Buffalo’s Black Billion
Michael Chapman, Overseer
John Baptist Church and Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church
What do you say about a man who means so much to so many people in such an extraordinary place and time? Inextricably bound to his faith, no one can doubt that he has internalized his role as shepherd and, together with his soul mate of more than 44 years, has the God-given talent, intellect, energy, fortitude and vision to carry out his purpose on this earth. Everyone has seen “it”, cheered “it” and sometimes roared over “it.” That “it” is what works in the “in-between” where, in a relay handoff, the baton is placed in the hand of the receiving runner who does not turn nor need to look back to receive it. In 2002, the “baton” was passed on to Overseer Michael Chapman who, like his two brilliant predecessors, Reverend Bernie C. McCarley, from 1927 until 1972, and Rev. Dr. Bennett W. Smith Sr. from 1972 until 2001, closed his eyes and let his faith and his soul mate, Rev. Ina R. Doss Chapman, become the wind beneath his wings….