Unity through love and awareness
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.