Funeral services for the beloved former leader of Black Clergy of Philadelphia, Rev. Dr. Randall E. McCaskill, Sr., 70, were held last week at Vine Memorial Baptist Church in West Philadelphia.
Reverend McCaskill, who had pastored Olivet Baptist Church for many years, died of an apparent heart attack September 22, 2010. Widely respected for his more than 30 years of community service on a variety of boards, commissions and church related organizations, Reverend McCaskill possessed a perpetual smile and winning personalities that won over even those who had the occasion to disagree with him from time to time.
He was born October 12, 1940 in Madison, IL and was educated in that city’s public schools. His educational accomplishments following high school were both impressive and extensive. He attended Arkansas Baptist College for one semester and transferred to Bishop College where he earned the Bachelor of Science degree. He then did his seminary studies at Crozier Theological Seminary where he earned the Bachelor of Divinity degree. He did post graduate studies at Colgate Rochester, New York.
Ordained to the Gospel Ministry as a young adult, Reverend McCaskill completed Student Field Work at the Corinthian Baptist Church of Philadelphia, and held pastorates at the New Hope Baptist Church, Niagara Falls, New York. While pastor of New Hope Baptist Church, he became Chaplain for the New York Assembly during the governorship of Governor Nelson Rockefeller.
Then he became the pastor of First African Baptist Church, Philadelphia, and most recently the Olivet Baptist Church, where he pastored a people he loved and they loved him back for the past thirty years.
He was united in marriage to the former Carroll J. Crockett, a union which was blessed with two sons, Randall, Jr. and Desmond.
Randall McCaskill was a man of unwavering faith, whose brilliant mind and great memory endeared him to those he met. His love of people, warm personality, big heart, and ability to size people up proved valuable assets as a pastor. As a preacher, his exceptional writing ability and inspiring sermons were a hallmark of his oratory. As a husband, father, brother and brother-in-law, his love of family was evident in all he did.
His concern for the religious, civic, and political community led him. to serve in numerous capacities and in diverse organizations in the denominational, political, and civic realm. In particular, he served on the Strawberry Mansion Board of Directors, the Albert Einstein Development Corporation, the Board of Directors of OIC, and with PUSH (People United to Save Humanity). Reverend McCaskill was a past president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, a member of the Foreign Mission Board, National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., a member of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Philadelphia and Vicinity, Missionary Baptist Pastors Conference, A.A.I.M. (African American Interdenominational Ministries) and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.
Reverend McCaskill also served as Deputy Managing Director of the City of Philadelphia, in charge of public outreach.
His service and contributions were recognized when he was honored to being listed in Marquis “Who’s Who in America in Religion,” 1969 Edition and “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
Reverend McCaskill, a true people person with a winning personality, could find the silver lining in any dark cloud. Once you met him and he engaged you in conversation, you couldn’t help but enjoy his company. It was almost as though he inspired people like him.
He was predeceased by his brothers, Earl and Wilson McCaskill.
Many will cherish the memories of this gracious and personable man of God, but particularly left to embrace his legacy are: his beloved wife, Carroll J. McCaskill; his two sons, Randall, Jr. and Desmond; his sisters Etta M. Regans, St. Louis, Missouri and Helen W. Blount, Kansas City, Missouri; his brother, Charles J. McCaskill; sisters-in-law, Canaille McCaskill and Betty Jones, Fairview Heights, Illinois; cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. Special affection goes out to his Church Family, the Olivet Baptist Church.