Rev. Herbert V. Reid, pastor, civil rights leader Feb. 27, 1936 ó Nov. 27, 2008

The Rev. Herbert V. Reid, pastor of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church for 45 years and a leader in the communityís civil rights movement, died Thursday in Buffalo General Hospital. He was 72.

Born in Sanford, Fla., he was studying at Rochesterís Colgate Divinity School when in 1962, by chance, he was invited at age 20 to be a guest preacher at Gethsemane because the pastor was ill. Gethsemane, at the time, was a storefront operation on Jefferson Avenue with 13 members.

Mr. Reid was an ambitious student who was hoping to land in a large, established church. But he returned to Gethsemane, now on Grape Street, after completing his studies and saw it grow into one of the largest and better-known Baptist congregations in the area.

Mr. Reid and the church also became key players in the civil rights movement in Buffalo, with involvement in the Erie County Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Black Leadership Forum, the Inter-racial Task Force, Ministers Against Narcotics, the Concerned Citizenís Group and the Friday Luncheon Community Dialogue.

Another of his accomplishments was the building in 1992 of Gethsemane Manor, a 50-unit housing complex for seniors. Mr. Reid also was involved in a host of other community activities.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Laura; two sons, Herbert Jr. and Eric; two daughters, Annette Reid-Kemp and Sandra D. Dawson; an adopted daughter, Cassandra Simmons; a sister, Evelena Jones; and a brother, Carl Marshall Jr.

A wake will be held from 7 to 9 p. m. Friday in Gethsemane Baptist Church, 55 Grape St., and a celebration of life service at 11 a. m. Saturday. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.

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