Emmanuel Baptist Church to celebrate African roots

Emmanuel Baptist Church to celebrate African roots
August 20
00:00 2015

In above photo: Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III (Submitted photo)

By Felecia Piggott-Long, Ph. D.

Special to The Chronicle

During the weekend of Aug. 28-30, Emmanuel Baptist Church will hold a Maafa, which means “to commemorate, educate and celebrate a spiritual journey of hope and healing as we confront a long history of horror endured by millions of men, women and children throughout the African Diaspora.

The history that describes the profound impact and lasting effects of trauma is known as ‘The Middle Passage.’”

The purpose statement for the observance of the Maafa celebration is “The Way Out is Back Through.”

This thought implies that many people seek to experience spiritual healing from the trauma that their enslaved ancestors experienced.

Maafa allows participants to participate in collective spiritual empowerment because of the support and encouragement received on this journey toward wholeness and hope.

The events will include African food, a step show, spoken-word poetry, a drama, a march and send-off ceremony, a continental breakfast, workshop on the historical events regarding securing voting rights and desegregation in Selma, Alabama, a prayer meeting and a special worship service.

The keynote speaker for the worship service on Sunday, Aug. 30, will be the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III, dean and professor of religion and culture at Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C.

On Friday night, Aug. 28, at 6 p.m. “The Taste of Africa” will allow guests to sample various dishes from Diasporan countries, such as Jamaica, Nigeria, Kenya, etc.

Following the dinner, guests will experience the drama “When Courage Becomes Contagious: Remembering Selma Then and Now” by Felecia Piggott-Long.

Piggott-Long and Seneca Davidson are directing this production.

Performers include Damien Anderson, Genieve Brayboy, Clinton Brim, the Rev. Annie Dalton, Nancy Dodd, Helen Durr, Carolyn Jones, Trevon Jones, James Jordon, James Leach, Reynita McMillan, Trudy Noland, Asha Piggott, Glenda Roseborough, Mark Samuel, Everette Shaw, Trudy Smart, Bernice Whitley, Joyce Vaughan and other volunteers.

On Saturday, Aug. 29, at 8 a.m., church members and participants from the community are invited to march from Emmanuel Baptist Church to Salem Lake for a “Send Off Ceremony.”

“This will be an opportunity to acknowledge our ancestors who have paved the way for us,” said Nancy Dodd, the chairwoman of the Maafa committee.

From 9 to 9:45 a.m., a continental breakfast will be served at Emmanuel for all participants.

From 10 a.m. to noon, a workshop will be held on the topic “ Selma Then and Now.”

Teens from the Emmanuel debate team will present poetry and speeches portraying the many individuals who are a part of the Selma legacy.

At 5 p.m., many churches will come together for a prayer meeting, which will include songs, prayers and testimonies.

The pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church is the Rev. Dr. John Mendez.

All events are free and open to the public.

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors