Two prominent Oklahoma City churches are hosting events commemorating Black History Month.
The Rev. J.A. Reed, who was the subject of one of my recent stories (“A Pastor's Link to History,” Feb. 17), told me that his church, Fairview Baptist, will hold a Community Black History Month Celebratory Service at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
The service is in conjunction with the Concerned Clergy for Spiritual Renewal and the Baptist Ministers Association.
Reed said the service at Fairview, 1700 NE 7, will recognize the contributions blacks have made to society and will feature as keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo., a United Methodist pastor who is immediate past chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
St. John Missionary Baptist Church is planning a different type of event — a Black Heritage Round Table Discussion.
The Rev. Major Jemison said the discussion will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the church, 5700 N Kelley.
Jemison said the church has hosted such a forum before but not in recent years.
“We think it's relevant, and it is timely,” he said.
He said the event will include remarks from several civic and state leaders such as state Rep. Anastasia Pittman, D-Oklahoma City; Joseph Dismuke, director of Positive Solutions Youth and Family Services; Karl Springer, superintendant of the Oklahoma City School District; the Rev. Gilbert Oliver, president of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Alliance of Black School Educators; and Anita G. Arnold, executive director of the Black Liberated Arts Center.
Jemison said the goal of the round-table discussion is to bring together community leaders and residents to talk about issues affecting the community.
He said topics to be discussed include Oklahoma's education system, state gun laws and violence.
“These are old issues but with a new twist to them,” he said.
“We feel it is necessary to keep them on the people's minds and perhaps add a human face to some of these issues.”