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Remembering A Houston Reverend Who Died Of COVID-19

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This morning, we're recalling some of the more than 231,000 Americans who've died of COVID-19.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And we're putting our focus on people who had a passion for voting, politics and the entire election process. In Houston, Texas, the Reverend Vickey Gibbs died of the virus in July. She leaves a void in the pulpit at Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, where she loved to preach.

TROY TREASH: Vickey's commitment was that we transform the word political from something that's perceived as bad to something that's a badge of honor.

INSKEEP: That's senior pastor and friend, Tony (ph) Treash. Gibbs was born in Beaumont, Texas, in 1962. Her friend recalls her talking about the KKK burning crosses near her town. He says she used those experiences to guide her work at church and in her community.

TREASH: Vickey would always be on the lookout for new research, new studies to say how we're doing, how we are in treating the least, the last and the lost.

MARTIN: She also looked for ways to help build bridges and unify the community.

TREASH: Vickey would be the one saying, oh, no, you don't get to be separate. You don't get to be apart from one another. Come on, and talk to me about it. And she would have the patience and the stamina and the endurance to listen to everything you said, to explain her truth to you and then wonder where we might be able to take the next step together.

INSKEEP: Reverend Vickey Gibbs was 57; leaves behind a wife, two daughters and a grandchild.

(SOUNDBITE OF DAYLUTA MEANS KINDNESS' "SEGUE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.