Faith journey



July 2, 1957
Los Angeles

I wonder what the preacher told worshipers at Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist Church
in Miami about his faith journey. Did he talk about his years with the
San Diego Chargers and the Chicago Bears? Or maybe it was his time with
the Patriots, becoming the first African American assistant coach in
the American Football League.

He could have spoken of his time as head of the Florida Blazers in the
World Football League. Or being a football star at Blackshear High
School in San Angelo, Texas; or Jefferson High School in Los Angeles.
He might have talked about being an All-City player or making
All-American at UCLA.

The minister might have talked about being the "All-Pro Pastor" who
hosted a sports show broadcast on closed-circuit TV at the Miami-Dade
County Jail.

The Rev. Rommie Lee Loudd Sr. might well have talked about serving
three years in prison on drug charges. Maybe Loudd even spoke of his
six months in jail for molesting three teenage boys in 1957 when he was
working as a counselor at Juvenile Hall.

The newspapers–and certainly The Times–were squeamish about certain
types of sex cases and did very little reporting on this incident.
There are few details, and if Loudd hadn’t been a football star, the
paper probably wouldn’t have reported it at all.

According to The Times, he and another suspect, Benjamin F. Kelly, were
working at Juvenile Hall when they were arrested, along with Lindsay M.
Gerren, on charges of abusing three boys, ages 12, 13 and 15.



He was arrested April 1, 1957, at 2630 S. Bronson Ave. along with two men who were apparently his roommates and were later released. Kelly was identified as living at 1779 W. 22nd. St. and Gerren lived at 4627 Saturn St.

Loudd "assertedly intimidated the boys with his identification card,
which he had not surrendered, according to Detectives Kay Sheldon
Cuttrell and George Kellenberger," The Times said. Loudd and Kelly were
given six months in jail while Gerren was given 90 days in jail and two
years’ probation.

We don’t know how Loudd summed up his life. Maybe he talked about repentance… and forgiveness… and salvation. But when Loudd died in 1998
at the age of 64, the Rev. George McRae of Mount Tabor said: "He was an
example of how a person can fall and get up and fall again and get up
again and keep moving."

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About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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