CAMPBELL, Ohio – Rev. Lonnie Kwajo Asim Simon, 87, made his transition on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, at ValleyCare North Side Medical Center.
The Rev. Lonnie K. A. Simon, was born March 23, 1925, in East Mulga, Alabama, a son of William “Pop” and Tempie Haywood Simon.
He was a 1943 graduate of Redstone High Township High School in Republic, Pa., (Fayette County) and relocated from Cardale, Pa. to Youngstown, Ohio in 1946.
He was educated in Philosophy and Religion at Youngstown College and in Theology at Central Bible College in Cleveland, and the American Baptist Theological Seminary of Nashville, Tenn.
To his credit, he had additional training at the Urban Training Center in Chicago in 1967, and at Case Western Reserve, Cleveland, Ohio in 1970.
He was employed at U.S. Steel for nine years and with the U.S. Postal Service for 10 years.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served from 1943 to 1946.
Rev. Simon served four years on the Youngstown Board of Education from 1972 to 1975.
He was an Alumnus of the First Leadership Youngstown Class, 1985, and was the recipient of the National Leadership Award Presented in Denver in 1991. In 1965, Rev. Simon was one of the chant leaders in the March on Montgomery, under the late Dr. Martin Luther King, and participated in the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C. in 1969. Politically, he served as co-coordinator for the Jesse Jackson for President Campaign of the 17th Congressional District of Ohio in 1984 and 1988, and was elected as an official Jesse Jackson delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta.
He served on the Governor’s Commission on Socially Disadvantaged Black Males of Ohio.
He was featured in “Who’s Who in Black America” in the 1975 to 1976 and 1977 to 78 editions.
In 1995, Rev. Simon was inducted into the International Society of Poets. He is the author of two Anthologies (Poetry & Wise sayings), “Songs of Simon” and “Simon Says It Again.” He was also working on two other publications, “Prayers & Sermons by Simon” and his autobiography, “Acts of Simon.”
He had been pastor of three churches, Elizabeth Baptist Church in Youngstown, Jerusalem Baptist Church in Canton, Ohio, and New Bethel Baptist Church, and interim pastor at five churches.
Rev. Simon served as pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church from 1962 to 1995, and was then named Pastor Emeritus. He served as Moderator of the Eastern Ohio Baptist Association for eight years (1968 to 1976), and as Moderator of the Northern Ohio Baptist Association for four years (1994 to 1997).
He had served as Co-chairman of the Inter-racial Clergy Group, Chairman of the Social Action Committee of the Ministerial Alliance, Public Relations Chairman of the Baptist Pastor’s Council, and member of the Community Reinvestment Advisory Board of Bank One.
In 1969, he spent a 10-day tour of the Holy Land in Israel, had been on the mission field several times in Guyana, South America; in 1978, he spent 17 days in Ghana, West Africa, involving the New Bethel Baptist congregation in two missionary projects: the construction of a Feeding Center in Guyana, and a Bus Transportation Ministry in Ghana.
In 1987, Rev. Simon was among 25 Black Church Leaders selected to be observers at the All-African Council of Churches in Togo, West Africa, where he and others had dialogue with Bishop Desmond Tutu. This 15 day tour included visits to Senegal, The Gambia and the Ivory Coast.
Along with a host of renowned Black elected officials, clergy, businessmen, educators and students, Rev. Simon attended the First African-American Summit in Abijan, Cote d’voire (Ivory Coast) West Africa, coordinated by the Rev. Leon Sullivan in 1991.
Rev. Simon leaves to cherish his memories and rejoice in his peace, his devoted and loving wife, the former Florence Ware, whom he married in 1949; four children, Janet Write, Lonita Ross, Rev. Kenneth L. (Wendy) Simon and Cynthia (Morris) Layton; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; his sister, Josie Monroe of Greenwich, Conn.; and a host of family, church family and friends.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Richard, Rev. Nathan and Jesse Simon; and two sisters, Alberta Simon Mitchell and Cherry Wyley.
Visitation will be Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.
A spoken and musical tribute will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the New Bethel Baptist Church, and on Saturday morning from 9 to 11 a.m. at the church.
Funeral services will begin promptly at 11 a.m.
In lieu of floral tributes, Rev. Lonnie requested that contributions be made to the New Bethel Baptist Scholarship Fund.
Arrangements entrusted to the L.E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home, Youngstown, Ohio
Mulga is a town in western Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham–Hoover–Cullman Combined Statistical Area