Those Gone Before Us
The "great cloud of witnesses" spoken of in Hebrews 12:1 includes all those in the Church Triumphant. They serve as a source of encouragement to press on in the faith. Here is an article speaking about the life of one such individual, John Chavis (1763-1838). He was the first man of African descent to be licensed to preach in America and was a faithful witness to those around him despite cultural pressures. May his life spur you on to love and good deeds.