Rev. Tyrone Crider, Maywood Native and ‘Pastor of Pastors,’ Dies at 58

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Maywood native Rev. Tyrone Crider, who died Friday at 58. | Family photo

Monday, May 29, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Rev. Tyrone Crider, a prominent South Side pastor and social justice activist who fought alongside some of Chicago’s most notable cultural icons — from Harold Washington to Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. — died from cancer on May 26 at a hospital in Chicago. He was 58.

Crider was once the national executive director for Operation PUSH, the national nonprofit founded by Jackson in 1971. Crider also rallied votes for Jackson (when he ran for president) and Mayor Harold Washington, according to Crider’s Chicago Sun-Times obituary.

Crider was a Maywood native, born into one of the village’s most distinguished families. His grandmother, Kentucky native Quinella Watson Hathaway, moved with her family to Maywood in the early 1900s.

Since the Watsons were among the first black families to live in the village, Hathaway was the only black student in her elementary and high school graduating classes. She was the first black female graduate of Proviso East High School and one of the first black students to enroll at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Quinella’s husband, Walther Hathaway, was Maywood’s first trustee, according to an online historical database at the University of Kentucky, which references a 1999 Maywood Herald article.

The Hathaways gave birth to one son and six daughters, one of whom, Bernice Hathaway, would marry Lilton Tyrone Crider, and give birth to Tyrone, who seemed to embody two qualities that were abundant in both the Hathaway tribe and in Maywood more generally: faith and athleticism.

Crider’s aunt, Bettye Rivers, was the mother of former NBA player and current Los Angeles Clippers coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers, who is the nephew of former NBA player and Maywood native Jim Brewer.

In a CBS 2 news report, Jackson remembered Crider as “a brilliant speaker” who had “the it-factor,” “the stuff,” but who was also a great athlete in his own right.

“He was very close to Doc Rivers. He (Crider) was a great basketball player,” Jackson said. “I would never tell him that to his face. We would always laugh about it. He was a great athlete.”

Crider distinguished himself on the basketball court for Walther Lutheran in Melrose Park before heading off to study at Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he was influenced by the social gospel of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

In addition to his activism, Crider was what Rev. Chris Harris called “a pastor’s to pastors,” the Sun-Times reports. Harris, who described himself as Crider’s “spiritual son,” said that the Maywood native was “a man of integrity” who “made everybody feel extremely important.”

Addressing a 2014 controversy, which involved Crider resigning from the board of the Regional Transportation Authority due to allegations that he’d steered investments to a bank where he had a debt, Jackson said that the late preacher’s legacy would span beyond those headlines.

“His memory will be as an activist and a leader involved in helping resolve violence conflicts,” Jackson told CBS. “His preaching, his speaking on college campuses, inspiring youth, his voter registration, his feeding hungry people.

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“Tyrone Crider never stopped serving. He’ll live as long as we remember them. We will never forget.”

Word of Crider’s passing even prompted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to release a statement, perhaps a testament to the Maywood native’s enduring influence.

“I was very saddened to learn of the passing of The Reverend Tyrone Crider, Sr,” stated Emanuel. “He was a preaching giant, a civil rights trailblazer, and someone who cared deeply about Chicago, our state, and our nation.”

In addition to his prolific preaching and activism, Crider was also a publisher, of the Chicago Gospel Tribune (a monthly magazine), and a pastor, who founded the New Hope Community Baptist Church in Chicago 1991 before becoming the pastor at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago. Crider pastored Mount Calvary for 14 years until his death.

Crider is survived by his wife of 23 years, Regina Crider, and their five children. According to the Sun-Times, a “two-hour viewing has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 1259 W. 11th St. in Chicago.”

Crider’s home-going celebration will take place on Saturday, June 3, at House of Hope, 752 E. 114th St. in Chicago. The wake will start at 10 a.m. while the service will start at 11 a.m. A repast will take place after the service at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. VFP

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