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LAST WORDS: A BOSTON GLOBE SPOTLIGHT REPORT

Pastor Gloria’s latest mission: Encouraging more frank talk about end-of-life issues in Boston’s Black community - and beyond

Rev. Dr. Gloria White-Hammond of Bethel AME Church prayed with Margaret Pless-Hunter at her home in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston. They prayed together and talked about Margaret's health.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

The Rev. Gloria White-Hammond and her husband, the Rev. Ray Hammond, are both physicians and longtime co-pastors of the Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain. White-Hammond — known in her church as Pastor Gloria — has devoted much of the past five years to encouraging her parishioners and others to complete their advance directives about end-of-life care.

Related: Death in Massachusetts, by the numbers

The Rev. Gloria White-Hammond of Bethel AME Church said goodbye after visiting with Margaret Pless-Hunter at her home in the Hyde Park. Pless-Hunter said she has tumors on her brain and kidney as well as multiple myeloma (cancer.) She also said she has constant back pain from compressed discs. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Related: About this project

"I am ready to go so I talk to God about that,'' said Pless-Hunter, visiting in her home with White-Hammond. "I just don't want to be in a lot of pain but I don't want to be resuscitated." Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
White-Hammond followed a hearse to Forest Hills Cemetery following a funeral at Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
With her husband, the Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond, and the Rev. Norma J. Burnham, the White-Hammond prayed before a funeral at Bethel AME Church.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
Hammond and White-Hammond presided over a funeral celebrating longtime Bethel AME Church member Violet Shepherd. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff


Hammond and White-Hammond cofounded Bethel AME Church in the late 1980s.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
White-Hammond greeted Jonell Johnson at the funeral of Shepherd.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
The co-pastors departed Shepherd's burial at Forest Hill Cemetery.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

This photo gallery is part of the “Last Words” three-part series that can be found at www.bostonglobe.com/last words.