve shared here regarding Bishop and what his life meant to so many. We were truly blessed by God that He chose him for this time, this place and these people. An important reflection that I have shared with many is that we should take this as a challenge as we look at our own lives. Looking at the impact of Bishop’s life and legacy tells me that it is time…time to get in alignment with our God-given purpose and live with everything within us to fulfill it during our appointed season.

    Thank You Again and Blessings To You and Yours Always!

    • Thank you Sandra! So glad this blessed you! Yes, this loss should make us all realize that the time is now to align ourselves with our destiny and calling … for each day is precious and not promised. Blessings Sister!

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