Members of the congregation and First Church men brought to their remembrance the spirit and intellect of our ancient African ancestors, the civilizations of the rich endowments of our culture.
They celebrated a recent Men’s Day, raising awareness of the issues affecting our African American community.
Amid old-school gospel, the Men’s Day Choir performed “Jesus Is My World,” “There Is None Like You” featuring soloist John White, and the Canton Spirituals’ “Fix It Jesus,” which again focused on lead singer John White.
The Rev. Gillard S. Glover thanked Leonard Hunt, Sr., Minister of Music, for all the work he has put into the choir.
‘Redig the Wells’
Rev. Glover, pastor of First Church, preached the message, “Redigging the Wells of the Father,” from Genesis 26:16-18.
The narrative was traced to the pastor’s Weekly Devotional:
Like Isaac, our challenge today is to re-dig the wells of our father, so that living waters may flow throughout our community.
“We must re-dig wells that affirm our shared identity,” Pastor Glover asserted.
During our Diaspora, approximately 12 million people were brought from our homeland in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Approximately 10,900,000 persons completed the trip through the middle passage.
“It’s interesting to know that they were not all one people,” the pastor noted.
Like the people who left the land of Ur with Abraham, they were different tribes with different belief systems.
The bulk of the dispersed persons from our homeland came from 10 tribes.
“None of these tribes spoke the same language. None of these tribes shared the same customs. Few of these tribes practiced the same religion – yet they were thrust together by a common oppression – and to survive their shared oppression, they had to develop a common identity,” the clergyman said.
“What institution did they use to promote a shared identity?” he asked.
The people developed a shared identity by embracing the institution of family.
Not just biological family, not just the tribal family, but they survived because they embraced the idea of extended family.
A wonderful Men’s Day was attributed to the great leadership of Chair James Brown, right.
An extended family
All these diverse individuals were drawn together by a common condition, unbelievable oppression by an unflinching oppressor.
In order to survive, the people had to put aside geographic, linguistic and tribal differences, and embrace the idea of an extended family.
Like our forefathers, to survive, we must develop a sense of extended family. In order to survive now, we must re-dig the wells of the extended family among our people.
Just like Isaac and his people re-dug the wells of his father – so they could become a vibrant and strong community – so we must lead our people to re-establish institutions that promote a sense of extended family.
“We know we are all in this together,” the pastor continued.
“We must take responsibility for all of the children, not just our biological children. We must promote social justice for all of the family, not just our biological family,” the pastor added.
“We must promote togetherness, not division. We can’t allow ourselves to be split based on education, color, economics, or history.
“We must leave the things that divide us behind, and recognize that we are all in this together.
“Will you do that?” Rev. Glover asked.
Pastor stepped in for ill friend
It must be passed on to you, my readers, that the Rev. G. Vincent Lewis’ doctors were firm in not allowing him to travel from Atlanta to be the Men’s Day messenger. Pastor Glover filled in for his friend.
And so, I’m sending the following to Rev. Lewis: “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and you will quickly be healed” (Isaiah 58:8).
And, while depicting a fully realized story, others who took part in the Men’s Day service were: Jimmie Calhoun with the invocation; Dr. Irving W. Robinson, the Litany; Cedric Wiggins, Esq., the Ministry of the Word; the Rev. Ricardo Bright, the Decalogue; and Ron Smith, the Welcome of Guests.
Men’s Day was presented in decency and in order, and was attributed to the great leadership of Chair James Brown.
Tracy Calhoun can be tacked on to this back story. She was the cook behind the men’s sensational fish fry.
“Let me thank those of you, who came out on yesterday, and celebrated with the men our first annual fish fry,” Pastor Glover said.
“Ron was correct: I felt it was incumbent upon me to taste everything,” the pastor continued. “And, it was all well-prepared, and I did taste everything!”
As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted, the prodigal son, or daughter, and the bereaved.