By Journalist Ms. Jones
NEWBURGH – On Saturday, December 1, the intersection of Chambers Street and First Street was renamed McLymore Square in honor of Pastor Robert “RD” McLymore Sr., senior pastor of Life Restoration Church. The sign sits right next to his church and couldn’t have come at a more suitable time as one year ago he was installed as the new senior pastor.
Pastor RD McLymore, whose motto is “Changing Lives, Building Together,” was recognized for being a voice in the community, feeding others through a food pantry, awarding scholarships to deserving students, giving clothing and shoes to those in need, and organizing an annual community block party and other community events.
“There are pillars of Newburgh that need to be recognized… There are a lot of people we can recognize while they are yet living,” said Councilwoman Hillary Rayford who hosted the Street Dedication Ceremony. The City Council voted unanimously to name a street after Pastor RD McLymore. “I believe great things are going to happen and it starts block by block.”
Pastor RD McLymore is a native of Newburgh who used to live right on Chambers Street.
“We often get lost in what’s happening right now… but we often lose track of the people who got us there and this is a person and a family that has been doing this for decades and they’re homemade. They’re Newburgh raised. That’s so important… especially in a community like Newburgh where we have such a large Latino and African American community. Our young people should see these leaders and be like, ‘Wow! I can do this!’… I believe it’s so important for us to have these kind of role models,” said Orange County Legislator Kevindaryán Luján.
Many were amazed to see such a young person achieve the mark of distinction of receiving a street sign.
“He’s 42 years-old… For him to be presented with a street name… it’s awesome. It also will let the other young people in the city of Newburgh know that there’s nothing that God won’t do!” said Mary McLymore, mother of Pastor RD McLymore, who blessed the crowd with song.
The Street Dedication Ceremony was filled with congregation members, family, friends, and other distinguished guests including, Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson, city council members, NECSD Superintendent Dr. Roberto Padilla, principals, sheriffs, and police officers. Mayor Torrance Harvey gave words of encouragement.
“This beautiful family has blessed me in so many ways and has blessed this community,” said Harvey who shared stories of calling Pastor RD McLymore in the “midnight hour” for advice.
Pastor RD McLymore is currently a Detective Sergeant in the town of Wallkill. He oversees the detective bureau investigations. He was the first African American detective and Sergeant (full-time) in Wallkill.
“We’ve done a lot of work together…The dedication that he puts into his work, I can understand why this is such a great reward today for him because everything that he does he puts 120% in and he really deserves this,” said Captain Paul Arteta of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office who has known Pastor RD McLymore since he became a police officer.
Pastor RD McLymore has a wife, Sharon, and four kids. Siblings Azariah, RJ, and Elisha shared kind words about their dad at the dedication, while the youngest child, Zoe, was charged with the task of unveiling the sign.
“They said they wanted to name it ‘Robert D. McLymore.’ I said ‘No.’ I wanted it to be named ‘McLymore Square’ honoring my entire family…The work that you see now, it didn’t start with me… It started with my mom and my father… They taught us how to serve… My parents constantly gave,” said Pastor RD McLymore whose father, Overseer Michael McLymore, Sr. founded Life Restoration Church in 1999. “I wanna make sure it’s a legacy to come… It takes all of us to come together and do this.”
Pastor RD McLymore is also a published author with a book titled “Why Strong Relationships Fail” and is a part of the new documentary titled “Status” which spreads awareness about STDs.
“God has assigned me to this area for such a time as this… My work is not done here… We’re all in this together… I love my city. I love my church,” said Pastor RD McLymore.