By Dan Yount

The Cincinnati Herald

Rev. Damon Lynch Jr.
Photo by C. Smith

The Reverend Damon Lynch Jr., known as Cincinnati’s preacher and who has helped so many people in his ministry, was forced at gunpoint to give a little more at 3 p.m. Friday, May 18, as he went down the hill at his home in the 100 block of Clinton Springs in North Avondale to his mail box.

There, according to Lynch, a man who had gotten out of a car down the block approached him while pointing a gun at him and demanding whatever he had in his pockets. The man, who was masked, took everything but 28 cents and a roll of lip balm, ran back to the car and was driven away in an older model brown/tan car with a temporary tag on it. Lynch was not hurt.

Lynch had just returned home from conducting a burial service at Spring Grove Cemetery.

That night, Lynch and his wife, Barbara, and members of his New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Carthage attended the annual Collective Empowerment Group (CEG) dinner at Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnati, where the

church was honored for doing the most business with CEG in 2017 and raising more than $500,000 to help the Black financial empowerment group, the largest amount raised locally in 2017 for the nonprofit.

“Don’t move, O.G. (Original Gangsta). Don’t move. I don’t want to hurt you.’’ Lynch said the robber told him as he frisked him.

Lynch said the man was wearing a ski mask and stocking pulled over his face, but he identified the man as being about 30 in age, slim and muscular, and wearing jeans and a T-shirt. He said he did not see the driver.

Cincinnati police took a report and have been keeping an eye on the neighborhood, Lynch said.

“I felt blessed that nothing happened that made me or him go off script,’’ Lynch said. “But when I told Barbara that he was a nice, respectful robber, she said I should stop saying that, for if he was nice and respectful he would not have robbed me.’’

Lynch said he would have liked to have had the opportunity to tell the man that there are better ways to get money. “I would have told him that I’ve spent the better part of my adult life finding jobs for guys like him. I spent years building City Gospel Mission. I carry cards in my pocket to give to the homeless to refer them (to the shelter). But they do not want a card. They want money. As long as we have this opioid addiction problem, people will be in need of money for their habits. They will take it from somebody, even their mother or father, so I don’t feel less that they chose me. It will only stop if people decide to work, to be honest, and to follow the Golden Rule.’’

Lynch said he appreciated that the robbery occurred outside his house so his wife was not involved.

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