Black church celebrates collective dream ... and its fulfillment
Those who attended the annual Martin Luther King holiday observance at St. John Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday were reminded once again that the movement led by King and other civil rights leaders started in the black church.
In fact, like King, many of those legendary leaders were and are ministers themselves.
“It has been the black church that has been our shelter,” Oklahoma City Ward 7 Councilman Skip Kelly, said to the large crowd gathered.
Everyone knows the influence the black church has, he said, just look at one of the biggest controversies of President-elect Barack Obama’s candidiacy — his membership at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ and several sermons preached by its then-pastor Jeremiah Wright.
The holiday observance was filled with allusions to the black faith community’s sense of hope, an expectancy born of faith in God for a brighter day. These ideas have their roots or foundation in the biblical Israelites’ quest for freedom from slavery and oppression. God did indeed bring them out — parted the Red Sea and lead them to the Promised Land, pastors have told many a congregation year after year.
Sunday was no different.
“We thank you Lord because we believe he’s (Obama) the realization of Dr. Kings dream,” the Rev. Bobby Best, senior pastor of Greater Cleaves CME Church, said.
The choir sang several songs, including “Blessed” — a uptempo song that proclaims “We’re blessed in the city! We’re blessed in the field! We’re blessed when we come and when we go!…”
People clapped and swayed to the music as they sang another verse of the song’: “Late in the midnight hour, God’s going to turn it around! He’s going to work in our favor!”
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