As Black History Month comes to a close, I’d like to highlight a recent experience with a community organization.
I was out taking care of business when I stumbled upon a Black History Celebration. I was turning in documents at Methodist Hospital-Olive Branch when I heard an announcement over the speakers that a Black History Celebration would be taking place in the main conference room and all staff, guests and visitors were welcome to attend. I had never heard of a hospital hosting such an event so I wanted to see it for myself.
I went down to the first floor and entered the main conference room. I was greeted by hospital staff as I found my way to a seat. A singer by the name of Brenda Coleman sang a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Jennifer Garrot, the Navigator for Methodist Hospital Olive Branch’s Congregational Health Program, spoke about the history of United Methodist Church within the community of Northern Mississippi. Jennifer Garrot highlighted one key figure, Mr. Moses Adams. Mr. Moses Adams was instrumental in developing the first African American Methodist Church in Northern Mississippi on December 27, 1865. Per Miss Garrot, Mr. Adams was a circuit worker and rode on horseback from New Orleans to the area that is now known as Byhalia, MS.
The program continued with prayer and an inspirational word from the keynote speaker, Pastor Andrew Cheairs of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church. I gleaned from Pastor Cheairs’ speech the importance of finding, developing and maintaining unity through our spiritual and faith connections. He cited Matthew 18: 20 KJV and Romans 8:28 KJV which essentially discuss the importance of believers gathering and working together in the name of Christ. I thought it was awesome that I was in a room with individuals from various racial, ethnic, and spiritual backgrounds, yet we were all their to ultimately celebrate humanity. There was a lot of love, kindness and benevolence in the room.
The event concluded with us all singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, a prayer and we all fellowshipped with good food and beverages courtesy of Methodist Hospital Olive Branch’s Food and Catering Department. It was a great way to wind down the month and to celebrate my heritage with others.