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Bishop J. Drew Sheard and the General Board of the Eastern Florida Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ announced Tuesday the death of one of its most beloved leaders, Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Hutchins was 65.
Hutchins was the former pastor of New Life COGIC in Pine Hills, Florida, near Orlando.
Hutchins had a lasting impact on those he touched in the ministry.
A good friend, Bishop Brandon B. Porter, an elected official in the Church of God in Christ for 20 years, says Hutchins was one of the “greatest men of God I’ve ever known.”
“My brother, this departure of yours left a hole in my heart,” Porter wrote. “I have had your back for years and you have had mine. Now, I promise to guard your legacy the rest of my life. … He loved the Church of God in Christ. When you really love someone, you don’t just say it.
“When you have an opportunity, you move mountains to show it. Rest in peace my awesome friend and brother.”
Alex Danvers wrote this of Hutchins on fox9obituaries.com:
“In the few years that I had the good fortune to know him, he had such a profound and enduring impression on my life that it will never be erased. Bishop never stopped referring to me as his brother in the covenant. What a fantastic individual he turned out to be. A mighty man of God, a visionary and a leader who also happens to be one of the best preachers and instructors I have ever listened to.
“Bishop Hutchins inspired me to perform deeds that were honorable. Every time I got the chance to read for him, he would tell me, ‘Read up on the Word, not like you were reading.’ We give thanks to God for providing the chance for us to participate in such a wonderful ministry.”
Hutchins often invoked the phrase, “injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere.” It is no truer than what is happening in society today.
He also often said, “true fulfillment comes through true involvement.”
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.