Commentary: In memoriam of Mr. Alton Sterling and Mr. Philando Castille

Philando Castile and Alton Sterling

Commentary: In memoriam of Mr. Alton Sterling and Mr. Philando Castille
July 21
00:20 2016

Greater ChurchThe Greater Church of Deliverance Inc. joins with millions across this nation who mourn the loss of another life and the senseless murder of another African-American male at the hands of law enforcement officers, while apprehended under suspicion for a victimless crime.

As a reformation of Christian churches and ministries who believe emphatically that our call requires that we speak boldly and intelligently concerning the injustices against any individual or group. This public statement is not only our right, but it is also our responsibility.

The Christian church and most specifically the African-American church has always been at the forefront of civil rights issues. Through the church, our congregants have historically been educated of their rights under the constitution of the United States of America. Churches have led organized acts of protest and non-violent civil disobedience.

This important church work has given voice to those who most times feel voiceless and hope through faith in Jesus Christ to those who feel hopeless. As leaders within Christendom, this nation, and our communities, we speak as a reformation today because it is our responsibility. This is our collective voice and we will raise it until there is awareness among our constituency and those within the reach of our voice.

The leadership of this reformation firstly and foremost calls us all to prayer. Prayer for the family of Alton Sterling, the family of Philando Castille, and the families of the many victims of violent crimes throughout this nation and the world. Prayer for law enforcement officers who truly protect and defend communities, its citizens and property. Prayer for all government officials. Prayer for the safety of African-American men and women, young and old. Prayer for all of mankind especially those who are underrepresented and under resourced.

Secondly, we ask that the non-African-American leaders within the Christian Church community raise their voices. It is paramount that we raise our voices and stand together during these tumultuous times.

In August 1963, Dr. [Martin Luther] King addressed the clergy in his “Letter From The Birmingham Jail.” In that same spirit, we ask that you stand with us hand in hand concerning the blatant disrespect those of color still experience daily here in the United States. Raise your voices with us in prayer, on social media and in public. We do not expect you to feel all we feel, yet we do expect you to respond to our cries, our calls and our cause.
You have not read of legalities in this missive because we are not officers of the court. You have not read statistics because we are not scientists; you have not read interviews because we are not reporters.

What you have read is the voice of apostolic leadership and prophetic confrontation because we are the prophets of the most high God. We speak as his oracles and we speak as those having authority. We will not sit silently or distance ourselves from our brothers and sisters of any race, creed or color who are in the center of any struggle. We stand for respect and freedom from oppression. We encourage others to join your voices individually and collectively to this call to action. Join us in prayer and protest. Join us as we advance the Kingdom of God in the earth.
With Prayerful Contemplation …

The three authors of this letter are affiliated with Greater Church of Deliverance Inc. in Winston-Salem: Bishop Freddie B. Marshall, Ph.D., presiding prelate of Greater Church Inc.; Bishop David M. Callands Jr., executive vice presiding prelate; and Dr. Cassandra Smith, secretary-general.

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