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George Floyd garnered a lot of attention this week on the news and social media as the man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis after a police officer kneelled on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes even though he was handcuffed and face down.
Several reports now remember Floyd as a very committed Christian with a heart for helping young black men avoid the mistakes he made.
“Big Floyd,” as the 46-year-old was often kindly referred, promoted breaking the cycle of violence he saw among young people and used his influence to bring outside ministries to the area to do discipleship and outreach,” according to Christianity Today.
Standing 6-foot, 6-inches, Floyd was remembered for conducting Bible studies, helping out with groceries and rides to doctor’s appointments. He didn’t just provide access and protection; he lent a helping hand as the church put on services, three-on-three basketball tournaments, barbecues, and community baptisms.
Tributes and prayers of lament from fellow Christians rolled in over social media as the news of Floyd’s death spread this week. One friend described Floyd as “the definition of ‘Be the change you want to see.’”
Others remembered him as a gentle giant who always put people first. CNN compiled a video tribute of him that can be found at YouTube.com.
Floyd had a criminal history of his own and served a few stints behind bars for drug possession and armed robbery. But he had turned his life around. In fact, he was a model example of what it means to be rehabilitated, Faithwire noted.
According to the Houston Chronicle, he moved to Minneapolis in 2018 to leave behind his history in Houston for a new life — a fresh start — after having worked in ministry for nearly a decade in his hometown. He needed to find a job.
In an undated, now-viral video, Floyd pleaded with young men in the next generation to put down their guns and stop the violence.
America clearly has a a race problem and politicians seem in no hurry to address it, preferring instead to continue to divide our country along racial lines solely for political gain. It is heartbreaking.