Time to Move • By Nick Nunn
“The message here is: it is time to move,” set forth keynote speaker Minister Edward O. Dubose, president of the Georgia State Conference NAACP during the Black History Month Celebration at Springfield Baptist Church last Sunday.
Dubose’s message, accompanied that day by the prayers of local pastors and the songs of the Calvary Baptist Church Majestic Choir, found a welcome home at Springfield Baptist, where Commissioner Donald Harris led the congregation through the events of the day.
“We’re here to celebrate,” began Harris. “The Word can solve all problems. Can people look at you and see Christ in your life? If I was naked, could they see Christ?”
Pastor W.J. Reid continued Harris’ message, “Some of us shout in the church, but don’t shout in the streets. When we help God’s people we’re helping ourselves.”
As part of the celebration of Black History Month, Hope Johnson and Glenn Tolbert Jr., junior life member of the NAACP, read a list of African-American inventors and their inventions, illustrating the depth of African-American culture and innovation.
Minister Dubose’s keynote speech began with a reading from Deuteronomy 1:3-8. The passage describes Moses relating his conversation with God on the bank of the Jordan, which concludes with God commanding the children of Israel to go forth and take possession of the promised land.
Dubose then related that the Israelites failed to take the promised land at that point because they lacked courage and faith in the Word of God.
“Their failures were defined by their lack of faith,” stated Dubose, who then drew a comparison between the Israelites on the bank of Jordan and the current state of African-Americans in America today.
“In a time when all we need is faith... we can’t visualize it,” started Dubose. “God is saying to us in this moment [that] we simply need to move. You don’t need to be the next President Obama, you just need to be the next who you are!”
Dubose attributed African-American progress in America to having the faith to persevere when God commanded.
“When they opened the door, we moved,” said Dubose. “If God is giving it to you, you’ve got to move. There’s a window here, but the window will not be open forever.”
The inertia of past accomplishments, however, is not strong enough on its own for the movement to be satisfactory, according to Dubose.
“Dr. King fought for voting rights, but he can’t get you up to go to vote,” admonished Dubose.
Additionally, Dubose commented on Black History Month, specifically that it is “packaged into the shortest month,” and referred to Jan. 1 through Feb. 28 as “the season of blackness” Dubose demanded of the audience, “Don’t you know our history is too rich to be packaged into about 48 days?”
After Dubose’s speech, attendance awards were given out to the top three of the 16 churches at the event. Springfield Baptist Church had the most church members in attendance, but Mt. Zion had more NAACP members in the congregation than any other represented church.
Finally, Laura Butler, president of the Morgan County branch of the NAACP, and Michael Naples, Madison city councilman, made an appeal for NAACP membership.
Butler led the plea, stating that, “membership is the bloodline for the NAACP.”
Naples continued Butler’s message, “Numbers give you a voice.”
April 20, the Morgan County branch of the NAACP will hold their Black History Parade at Madison’s Town Park. Participation will be free, and local churches that are interested in taking part in the event are encouraged to contact the local NAACP branch.
Printed in the February 21 edition.