Springfield, Ga—on Saturday, June 19, 2021 exactly 156 years ago to the day the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas were the last to receive the news that they were free, and had been since January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln.
For more than 150 years African Americans have been celebrating Juneteenth in observances that had been under the radar of mainstream media until recent years. As the movement gained more publicity and became more popular organizers and community leaders petitioned Congress to make Juneteenth a recognized holiday. After decades of hard work and struggle, on June 17, 2021 under the Biden Administration Juneteenth became a Federal Holiday and a National Day of Independence.
Effingham County’s second Juneteenth Celebration but was also it’s first as a Federal Holiday. The event was organized and planned by the Effigham County Branch of the NAACP, Springfield Central High School Association Inc, and Effingham Roots.
This year’s Juneteenth, in Effingham, was held at Baker Lake. The lake provided a perfect backdrop to commemorate those souls who had been “bagged, tagged, and dragged [across the waters] to the Americas,” as stated to the large crowd by Servant Emannu’el Branch.
Permission to begin from Elders
MC------------------------------Servant Emannu’el Branch
Opening Prayer –------------- Mr. Henry Walker, Jr.
Welcome ------------------------Mrs. Gladys Smalls
Libations Ceremony------------Servant Emannu’el Branch
Lift Every Voice and Sing -----Ms. Jennifer Golden
Spoken Word -------------------Mr. Willie Wright
Closing Prayer------------------Chaplain Archie Seabrooks
On Friday, February 28, 2020 Royal Temple Holiness Church in Guyton, Ga wrapped up Black History Month with an outstanding evening of non-stop education, entertainment, and spiritual enlightenment.
Royal Temple was the place to be as this event delivered in the most powerful way. The program titled I Am...Our Story was well planned and put together by Minister Sonja Northcutt who assembled a bouquet of artists, speakers, musicians, singers, poets, story-tellers, historians of all age groups. There was, truly, something there for everyone. The unified message was clear--how Black History is also a spiritual journey as seen when we recognize the guidance by our Heavenly Fathers unwavering hand that brought us from slavery to freedom. This power from on-high continues to lead us, even today, as we continue our struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
The undying spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood was definitely in the house at Royal Temple as the community came out to support this moving event. What really stood out was the Glory Train skit (pictured above). This was a timeless performance that spoke to the hearts of all who witnessed the truth of this Gospel message--that Heaven and Hell are both real and we must do all we can, right now, to secure eternal life.
Mistress of Ceremonies, Minister Ruby Andrews; Historical Facts, Evangelist Sonja Harris; Solo, Missionary Cilvetta Garvin; Prayer, Deacon David Clanton; Scripture, Brother Dock Holmes; Welcome Address, Pastor Walter & Lady Gail Ross; Solo, Gianna Dorman; Presentation, Servant Emannuel Branch; Recitation of Sojourner Truth, Missionary Lizzie Hicklen; Narration Echoes of The Past, Deacon Rodell Nixon; Black Female Pioneer, Sister Lula Seabrooks; Solo A Change Gonna Come National Recording Artist, VonSeddrick Williams; Recitation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: I Have a Dream, Elder John Andrews; Soothing Sounds, Saxaphonist Thomas Duncan; Poem, Evangelist Willie Ruth Brown; Selection, Greater Loves Young Male Ensemble; Poem, Fatima Dixon; Royal Temple Presents...The Glory Train; Anointed Word by Pastor Brock Taylor (United Fellowship Worship Center in Statesboro, Ga); Presentation, Minister Sonja Northcutt. Benediction, Pastor Apostle Dr. Walter Ross.
Article and photo submitted by Servant Emannuel Branch--minister, journalist, speaker, historical documentarian at www.bhbpnews.com www.yahshuauniversity.com contact at email@example.com
On Saturday, February 22, 2020 a historic event was held behind the gated New Jerusalem Cemetery to honor the enslaved African Americans buried in unmarked graves recently discovered. This was the fourth Annual Day of Remembrance and Wreath Laying Ceremony held in Effingham County. The nameless, faceless, countless but not forgotten souls are situated about 28ft outside of the manicured and well kept cemetery.
At the event libations were poured for the oppressed, enslaved and discarded after going through the Maafa, which means “a terrible ordeal”—Black Holocaust.
A mixed crowd of the Effingham community attended the thought-provoking ceremony. Prayers were given not only for those who had suffered and passed on but for a better future in race relations.
Community and church leaders from Savannah to Atlanta traveled to Effingham to be a part of this historic event.
