Letter From Pastor Heritage 2020

The Coronavirus Virus Pandemic has greatly impacted the universal church and the local congregations in how we do ministry; how we assemble and fellowship, indeed how we carry out the mandates of the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. We are still charged to go out into the World and make disciples. Yes, out into a world infected with a killer virus.

Should we stop because of the virus? Should we place the Great Commission on hold for now? Wisdom tells us to shelter in place until the storm is over. That’s what Satan would have the Church to do. I say we should find other ways, in the midst of the storm, to keep spreading the Good News about Christ and His Redeeming Love. Using our Faith and Heritage as the courageous fuel to energize our passion and our testimonies to give us rich content. If ever there was a time we should do this, it’s Now.

God has given us incredible tools to reach out all over this world, in our own homes and communities, in our state and nation, even unto the uttermost part of the world to tell others, who are burdened by the uncertainties of a suffering world, how faithful God is in His great Love for us.   

Each year, during the month of August, we take the time to reflect on the rich, 155 year old, Heritage that began in 1865 with a small group of newly freed slaves. This is a sacred time for us because it compels us to put a comma behind “moving forward,” for the opportunity to “look back.” .. We should “look back!” We must “look back”! For in looking back we can see strength, purpose, tenacity, hope, faith and endurance.

In looking back, we can see that the Coronavirus epidemic is not the only pandemic that our heritage has experienced. There has been multiple pandemic diseases that we have seen;

Post Slavery Oppression

Poverty

Segregation

Jim Crow

Blatant Discrimination

For us, these have been diseases of epidemic proportion. Yet, by the Grace of God and the persevering faith of our Heritage, we have come. Our Heritage is best described and defined in the beautiful words of the Negro National Anthem.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
‘Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

During this month, I call on everyone to celebrate; celebrate by remembering our journey; celebrate by vowing to never forget who we are and from whence we’ve come. Celebrate by thanking God for the Journey.

To God be the Glory

Pastor Drake