A celebration of life for Reverend Grant Lynn Ford is planned for March 31 at 2 p.m. at Sunshine Cathedral. Ford passed away on March 16 at 79 years old. Reverend Dr. Durrell Watkins will officiate the service.
Ford was the senior pastor at Sunshine Cathedral from 1986 to 2007 during the time the church became a progressive spiritual community. Ford once described Sunshine Cathedral as an accepting faith community open to people of varying lifestyles, orientations, and understandings.
“He led that,” said Durrell Watkins, senior minister of the Sunshine Cathedral. “I think his predecessors had been way more conservative.”
Before joining Sunshine Cathedral, Ford was a Pentecostal minister and an independent Catholic bishop, and he was the abbot of a group called the Poor Servants of Jesus. He believed the quest for understanding is more important than absolute certainty.
In a 2003 interview, Ford said his favorite scripture is Philippians 2:13: "Work out your own salvation with reverence and awe, for it is actually God working in you, giving you both the will and the power to do what pleases God."
Ford worked to please God by leading Sunshine Cathedral with a distinctive flair.
“He was funny and could be outrageous,” Watkins said. “He liked to wear sort of ostentatious vestments with a miter. A lot of people will remember him as a showman, sort of the Liberace of theology. But people who knew him more personally know him for his kindness and generosity, things that are way more important.”
The prayer garden at Sunshine Cathedral is named for Ford. There is a chair and a window there with his name on them too. Ford’s ashes will be interred at the cathedral’s columbarium.
“He’ll still be around the cathedral in many ways,” Watkins said. “But I’m going to miss talking to him.”
Sunshine Cathedral is located at 1480 SW 9th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.