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REV. MICHAEL L. LATHAM, departed to be with his Heavenly Father Friday, May 3, 2019, surrounded by family and friends. He was born November 23, 1960 to Margaret (Savage) and Willie Leon Latham in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. His family relocated to Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1970. He graduated from Northrop High School, Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1979. His continued education includes the Seeker’s Sabbatical at Union Theological Seminary (New York), Fort Wayne Bible College, Simmons Bible College (Fort Wayne and Marion, Indiana).
Pastor Latham was converted in 1974 and called into the Gospel Ministry in 1977. Pastor Latham confessed his calling and was licensed to preach the Gospel in 1980. He preached his trial sermon the fourth Sunday in March 1980 and has been preaching the Gospel over 34 years.
Reverend Latham was ordained in 1989 after God called him to organize Renaissance Baptist Church. He was ordained by his Pastor, the late Reverend Dr. Samuel Walker, Jr., Jerusalem Baptist Church, Fort Wayne, IN. Renaissance Baptist Church was organized in 1989 with 13 members as the Hanna Street Mission and elected Rev. Michael Latham as Pastor. Reverend Latham served as pastor of Renaissance Baptist Church for over 27 years.
Pastor Latham’s ecumenical service includes having served on the Faith Based Advisory Committee for the State of Indiana, a member of the Fort Wayne Area Seekers Pastors Group, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Fort Wayne, Concerned Ministers of Fort Wayne, served as President of Pastor’s Uniting, Reverend Latham also served as 1st Vice Moderator of the Northern Indiana Missionary Baptist Educational District Association.
Reverend Latham was employed by the State of Indiana, with the Family & Social Services where he served as the chaplain for the state. As a community leader Reverend Latham served as the President of the local NAACP Fort Wayne-Allen County branch for 10 years, served as the Chaplain for the Fort Wayne Police Department and Assisted in organizing the Allen County Jail Chaplain’s initiative. Rev. Latham has served on various boards including COPS, the State of Indiana Juvenile Justice Task Force, League for the Blind and Disabled organization, Turn Stone center for children and adults with disabilities, and the Schwab Foundation. Rev. Latham has also served as a corporate representative and spokesperson for Taser International.
Pastor Latham has received the Peace & Justice Award and Outstanding Service in the Community award from the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne – Allen County. He has also received the Black History Leadership/Service Award, the Community Award from the Fort Wayne Police Department, Paul Harris Fellow award from The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, Renaissance Deacons “Dedication to Calling & Community Service” award, and the Pastor of the Year award from the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Fort Wayne.
Rev. Latham was the Founder and President of the Black Americans Historical District and Founder of the Women’s Ministerial Alliance of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
He is survived by Faye Taylor of Fort Wayne; his children, Daneisha Taylor, LaToya (Ben Jr.) Johnson, Pastor Michael (Kristen) Latham II, and Eric (Jordan) Latham all of Fort Wayne; brothers, Howard (Everlla) Savage of Indianapolis, Harvey Savage, Willie Latham and Ronnie Latham all of Fort Wayne and Demetrius Lewis of Detroit, MI; sisters, Nanetta Latham, Wendy Latham-Morris, Felicia Stevenson all of Fort Wayne and Valeria Mills of Tuscaloosa, Ala. 10 grandchildren and a host of other nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and relatives.
He was preceded in death by his father, Willie Leon Latham Sr.; mother, Margaret Savage-Latham and nephew, Antione Latham.
Rev. Latham will be laid to rest in Highland Park Cemetery next to his mother.