Funeral services for the Rev. Thomas R. Niblack Sr. were held on April 28 at Gospel Temple Baptist Church.
Born Jan. 26, 1950, to Loretta and Henry Eugene Niblack, he died on April 23, 2012.
Educated in the School District of Philadelphia, Rev. Niblack graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1967 and then attended Cheyney University on a part-time basis. He held several jobs, including being a stevedore at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, a cab driver, an iron chef of pizza for Dominos and a non-teaching assistant at Vare Middle School.
Family members said as a youngster at Friendship Baptist Church, under the guidance of his godfather, the late F.D. Edwards, Rev. Niblack was often found playing in the pulpit. He attended Manna Bible Institute, graduating in the late 1970s. In 1981, he was the youngest elder to be ordained in the Mount Sinai Holy Church of America where he served under Elder Thomas Martin before moving to Bethel Fellowship in Bensalem.
In 1995, he was employed at Philadelphia Traffic Court and was a proud member of District Council 33 Local 696. He was the chief steward at traffic court and appointed chaplain and trustee of District Council 33 Local 696.
In 1994, he moved his membership to Gospel Temple Baptist Church where under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Daniel T. Black, he was encouraged to continue his Christian education. He became a student at Jameson School of Theology where he graduates with a masters of arts in Biblical theology conferred upon by the International Christian University in May 2000.
In January 2003, he was installed as pastor of New Gethsemane Baptist Church in South Philadelphia.
In 2008, he was inspired to develop Segula Ministries.
Survivors include his wife, Irene; sons Thomas Jr. and Tai; daughter, Traeima; son-in-law, Michael; daughters-in-law, Mariah and Edithe (Ghia); six grandchildren, Abigail, Evan, Josias, Ian and Saiah. Hannah, Baby Niblack and Tomir preceeded him in death.
Also surviving is a stepfather, William “Pop” Sydnor; and brothers, Charles Jr. and Eric Johnson. Another brother, Henry (Gene) preceded him in death. He leaves two sisters, Lillian (Stell) Wyatt and Belinda Mack and several in-laws including Roy Wyatt, Loretta Niblack, Roslyn Johnson, Matthew Barton (Carol), Mary Ferrell (Milton), John Barton, Sherry Murray (Rick) and Troy Barton (Lashana).
Godchildren are: Walter Jacobs Jr., Latanya Gay, Maurice Drake, Darryl Roberts, Naheemah Salaam, Aquella Hassan, Ashley Childs-Beckett; Takyra West and Nasire Massey. Special children include Damarah Brown, Yvonne Brown-Keith Burgundy Murphy and special grandchildren, Michael and Araceli Aviles.
Two adopted sisters, Diana Fields and Shirley Gilchrist; Niblack’s other dad, Elder Goldwire McClendon; and dear friend Patricia McClendon, are also listed as survivors.