Original drama highlights church’s 124th anniversary

Original drama highlights church’s 124th anniversary
March 17
00:00 2016
Photos by Timothy Ramsey
Crystal Glen and Dr. Ernie Wade play the roles of Dora and Uncle Jake during the performance of Wade’s play “Words from the Trail” at Mt. Pleasant’s 124th anniversary celebration, on Saturday, March 12.



Churches celebrate anniversaries in many different ways. To commemorate its 124th anniversary, Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, at 495 NW Crawford Place, held a showing of “Words from the Trail,” a stage play written, produced, and directed by Dr. Ernie Wade, on Saturday, March 12.

Mt. Pleasant has been a staple of the community for as long as its walls have been standing. The church has always been in this community, and as it progresses toward the future, the congregation wants to embrace the past and keep a presence in the community, according to Bishop S.T. Davis, lead pastor. That is the main reason for the performing the play, Davis said.

The play centers on “Uncle Jake,” played by Dr. Wade, his nephew played by Lamont Bethea, and his nephew’s wife, played by Crystal Glen. His nephew and wife are successful gospel singers who travel the country.  They believe the struggle is over, but when Uncle Jake arrives for a visit, he decides to give them some-what of a history lesson.

They tell Uncle Jake that it’s a new day in America for black people in part because we have a black president, but he fires back with a comment sim-ply stating if it’s a new day, why are so many people who don’t look like me upset because he does look like me?

Uncle Jake’s nephew initially resents his uncle’s visit, but changes his tune as Uncle Jake recounts the important lessons and struggles of the past. Uncle Jake tells them that the fancy hotels they stay in when traveling, someone marching got them in there.

Uncle Jake tells them that while they were attacked by racist policemen and vicious dogs, their secret weapon was God, and for change to fully occur, we all must first look inside ourselves. with uplifting and motivational singing, along with words of wisdom and hope for the future. “I’ve been writing on this topic for more than 30 years and after speeches that I wrote for occasions like Black History Month and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day kept piling up, I decided to put them together and write a play with the help of a friend,” said Wade of how he came up with the concept of the play.

According to Davis, he became aware of the production from Wade in late 2015 and found the concept very interesting.  He initially wanted the performance to take place during Black History Month, but with a cast member falling ill, they had to postpone it until a later date and thought with the anniversary coming up, now would be the perfect time.

Dr. Serenus T. Churn and the congregation of Mount Zion Baptist Church joined Mount Pleasant in Day Two of the church anniversary on Sunday, with Churn delivering the sermon.

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