He was known as the “godfather” in Columbus’ African-American community, striving to shape all aspects of the city through the written word.
While Amos Lynch Sr. spent his life as a journalist, family and friends remember him for the other roles he adopted: political figure, community activist and adviser to many government leaders including Mayor Michael B. Coleman.
“Amos was much more than a newspaper man,” said Coleman to more than 200 family members, religious and community leaders and public officials who attended his funeral on Saturday at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church on the Near East Side.
“He had an impact in every aspect of life in the African-American community.” Lynch had hired, mentored or aided many of those who attended the service.
“He was a door-opener,” said Virgil Mitchell, 58, of Newark. “He gave me a start to get my life together. I was on drugs, went to prison. When I got out, that was my first job, The Call and Post. He never treated me different because of my past.”
Lynch, who died on July 24 at age 90, helped start three newspapers: the Ohio Sentinel in 1949; The Call and Post, a local edition of a popular black paper in Cleveland, in 1962; and The Columbus Post in 1995.
He was editor of The Call and Post throughout its 33-year existence and was publisher of The Post until his retirement more than a decade ago.
He also helped found the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast in 1986. That event funded scholarships for seminary students for more than 20 years, said Lawrence Carter, a professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Many of those students now are pastors helping communities such as New York, Baltimore and Greenville, S.C., where racially-charged deaths of black men and women have caused turmoil in recent months.
“Millions of dollars have come into the chapel to bring peace on earth,” Carter said.