Also remembered were the hundreds of nameless African American men, women and children who drowned in the icy waters of Ebenezer Creek on December 9, 1864 after the Union Army removed the pontoon bridge preventing the formerly enslaved from crossing. As Confederate troops approached panic set in among those who fled the plantation emancipating themselves without asking for permission—self determination. Fearing the Confederates, hundreds of African Americans jumped into the freezing Ebenezer Creek attempting to swim to the other side where the Union soldiers were. Many drowned. Many were killed by Confederate troops while others were rounded up and returned to their plantation prison work farms.
There was the annual wreath laying ceremony to honor those African Americans who had been so abused, oppressed, robbed of their dreams, lives used up in toil and then buried in unmarked graves.
In the final analysis, this event was well-needed, very positive for all communities and a breath of fresh air. As stated during the ceremony, “You can’t fix what you won’t face.”
The organizer of the event was Mr. Leroy Lloyd, Chair of the Effingham branch of the NAACP.
1/22/2020 0 Comments
The Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Homer L. Wallace Unity Breakfast held on January 20, 2020 at 7:30 AM attracted church and civic leaders, politicians and business leaders.
Master of Ceremony.............................................................Rev. Delmons White
Welcome...................................................................Dr. Sandra Wallace Nethels
Invocation/ Blessing............................................................Rev. Gary Lewis
Memorial Tribute.............................................................Moment of silence
Solo...................................................................Mrs. Cilvetta Garvin
Recognition Special Guest.................................Mr. Levi Scott
Presentation Humanitarian Award.......................Mrs. Lula Seabrooks
Introduction of Speaker
Speaker.................................................................Dr. Randy Shearhouse Effingham County Schools Superintendent
Presentation of Grand Marshal...........................................Mr. Roy Griffin, Sr. 2019 Grand Marshall
Special Announcements.........................................................Wallace Family
Announcements/ Closing Remarks...................................Rev. Lon Harden President Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Day Celebration
1/22/2020 0 Comments
Spectators came out and lined Springfield's Laurel St. in anticipation of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Observance Day Parade. Though the morning of January 20th, 2020 was cool enough to wear a coat, but that wasn't enough to thwart those who cared enough to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr.
A large number of churches and civic groups came together to this day happen--organizations of both white and African American residents of the Effingham community.
Brief Outline of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Born January 15, 1925
Graduated High School at age 15
Entered More House College soon after
Became an ordained ministry at age 18
Entered the Civil Rights Movement in 1955 -- Montgomery Bus Boycott
Preached and demonstrated Non-Violent Direct Action
Preached the Universal Brotherhood of Man instead of bigotry and hate
Led the March on Washington in August 1963
Received the Nobel Peace Prize on October 14, 1964 at the age of 35
Slain in 1968 on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tn at the age of 39
What is Effingham Roots?
Effingham Roots is The voice Crying in The Wilderness. We not only love Effingham County, Ga but also love it's multi-ethnic and diverse people. We specialize in the 4-Step Historical Journey of The Hebrew African Tribes of the Bible inspiring those that love the rich local Effingham history that merges, perfectly, with America's National History then, beautifully, intertwines with the larger World History, which then, spiritually, interconnects with present day Biblical History called Bible Prophecy.
In this four-step historical journey from local to national to global then biblical, one thing is lacking, which needs to be reconciled---the presence and contributions of so-called Black people. Our early presence and sacrifices have all been rendered nearly invisible from the landscape of history. An entire people have been “swept under the rug” from the pages of history as though their very presence never existed. How can this be?
For instance, at the very inception of the Georgia Colony, from 1733-1750, there was a ban on slavery. Okay. Georgia was to have no slaves (Black or White). Again, okay. However, to clear the land and lay the foundation of both Savannah and nearby Ebenezer --General James Oglethorpe would break his own rule. He, too, joined the slave abusing crowd.
History and our Creator records that to help establish and birth both Savannah and Ebenezer, Gen. Oglethorpe did not target any White colonist innocent of breaking the law. Oglethorpe did not enslave any of the early European immigrants coming to Savannah like the Salzburgers from Austria, nor the French, neither any of the Jewish settlers. These groups who came to North America, fleeing various persecutions and imprisonment in their own country, were spared from being forced into life-long imprisonment of misery and toil.
Instead, Gen. Oglethorpe and many of those claiming "religious freedom" the loudest (The Malcontents) were the very ones who escaped their own persecutions and then targeted and persecuted so-called Black Hebrews who committed no crime. So-called Black men who had not committed murder, kidnapping, horse-stealing, or arson were the ones profiled and forced into prison work camps where they labored day and night to help build Savannah and Ebenezer. This chained and persecuted class of human beings became Georgia's Black labor force "borrowed" from South Carolina slave holders.
