Grief and disbelief: Life of Rev. Tommie Jackson celebrated during Sunday service
Parishioners of Rehoboth Fellowship Church in Stamford Sunday morning celebrated the life and teachings of their fallen pastor Rev. Dr. Tommie Jackson.
State police said Officer Zachary Lockwood was in a marked Stamford police vehicle when he crashed into Jackson on Wire Mill Road around 4:10 p.m. Wednesday. Jackson had just gone to his mailbox across the street and was walking back to his house. Lockwood performed CPR on Jackson until medics arrived and rushed him to the hospital, but the 69-year-old died there.
Lockwood was responding to a car accident at the time and had his emergency lights on, according to Connecticut State Police.
Rev. Tommie Jackson has been remembered in the days since as a pillar in his church and city.
Churchgoers showed how their faith will guide them through the grief – alternating between joyous praise and somber reflection as they said goodbye to Jackson.
“I’ve never felt sadness or pain like this before in my entire life,” Jackson’s daughter Erin said.
Rev. Winton Hill had dinner with Jackson the night he died. He remembered Jackson as an articulate speaker with a knack for making people smile.
“He was an authentic person,” Hill said. “Before we had Facebook, Reverend Jackson was the person who called everybody on their birthday. He just automatically remembered birthdays because people were important to him, and he knew that people’s birthdays were important to them.”
Churchgoers remembered Jackson for his quick jokes, his ability to remember everyone’s face or name, no matter how many years ago they met, and his central message of spreading love – a message echoed by his daughter.
“This was his happy space,” she said. “In light of all that has happened this week, the only thing that gives me peace in all of this is to know that he made it. ”
“Trouble doesn’t last always, and we will get through it,” Hill said. “And God promises us that God will be with us, not only in good times, but especially in the bad times.”
Rehoboth Fellowship says Jackson’s funeral will be on Friday, Aug. 4 at Union Baptist Church in Stamford at 10 a.m.