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Pastor Frederick LaMarr

“My passion has been in Columbus. I haven’t lived no place [sic] else. Born, bled, bred right here in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus is the heart of it all. I love it here and I love serving here.”

-Pastor Frederick V. LaMarr

My Story

Pastor Frederick LaMarr was born and raised in Columbus on the southeast side. He is married to his teenage sweetheart whom he met when they were 14 years old; they married in 1984 and have one daughter together.

 

After graduating from the famous East High School, he attended Columbus Business University (now Columbus State) and graduated from their Business Management course before going to work for Big Bear Stores. During his 24 years at Big Bear, he obtained his pastoral education and, in 1997, he was installed as pastor at the Family Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor LaMarr’s advocacy appears in little ways: he still lives in the first home he purchased in the 1980s, he also purchases housing in the community to rent fairly to his neighbors, and he makes sure that the community sees him. Pastor LaMarr says, “I stay on the same street, just a mile and a half away from where I work at the church. So I walk to church, every Sunday, I don't drive. So walking to church, people in the community see me as a vibrant part of the community. So just trying to stay connected to the community to try to bring about change”.

 

Pastor LaMarr even had a television program on Bounce TV called ‘Pulse of the City’. He highlighted people in the community who wouldn't normally get a chance to be on television and promoted the work they did toward making Columbus a better place to live— much like Columbus Is My Neighborhood!

 

Nowadays, Pastor LaMarr’s says his church— the Family Missionary Baptist Church— is a vanguard for the Southside community, and a place of connection and engagement. He says, “I geared it [the church] into outreach, because I felt that if a church has to be in the community, the church has to be actively engaged in the community and the church has to be like a lighthouse to the community... The main thing was to really engage a connection between the community because I saw a disconnect between elderly and young people. We've been trying to show that bring that connection back in, we have committed ourselves as the vanguard of the Southside community”.

 

For the past 12 years, the church has held a monthly “Ministries 4 Movement” march on every first Sunday. The goal of the march is to empower and connect the community while they assemble to discuss any issues or concerns. Pastor LaMarr says, "[The march] really started to become effective... because so many young people were dying. So we took that, and we changed it from homicide of pain to homicidal healing... It's a movement to change the conditions and the quality of life of those who are living in that Southside community. We advocate for them, and we give everyone these bands as a part of the family”.

 

Another initiative that started recently is an after school program at Family Missionary Baptist Church. It is meant to highlight the importance of education for youth and children, and monitor and encourage them in their educational journey. According to Pastor LaMarr, “There's two types of modes that young people grow up in: success mode or survival mode. So depending upon where you live, it depends upon what mode you're in... Inner-city kids are in survival mode, so you got to (sic) talk, we got to (sic) show them how to survive, and how important education is. It is showing the importance of education and trying to make sure they get to come through high school... into college and into a career”.

 

When describing what he loves about Columbus, Pastor LaMarr says, “Columbus has so many opportunities and is a lovely place to call home... Columbus is the heart of it all. I just love it here, and I love serving here. My favorite thing about Columbus is the connectedness of community. I just like walking through the community and see elderly people sitting on porches and kids playing outside, their yard and all this stuff".