Longtime pastor, activist, congressional candidate and Baltimore radio commentator the Rev. St. George I.B. Crosse has died.
Crosse had dementia when he died last Wednesday at an assisted living facility in Pikesville, his congregation said. He was 79.
With his wife, Crosse led the Overcomers Tabernacle Full Gospel Methodist Church in Baltimore for 22 years.
In 1966, Crosse became the first African American to run for Baltimore City sheriff. He later served as the neighborhood director for the Community Action Agency in Baltimore City.
A Republican, Crosse ran for Maryland’s 7th congressional district seat in 1986 against then-City Councilman Kweisi Mfume in a race to succeed Rep. Parren Mitchell. He lost to Mfume. Crosse later served at the federal level as special adviser for minority programs in the office of the deputy undersecretary for intergovernmental relations in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
He was an adviser to President Ronald Reagan, who named him personal representative and special ambassador to the nation of St. Kitts-Nevis in the West Indies when the nation gained its independence from Great Britain.
Longtime WBAL listeners will remember Crosse’s numerous appearances on the “Ron Smith Show” and the “C4 Show,” where he was a frequent caller and guest.
On Wednesday, C4 called Crosse “a political gadfly of the highest order” and someone who gave “an alternative thought at a time when it was unpopular for an African American to be an open Republican. He was definitely a character in Baltimore’s history.”
Crosse also hosted his own show for 22 years on Morgan State University’s radio station, WEAA-FM, and was a regular panelist in the 1970s and ’80s on the WJZ-TV program “Square Off,” hosted by Richard Sher
“The Rev. St. George was one of our favorite panelists over the years,” Sher said. “A holy man of the cloth and a man with profound colorful words.”
Crosse is survived by his wife of 52 years, Delois, as well as two daughters and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A wake will be held next Wednesday, Aug. 21, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Vaughn Greene Funeral Home at 8728 Liberty Road in Randallstown.
A service will be held on Thursday, August 22, at 10 a.m. at DreamLife Worship Center located at 4111 Deer Park Road in Randallstown.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his memory to the Alzheimer’s Association.