Let us take a few moments to pause and mark that 56 years ago today, the Reverend Mother Cassie Bell Hurley made her transition. We mark this solemn occasion with joy. There is joy in knowing that the life of a child of God is never in vain. The Spirit lives on.
Rev. Ruby Mitchell of Michigan summed up Mother Hurley well when she said, “Mother Hurley did it all.” Indeed, let us think on that today. Mother Hurley did do it all. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, humanitarian, philanthropist, pastor, instructor, and leader. Mother Hurley was married to a strong-willed man. When Father Hurley set his mind to a task, he pursued it with laser focus. Sometimes he unintentionally, and sometimes intentionally, pressed forward without even considering his wife’s feelings. Though Mother Hurley was reserved and quite, she spoke her mind when necessary. She would let Father Hurley know when he needed to slow down and reconsider his actions.
Here is a little known fact. Father Hurley loved his time in India. He felt free from the racism that plagued him in the remnants of the antebellum south. Father Hurley sent a letter to Mother Hurley instructing her to pack their things. He was going to send for her and the children. Yes, Father Hurley wanted to permanently relocate to India. In response, Mother Hurley said no, no, and no! In her wisdom she wrote to her husband, “Why don’t you take what you’ve learned there and teach it here.” The Holy Spirit, through Mother Hurley, planted the seed of the Universal Hagar’s Spiritual Church.
Mother Hurley carried her burdens with grace. She had many critics during Father Hurley’s life, after he passed, and even now, long after her passing. Not many women could’ve stayed married to a man as strong as Father Hurley. And she not only stayed married, but thrived in that marriage. Mother Hurley was also great in her own right. The Hagar movement progressed forward under her leadership. Mother Hurley was known throughout the country, not just in Hagar circles, but in the wider communities for her community service.
Let us memorialize Mother Hurley by finding our own path. For in finding our own path, we will be better able to relate to those around us. Mother Hurley mastered self and was in tune with the God within. If we do the same, we will be great also.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Rev. George H. Latimer-Knight
Written June 28, 2016 at age 34