Whether or not you knew Lou Friese personally, the shock and outpouring of grief and love that followed the news of his death this past week is sure testament to the many gifts and close connections he held with and for the benefit of our First Church community and beyond. “Lou was such a faithful member of the church staff, a friend to many, a tireless advocate for the homeless, and a person of deep faith,” says Dr. Tim Bruster, Senior Pastor. “All of us who had the privilege of knowing Lou and working with him feel his passing as a keen loss. We will miss him deeply.”
As a Day Resource Center (DRC) board member as well as a member of the First Church staff, Lou was well-loved by all who knew and worked with him, both on our campus and at the DRC. A short article published by the DRC described Lou: “Fearless, funny, and without airs, Lou became a local hero over his 10 years in Fort Worth. But first he became homeless.” This wonderful tribute to Lou and his legacy goes on to say:
A journey through homelessness
Lou’s remarkable journey through homelessness helped many and touched more. Like so many others, he lost a job in 2007 as recession gripped the economy. When his jobless benefits ran out, Lou pinned his hopes on the Texas Miracle and boarded a Greyhound bus for Fort Worth, knowing he’d be homeless at the end of the line.
Within days, Lou arrived at the Day Resource Center for the Homeless, forerunner of the DRC. By the time of his death, he had served two years on our Board of Directors. That’s upward mobility.
Room in the Inn
Lou arrived in Fort Worth about the time a program known as Room in the Inn came to town. They were made for each other, and many who call Lou a friend met him through that hospitality ministry, which opens hearts and houses of worship to people experiencing homelessness.
Lou was Room in the Inn’s biggest booster and, through service on the DRC and Tarrant County Homeless Coalition Boards of Directors, became one of the most effective advocates for people experiencing homelessness in our community.
A Celebration of Life
Join us in celebrating Lou’s life in services at 10:30 am Saturday, October 7, at First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth. His family requests memorials be made to the Lou Friese Memorial Fund at First United Methodist Church.