Unity through love and aware­ness

Cherokee County Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By Terry Dean Edi­tor

Unity through Love and Aware­ness: Where Do We Go From Here?

That was the theme for the re­cent 2017 An­nual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pro­gram and United Prayer Break­fast held at Mt. Olive Bap­tist Church in Cen­tre.

Guest speaker for the event was the Rev. Rod­er­ick B. Thomas, pas­tor of Mt. Pil­grim Bap­tist Church in Gads­den, Ala.

“We have come here on this Dr. Martin Luther King’s cel­e­bra­tion,” said Rev. Thomas. “He truly was a man that was well worth, well de­serv­ing of a cel­e­bra­tion. Some­times we have birth­days and big par­ties, and we ain’t done noth­ing. You know it is sad when black folks can’t get out of the bed for a man like Dr. Martin Luther King but to­day we have a full house. I just hope that the Gads­den MLK pro­grams looks like this one here.”

“There was a theme that you have,” said Rev. Thomas. “It says Unity through Love and Aware­ness. Truly we need unity and love and aware­ness. I will preach all of your theme and I was al­ways taught that if there was a theme given at least say some­thing about the theme. But in our read­ing on to­day, 15th chap­ter of St. John, 12th verse it reads as fol­lows: This is my com­mand­ment That ye love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Rev. Thomas, ac­cord­ing to bi­o­graph­i­cal in­for­ma­tion, is se­nior pas­tor at Mount Pil­grim Bap­tist Church. He has a deep pas­sion for de­vel­op­ing lead­ers. He and his wife, Carol, have four chil­dren and live in Gads­den

The MLK Memo­rial Choir opens the re­cent 2017 An­nual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pro­gram at Mt. Olive Bap­tist Church with a free­dom march, “We Made It Over!”

where Mount Pil­grim Bap­tist Church be­gan. He speaks at con­fer­ences and is a pub­lished play­wright and poet.

“He ( Dr. King) was a pro­to­type to any­thing I can say that as we looked into the scrip­tures, and we see how we should love our brother like Christ loved us,” said Rev. Thomas. “He is one of the most in­flu­en­tial peo­ple that has ever blessed us in this dis­pen­sa­tion. As we think about Dr. Martin Luther King in all of the ac­tiv­i­ties and things he went through let me share this with you. By no means was Dr. King a per­fect man, but don’t look like that be­cause you ain’t per­fect nei­ther! By no means was he a per­fect man but he stood for some­thing and if you don’t stand for some­thing you will fall for any­thing.”

“Our elected pres­i­dent has re­ally given us some hope to let us know that any­thing is pos­si­ble in the United States of Amer­ica,” said Rev. Thomas. “But as we look at this gi­ant of a man, Martin Luther King was a man of peace, he was a fam­ily man and he was a man that was on a mis­sion and a lot of times I don’t think we re­al­ize what our lead­ers have to give up of them­selves when they hold to the blood stained ban­ner. We don’t re­al­ize how much time that is taken away from the fam­i­lies be­cause of things we have to do for the mis­sion of God. But as lead­ers what we do un­der­stand that if we keep our hand in the Mas­ter’s hand, we know that the end of the day that ev­ery­thing is go­ing to be all right.”

“When we think about Dr. Martin Luther King, he was a stu­dent of one of your pres­ti­gious col­leges, grad­u­ated as a young man from More­house Col­lege and he was also a fan of Gandhi,” said Rev. Thomas. “And Gandhi was a man of peace who he got a lot of his meth­ods from. Gandhi once said he who seeks an eye for an eye leads the whole world blind. And we can’t go ‘if you kick my dog, I will spit on your cat,’ be­cause if we truly un­der­stand what love is, love is what love does, that was Dr. King’s mes­sage to us.”

“Dr. King knew some­thing about a man by the name of Je­sus,” said Rev. Thomas. “And he of­ten talked about this man named Je­sus, how He didn’t look down on no­body, how he tried to help all of those, didn’t care what your sit­u­a­tion may have been, didn’t care if you were strung out on al­co­hol, didn’t care if you were a crack­head, didn’t care if you had been caught in the very act of adul­tery. He un­der­stood that as we live through these flesh suits, we are go­ing to be striv­ing ev­ery day to be more like Him. Those of us that say that we are Chris­tians hold to His hand.”

“Ev­ery day we are go­ing to hold on to His hand,” said Rev. Thomas. “But what we must un­der­stand is there has been a great il­lu­sion that has been plagued on the world, Be­cause what we have done is al­lowed for color to be a bar­rier to stop us from com­ing to­gether. We have the black church, we have the white church, we have the Bap­tist Church, we have the Pen­te­costal Church, we have the Methodist Church, the Catholic Church and all the things these walls have done in sep­a­rat­ing us from do­ing King­dom busi­ness and what God re­ally wants us to do.”

“I want to serve no­tice to­day to let you know there won’t be a white Heaven,” said Rev. Thomas.

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