Fallen Firefighter Praised By Church Family

Fallen Firefighter Praised By Church Family

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Capt. Michael Goodwin died earlier this month while fighting a fire in Philadelphia's Queen Village neighborhood. Capt. Michael Goodwin died earlier this month while fighting a fire in Philadelphia's Queen Village neighborhood.
Members of St. Michael's Church honored Capt. Michael Goodwin Sunday. Members of St. Michael's Church honored Capt. Michael Goodwin Sunday.
PHILADELPHIA -

Members of St. Michael's Church sang songs and took a moment to remember Philadelphia Fire Captain Michael Goodwin.

"Mike was such a good leader," said Pastor Marjorie Neal. "He was a strong leader, a central leader here at St. Michael's that there's a void to fill."

That void created when their 53-year-old church member died a little over a week ago battling a South Philly fabric store fire. Pastor Neal described him as a shepherd protecting his flock of firefighters.

"I'd do the waggy finger," she demonstrated. "Now Mike, captain, aren't you supposed to be down on the sidewalk supervising your men. 'He's a big man, 6' 4", And he'd say; 'pastor I'm not going to send men to someplace I wouldn't go myself.'"

"He always led from the front with anything he did," said church member Steve Leopold.

Case in point, Goodwin's position as church council president.

Pastor Neal says when one church member took issue with her becoming the first, female pastor at the Kensington church nine years ago, Captain Goodwin stood up for her.

"He was a righteous man. He did what was right. He didn't do what might be most popular."

Goodwin served as a role model to Dillon Landis.

He taught him life lessons and showed him how to ring the church bell.

The fallen firefighter also shared a special relationship with Donna Heard.

"I asked him to be my Godfather,"

A testament she says to the selfless way Goodwin lived his life.

"Someone who is that loving and caring and generous with their time, you cant help but miss them."

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