Rev. Herb Hall: An End to His Life, Not His Message
July 21, 2003
The featured speaker at the Rev. Herb Hall's memorial service Thursday will be -- the Rev. Herb Hall. Credited with helping to close the gap between HIV-infected Christians and their churches, Hall videotaped a message for family and friends three weeks before his July 12th death of AIDS-related complications.Adapted from:
"Today I'm with [Jesus] rejoicing in a brand new home for eternity, in a brand new body -- no more pain, no more sorrow, no more suffering," said Hall in the address, to be shown at Village Church in Irvine, Calif., at 7 p.m.
After being diagnosed with HIV in 1989, Hall, then a layperson, was ostracized by his church. He soon came upon a fledgling two-member support group for people with HIV at Village Church of Irvine and went on to co-found He Intends Victory, a ministry to educate churches about HIV and comfort Christians with the disease.
"He played a unique role in providing a bridge between the HIV community and Christian and faith communities," said Pearl Jemison-Smith, founding member of the AIDS Services Foundation, Orange County. Hall's message was simple: Christians need to treat HIV-infected people like Jesus would have -- with unconditional love.
Dan Wooding, who runs a Christian news service, remembered when He Intends Victory staffed its first booth at a National Religious Broadcasters convention in the early 1990s. "There were looks of terror on the faces of some of these broadcasters. Herb was definitely a pioneer," Wooding said.
Los Angeles Times
07.20.03; William Lobdell