As Remembered by Rich Glisson
I met Pastor Fred in 1981 while on a trip to Phoenix to visit my friend Stuart. Stuart had been telling me of a church he had discovered after moving to Phoenix from our home town of Rockford, Illinois. At this time I had just went through a very nasty divorce, had given up my ministry, had my ordination revoked from the Pentecostal Church, and I was struggling to move forward. I went to lunch with Fred, Joe, and a group of people from Casa. I expected to hear all the sexual things possible from a group of gay people. Was I ever surprised, they were speaking of Christ and His love, and dreams of the future for the congregation. Fred and I spoke and he became my friend and mentor. The next year I moved to Phoenix to join the congregation of Casa de Cristo. Plans were beginning to form of building a new social hall to the building, I became a part of that work. Together,with Joseph, we finished the project. This is the one time I experienced true leadership, Fred put the vision out there, people caught the vision, and when we finished, the building was paid for in total. After Fred retired we remained great friends. I spoke with Fred the last time a week before his death. He said, "Rich, you've been a good friend, and I am so proud of all you have accomplished since I first met you." Even at the end he took time to encourage me. Fred Pattison helped me go from suicidal to a successful businessman and a proud born again gay Christian, no longer ashamed. Fred,I will never forget your gift and I will do my best to carry on your legacy. I will see you again, we will catch up then.
July 15, 2012