Last Sunday I shared in the concluding celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Oakland, CA. I had done some revivals for them more than 30 years ago. Scheduled to preach only one time, I was called upon to preach twice. The highpoints of the celebration for me was a testimony of a young woman who had accepted Christ at a Revival Service conducted in 1984 and the presence of numbers of my family who live in the Oakland area and in Vacaville some 60 miles away.
On last Monday, 20 plus family members, all children of my oldest brother and sister, joined in a meal at the home of a niece. There the wife of the Reverend J. Alfred Smith, Sr. retired Pastor of the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, spoke of a conversion experience of a man previously indifferent to Christ and the Church but who was converted through a sermon he heard preached by me at an event in the 90’s at the Allen Temple Church. His coming to faith then became a life’s reviving source years later when he was near death.
On that same Monday, I was able to visit for the first time the gravesite of the Revered V. M. Bailey, a father in the ministry figure in my life. It was for me an awesome moment. He was buried there 55 years ago. I attended the funeral service but could not stay for the burial.
Today is the last Sunday in Black History Month. I am led to speak about it, a pivotal moment in the movement of Israel from Egyptian bondage—after a journey of years in the wilderness—into the Land of Promise. Those of the adult generation that left Egypt had nearly all died. A new generation was to enter the place that was the hope of their fathers and which had become their hope as well. Let our ears be open to what the Spirit says to us.
Joy! We are one in the Lord. Let us give to Him nothing less than our best!