Desperately need advice on story

The pastor in Chapter 2 of "Pairie's Children -- Return to the West" is based on an actual person in Birmingham, Alabama.  What is written about him is not considered extreme. He was a kind minister, always stopping on the street to pray with someone (has even stopped fights that way) and would actually give the clothes off his back to some needy person.

He was well known in Birmingham.  There is a statue of him on top of Red Mountain showing him on his knees in prayer holding his hat by his side.

My question:  Since he is a part of history in Birmingham, but unknown nationwide, should I mention his name?  A Birmingham native will know who I am writing about by my description of him, including the church he pastored.  I am sure members of his family are still living, but I don't know how to contact them to get permission to use his name. They could object.

Advice please?

If anyone reading this is a native of Birmingham, please answer. 

Use of Name

Interesting question you raise. My opinion would be not
to use his real name and I am interested to hear what
others have to say on the subject.

Hey Starla

I don't see why not. If you're going to portray him as you understand he was, there shouldn't be a problem.

If on the other hand you were to portray him out of character, that would probably be a different matter.

Go for it and good luck.

Desperately need advice on story

Thank you, Nick, for your comment. I read the chapter again and thought I would leave the mystery of the pastor's identity intact. Instead, I placed a note at the bottom of the chapter revealing the pastor's name and try to honor him by adding comments.

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