A wonderful role model with the rousing voice and generous heart
By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
I remember when I first heard him, his voice thundering through the church sanctuary. He seemed bigger-than-life, with a preacher’s unique gift to electrify a crowd. He spoke passionately and convincingly about how abortion had decimated his community. He was on fire for life, and he lit a flame which spread throughout his congregation.
The voice of the incomparable Rev. Herb Lusk II has now been silenced, but his powerful memory lives on. Lusk, a former member of the Philadelphia Eagles football squad, died this week of cancer. He was 69.
Lusk gained fame as the first NFL player to bow down in prayer in the end zone after scoring a touchdown. The football field became his pulpit—but then, he received a higher calling. That led him to the seminary. He became pastor of the Greater Exodus Church on North Broad Street in Philadelphia and worked to revitalize the neighborhood. His congregation climbed to more than 2,000 members. He also launched a job-training program known as People for People, sparking an economic renaissance.
The praying tailback had a heart for the pro-life cause. He established a pregnancy center in Philly, aptly named the Hope Center, which has assisted countless numbers of women and their families. At times, he would march through the streets of Philadelphia on behalf of pregnant women and their babies.
Pastor Lusk was an inspiration to so many, especially in the African-American community. He strove for excellence and empowerment and brought an unmatched sense of vision to the neighborhood he served.
I will never forget this role model with the rousing voice and generous heart, who was the recipient of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.
He will be sorely missed on earth, but I believe this Eagle is now soaring in heaven, where sin and death are no more.