Bishop SF Makalani-MaHee, age 45 of Oakland Park, Florida passed into Glory surrounded by a small but close group of friends and family. Bishop was born on July 5, 1972 to Barbara MaHee and Adisa Makalani.
As a young child filled with talent everyone knew that Bishop would touch lives, although no one knew to what extent. In his early life, Bishop had his first church solo at the age of 4. Many of his Sundays were spent in church serenading the congregation with wonderful gospel renditions such as one of his favorites, “Jesus Can Work It Out.” His school years found him obtaining an education at the Julia Richman High School, which touted such alumni as Gene Anthony Ray and Lauren Bacall. It was here, a love of Broadway was birthed. It was that love of Broadway that brought him to meet producer Cheryl Weisenfeld, who cast Bishop in a number of shows, such as “Grease.”
After moving to Atlanta with family, Bishop began teaching theater classes and courses, as well as lecturing. This afforded him opportunities at Georgia State University, Soapstone Center for the Performing Arts and Spelman and Morehouse Colleges, respectively. He quickly became immersed and active in LGBTQ community. Bishop also founded a youth theater troupe, Heart Theater, which performed its inaugural piece, “Journeys” an HIV/AIDS educational play conceived and directed by him.
After becoming the youngest commissioned Pastor in Unity Fellowship Church history, life called him away from Atlanta in 1997. He relocated to South Florida and it was here he found his tribe; his purpose, his congregation. It was here that Bishop became most free and was happiest. He continued his work as an activist in the LGBTQ community, working at the PRIDE Center in Wilton Manors as well as head-spinning a number of other not-for profits. He founded Black Gay Pride South Florida and co-founded BLACKOUT, South Florida’s first African-American LGBTQ Film Festival. Bishop was also an active member of the Dolphin Democrats, taking a job at the Broward Democratic Party office. He was also a former board member on the Broward Human Rights Board.
Employed at the Broward County Department of Health at the time of his untimely passing, Bishop SF Makalani-Mahee was the Coordinator of the Transgender Program, advocating for those like himself. A Trans man who would be facing similar struggles. Bishop SF was a man who spent his life loving so many others unconditionally. He will forever be remembered as a man loved by so many. We love you, we miss you. Continue walking in your light, redefining our faith and living your life in the rhythm.
Bishop SF Makalani-Mahee is survived by: mother, Barbara; brothers, Darcy, Jeffrey and Justin; sister, Marsha; several nephews; Juan Carlos, Desiree, and his extended NYC and Atlanta network of friends; his South Florida friends with whom he identified as his family: Mitch, Sybil, Lisa, Jules, Rachel, Grace, Donnell, Stephen, Lonzo, “The Pack”, Saul, Rajee, Sheen, Paige, Pam, as well as Western New York friends, Cleveland friends and everyone who was touched by that contagious smile of his; there are to many to name them all. Bishop was loved and cared for by so many including the countless families that took him in as their own. Bishop fought a great fight and will forever be remembered as a true leader and activist. Rest now our brother. Rest.
A public service for The Bishop will be held on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 4:00pm at the Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW 9th Ave Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315. An elaborate and colorful program to honor The Bishop is slated to include Rev. Anne R. Atwell, Rev. Leslie A. Rutland-Tipton, Pastor Anita Porter, Rev. Joel Slotnick, Rajee Narinesingh, Michael Rajner, George W. Castrataro, Donnell Morris, Mitch Herman, Lisa Lipman and US Congresswoman and former Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz to name a few.