"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7
Clarence, God’s servant, was known for his praying spirit, dedication and faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. On Tuesday, October 22, 2002, at INOVA Fairfax Hospital, Clarence departed this life to spend eternity with the Lord with his beloved wife, Sybil, and family at his bedside.
To the very end of his life, Clarence believed in God for his divine healing as he kept the faith. His love for the Lord provoked him to fight the good fight of faith - believing totally in the word of God.
"…be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life." Revelations 2:10
Clarence served faithfully as a member of the Free Gospel Deliverance Temple for nearly 20 years. He was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. He served in several capacities including a long-standing member of the Prison Ministry; a member of the Deacon Board; a member of the Free Gospelite's Choir; Monday night prayer leader; assistant to the pastor during the Defense of the Gospel live radio broadcast; "Labor of Love Telecast" prayer intercessor; and as a member of the Free Gospel Men’s Basketball and Football team, which was awarded several championships. He was recognized for his exceptional athletic ability in both sports.
Apostle Ralph E. Green, founder and pastor, along with First Lady, Dr. Shirley M. Green, have provided spiritual encouragement, direction from God, and continuous prayer and support to both Clarence and Sybil during their time of tribulation. We thank the Free Gospel Church Family for their fervent prayers and support as well.
"Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Jeremiah 1:5
Clarence was born on December 23, 1953, into a family of extraordinary love and support in Washington, D.C. He grew up in the Kenilworth area of Washington, D.C., and was known as "Jug" to his neighborhood friends. He was educated in D.C. Public Schools and graduated with the Class of 1973 from Springarn Senior High School. While in junior high school, his outstanding athletic abilities placed him in a position wherein he was recruited and highly sought by high school coaches. He excelled in three sports: basketball, football and baseball. After his high school graduation, he received a full athletic scholarship to attend Lincoln University in Pennsylvania – where he studied sociology and physical education. He went on to complete his studies at California State University. While at California State, he pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. of the Zeta Eta Chapter. He was best known as a true brother and a friend. It was there, where he received the acclaimed name "Shorty from D.C." After graduation, he joined the United States Marine Corps, which provided him an opportunity to travel internationally. He received an honorable discharge and the Good Conduct Medal from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1980.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, who is in heaven" Matthew 5:16
After he completed his military service, Clarence returned to the Washington, D.C. area for employment. He held several jobs with the D.C. Department of Recreation until he accepted a position he felt was a calling by God. He worked as unto the Lord to comfort and counsel those in need. He worked as a counselor with the D.C. Department of Public Health and the D.C. Department of Corrections for several years. He served in that position with outstanding job performance, which led to his promotion and an offer to work in several other high profile locations. Clarence remained dedicated to his job until the fall of his health. He touched the lives of many people who had contracted the HIV Virus, and those that battled various addictions. He was well respected and loved by co-workers, supervisors and department directors - who supported, remained concerned, and kept in touch with him until his passing.
"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" Corinthians 5:8
On May 26, 1991, Clarence was united in holy matrimony to Sybil. They were blessed to have each other and to share a mutual love for over eleven years. Clarence leaves to cherish his memory his faithful and loving wife, Sybil Covington; his son, Isaiah Clarence Covington who preceded him in death (shortly after birth); his daughter LaKeisha Covington; two Goddaughters, Danielle Person and Julie Chandler; his beloved and caring mother, Buelah Hamer Covington; his father, the late Archie L. Covington; Godmother, Florence Lawson; two brothers, William and Stanley Covington; two sisters, Joyce Covington and Shondel Collins; father-in-law, Julius Johnson; mother-in-law, Marian Johnson; Godmother-in-law, Mary Stanley; six brothers-in-law, Timothy Collins, Milton Stanley, Julius Johnson, Gregory Jones, Julius Jones, Joseph Johnson and Todd Stanley; six sisters-in-law, Gwendolyn Stanley, Regina Johnson; Angel Shephard, Charlene Jones, Tiesha Johnson and Marilyn Smith. Clarence also leaves nine aunts, three uncles, a host of nieces and nephews, many friends, and the Free Gospel Church Family who refuse to stop giving their continuous love, support and prayer.
Sybil Covington and family will receive friends at the Free Gospel Deliverance Temple, 4703 Marlboro Pike, Coral Hills, MD on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 from 10 to 11 a.m. at which time the Victory Services will be held. Interment Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery, Cheltenham, MD. Arrangements by TRISTATE FUNERAL HOME.
Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 1, 2001