Tyrone 'Major Pain' Lamar stands tall for kids

His ministry is serving Liberty City’s most “cherished possessions”

Gigi Tinsley | 8/29/2013, 9 a.m.
It was in 2002, while working for a local funeral home when Tyrone Lamar, Sr. viewed the remains of a ...

It was in 2002, while working for a local funeral home when Tyrone Lamar, Sr. viewed the remains of a 10-year-old girl who had just died — three years after being raped by two Black youth and subsequently contracting the HIV virus.

“I looked down on that little girl in her casket and swore to God that I was going to do all that I could to help children avoid going down the road towards criminal activity,” Lamar said.

Soon thereafter, he began buying snacks for the children who habitually gathered around Horace Mann Middle School, Hadley Park and on street corners in the area.

“Children aren’t like grown people,” he said. “If you treat them with respect, even though you may be firm, they will still love and respect you.”

Before he knew it, Lamar was given the nickname “Major Pain,” by one of the local newspapers.

The name has since been shortened to “Major” because he had no qualms about going to businesses in the U.S.A. Flea Market and asking them for snacks or money to get snacks for his kids.

“It didn’t matter what people thought,” he said. “I made a promise to God and a few close friends that I was going to help and not hinder.”

“Major Pain’s” claiming their place in the sun

Lamar say that many people, 10 years later, still “don’t understand why I do what I do.” “But I am proud to be able to see many of my former kids standing tall.

Some are in the armed services, some are police officers, teachers, great husbands and good citizens.”

If you’ve lived in Miami for awhile, you may remember seeing “Major Pain” barking out drill instructions to the “Major Pain Kids” as they marched in the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. parades.

Rev. D’Andre Watkins, a minister at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Gaston Smith, describes Lamar as his mentor.

“I came up under his leadership and I am proud that he was there for me,” Watkins said. “I was with with Lamar when he took the kids to the parks for exercises and drills. I believe that’s why I’m a coach today.

Veronica Lamar, Tyrone’s wife of 19 years, says she is proud of her husband.

“He has had a love for children since I have known him — I just wish he could learn how to take it easy sometimes,” she said.

“It has been 10 years since I started working with children and I’m still on the battlefield for my Lord,” he said.