The doors opened at City Church’s two campuses Friday as hundreds of people came together throughout the day to remember a beloved pastor.
Dr. Dimitri Bradley was killed Wednesday in a car crash on the downtown expressway.
“It’s like losing a homeboy. The pastor is the pastor but it’s like losing a homeboy,” Minister Terrance Jones said.
Hundreds of people came out to be with each other at both locations in East End Henrico and Chesterfield. All coming together to remember a spiritual and community giant.
“Very somber. Very hurt. Some people are just very quiet,” Jones said.
The doors opened at 8 a.m. Friday to allow the thousands who were under his leadership a safe place to grieve.
Many were there before the doors even opened looking and searching for a way to understand this loss.
“It’s each other. Holding each other. Praying for each other and showing each other love are the things that are keeping each other well and getting people through,” Jones said.
“Oh my gosh, he has changed my life,” Rashad Hawkins said.
Hawkins works on the media team at City Church. Hawkins spent countless hours with the pastor traveling around the country.
“You hear and learn his nuisances. You hear ‘ya’ll aren’t hearing what I’m saying’ and ‘I’m preaching better than y’all are saying amen.’ Just thinking about those things and thinking about when he was really up there on the platform,” Hawkins said.
“After service pastor would preach this dynamic word. People would get saved and then he would come back and you would think it was the first take sports center,” Jones said.
We asked the hard question: “What would Dr. Bradley say to those mourning his loss to get them through this time?”
“He would say it’s tough. Take your time to mourn but make sure you get back to it,” Jones said.
“We just have to continue to support everything he was doing and we can’t stop. We can’t stop,” Hawkins said.
“We believe pastors – good pastors – are gifts, and he was our gift,” Jones said.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.