This Sunday is the last Sunday of Black History Month. I’ve noticed a lot of wonderful renowned African Americans that has been highlighted in various situations during this month. I’d like to note one other, Dr. Samuel Dewitt Proctor.
Dr. Proctor was an African American minister, educator, humanitarian and perhaps best known as the mentor and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Though I never met Dr. Proctor who died in 1997; I’ve heard and read many of his sermons from his time as Pastor of the 18,000-member Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem; where he spear-headed the building of 50 housing units in Harlem for needy families. His list of contributions to America and our community are too extensive to list here.
Monday evening, I attended, the opening worship service of the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Leadership Conference, held here in Birmingham at the historic Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. I accompanied some friends I’m hosting from Saginaw Michigan: (one, Reverend Carolyn Mobley-Bowe, I’ve known 40+ years). It was a wonderfully affirming and powerful worship service. “The mission of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference is to nurture, sustain, and mobilize the African American faith community in collaboration with civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders to address critical needs of human and social justice within local, national and global communities.”
One such critical need is for people to experience real freedom. Former slave Harriett Tubman, leader of the Underground Railroad once said, “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” Real freedom starts within; recognizing working to free oneself from those untruths, negativity and influences that keep a person enslaved to the kind of thinking that prevents them from experiencing the freedom God intended for each of God’s children.
Join us for worship at Covenant on this last Sunday of Black History Month. My sermon will be “Experiencing Real Freedom” based on “Genesis 45:3-9 & 15” and “Luke 6:31-38.”