Fast forward to the 21st Century and all around the beautiful City of Savannah you will find tokens of appreciation for the value brought to this area by Gen. Oglethorpe. In his name and honor you will find a statue, historical markers, a street named Oglethorpe, even a Oglethorpe Mall. His name and memory have lived on for more than 200 years after his death. Honestly, I find nothing wrong with honoring Gen. Oglethorpe.
However, we must be fair and honest. If Gen. Oglethorpe is still honored and recognized today then how much more the ones who sacrificed their very lives and were denied any inheritance for their descendants after laboring to help build the riches of Savannah and Ebenezer? Not even General Oglethorpe sacrificed his freedom for a life time of imprisonment with hard labor and a bull-whip.
I'm talking about the innocent Black men, women and children who committed no crime yet found themselves stripped of their divine human right of freedom then forced into chains and shackles and imprisoned to a life-sentence on work farms for hundreds of years.
To make matters worst, history and The Creator have recorded that if and when these enslaved "free people" escaped their "unjust" confinement they were the ones labeled and treated as criminals---"FUGITIVES." Black lives meant nothing while their kidnappers and tormentors continue to receive a historical pass and justification for (what the Bible clearly describes as), "Evil Treatment" (Acts 7:6).
So, how can EVIL TREATMENT lasting several centuries go unmentioned, allowing the perpetrators become history's heroes---honored with statues and monuments while those who had been destroyed by the long-standing evil, still, remain history's outcasts even to this present day?
Why Is This Still Happening (from Georgia's 1733--to Now)?
Remember when I explained The 4-Step History? Local to National to Global to Biblical. This is how our local Effingham, Ga History fits into Biblical History.
For it is written,
"And God spake on this wise, That His seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring THEM into bondage [SLAVERY], and entreat them evil four hundred years [400 years]."
It's Time To Come Together
There can be no reconciliation without honest and fair dialogue between people of good-will. Mutual respect and peace must abound. I love the human family without any type of racial bigotry or hatred.
For it is written, "If a man say, I love God, and hate his brother, he is a liar: for he that love not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" (I John 4:20)
Search throughout Savannah, Chatham County and then across Effingham County, Ga. You will find many historical monuments, statues, plaques and markers. Of all the many statues and monuments honoring the early European settlers in Georgia--not one of them contributed while innocent and free yet kidnapped, imprisoned, chained, and sentenced to a life-long fate of hard labor under the threat of whip and death. No, not one.
Where is our place in history after centuries of giving our blood, sweat and tears to make Savannah, Ebenzer, Effingham and Georgia great? We, as a people, labored much and received nothing. We remain invisible even though we contributed and sacrificed while others lived and prospered off of our very existence.
Effingham Roots, as I said, is The Voice Crying In The Wilderness. It's time for reconciliation and a coming together in the spirit of true brotherhood and mutual respect, without any type of racial bigotry or hatred, as it is written.
"Behold, the time is at hand. Repent and believe the End Time Gospel."
2018 welcomed the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Day observance across the USA to include [Effingham County] Springfield, Ga.
The City of Springfield, Ga observed MLK Day celebrations on it's Down Town Laurel Street with marching bands, Military Color Guard, High Schools, floats, churches, Civil Groups, etc. The local community came out to support the event, which was made up of both Black and White citizens mirroring Dr. King's Dream Speech of both ethnic groups holding hands in solidarity.
Also see additional photos at this page: MLK PARADE
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr a Baptist Minister, Civil Rights Leader, husband, father, sibling, son. This servant of and for humanity was, senselessly, gunned down at the tender age of just 39 in 1968. He left behind four young children and a wife. His sacrifice should never be forgot.
Special thanks to local officials for recognizing this important day. The Mayor of Springfield, Ga along the city and county Police Departments and local Fire Departments Springfield and Guyton.
Effingham Roots was on the scene to cover this great event for the wonderful people of Effingham County, Ga. African American History isn't just for the so-called Black Community; it's for all communities. Black History in little ol' Effingham is a whole lot bigger than our local history; it's interconnected with our national history as well as our world history. All of our histories are occurring at the same time--interacting and even overlapping. In the grand scheme of things...we're all in this together.
Therefore, let's make sure that we are all on the right side of history, on the right side of justice, and on the right side of The Gospel. The whole world is, truly, watching. Let's treat each other in the same way we want others to treat us (MATTHEW 7:12).