Hundreds celebrate Moses ‘Mo’ Lucas at memorial service

Drummers, dancers and steppers from the past and present followed closely behind the hearse carrying Moses “Mo” Lucas during a parade following the memorial service held at Union Baptist Church on Sunday, June 26.

Hundreds celebrate Moses ‘Mo’ Lucas at memorial service
June 30
09:00 2016

Photos by Tevin Stinson



It was standing room only inside Union Baptist Church Sunday afternoon, as more than 400 people gathered to celebrate the life and legacy of one of the city’s most influential members, Moses “Mo” Lucas.

Lucas, 89, better known as “Mr. Mo,”  passed away Tuesday, June 21, while surrounded by family and friends.

Mr. Mo was born in Wilson, but became a legend in Winston-Salem as an employee and volunteer at the Winston Lake and Patterson Avenue YMCA branches. While Lucas wore many hats during his tenure at the Y, including bus driver, deejay and boxing coach just to name a few, he was best known for mentoring hundreds of young men through his drill and step teams that performed in countless parades and events across the state.

A  U.S. Army veteran and 1956 graduate of Winston-Salem Teachers College (now Winston-Salem State University, or WSSU), Lucas also played a major role in forming the Youth Incentive Program, The Boss Drummers drum line, the Yettes dance troupe and many other pro-grams at the Y. During the memorial service, elected officials, community leaders and residents of all ages sat shoulder to shoulder as city native Bishop Todd Fulton delivered the eulogy.

Fulton, who spent time at the Y growing up, said his entire life Lucas fought the good fight.

“Mo said, finish the fight,” he continued. “Five generations here today prove that he fought the good fight, and we have to finish what he started.”

Fulton said Lucas was the type of person who would give his last to make sure children in the community had what they needed. He noted, “Lucas taught hundreds of young African-American boys and girls that they could be anything they wanted to be if they kept God first and stayed out of trouble.

“Mo Lucas came home from the war but he continued to fight for youth in this community. Long before grants and scholarships, Mo took what he hadand made what he wanted,” Fulton said.

“Although the odds were against him, he kept fighting. We have to keep the faith, that’s what Mo Lucas would tell us today. Even when it doesn’t look good, we have to keep the faith, and continue to fight for the youth in this community.”

Mayor Pro Tempore Vivan H. Burke presented Lucas’ family with a proclamation from Mayor Allen Joines. Burke announced Lucas’ named would be added to a monument in Evergreen Cemetery where other local greats are listed.

Following the service, a parade led by the hearse carrying the iconic Lucas made its way to Drayton Pine Parkon West 14th Street, where dozens of balloons were released to honor Lucas. Steppers, drummers and dancers from the past and present followed closely behind, while hundreds more lined the sidewalk, thanking Lucas.

Dr. Larry Little, WSSU associate professor of political science and longtime community activist, urged the community to start a campaign to have the Winston Lake Y renamed the Mo Lucas Family YMCA.

Little also called for a street to be renamed to honor Lucas.

“We are going start a petition to see that these changes are made,” he said.

“We have to keep Mr. Lucas’ spirit alive. Although he is no longer with us, we have the responsibility to ensure his legacy lives on forever.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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