On January 1, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared freedom to those who were enslaved in the states that were in rebellion. Today, 157 years later the signing of that groundbreaking document is remembered and celebrated in African American churches across America.
The Holy Ghost Center in Guyton, Ga is one such church that is keeping the annual tradition alive. A number of Pastors come out to support the event to show their solidarity.
Keynote speaker, Reverend Frederick D. Favors, theme was “Remember Jerusalem” –getting back to God. Rev. Favors said, “If we forget Jerusalem if we forget the core values that God gave us in Jerusalem and we stop loving one another...”
Rev. Favors spoke passionately on the subject of “Identity crises” –how many within the African American community have forgotten “who we are and our identity.”
The event included participation of our youth through the organization called HYPE (Helping Young People Excel). Several of the youths read from the Emancipation Proclamation document and gave commentary.
The program: Presiding Minister—Overseer Sylvester Boston; Emancipation Proclamation Choir; Scripture—Bishop Troy Lawton; Prayer—Minister Timothy Darby; Welcome—Missionary Arlene Daniels, THGCC; Welcome—Ms. Lula Seabrooks, NAACP; HYPE-- Helping Young People Excel; Emancipation Proclamation Presentation—Mr. Lindsay Gaskin; Solo—Sister Pauline Mydell; Special Presentation—Mr. Leroy Lloyd; Introduction of Speaker—Ms. Lucy Powell; Speaker—Rev. Frederick Favors; Announcements—Rev. Lon Harden, MLK Chair; Remarks—Gladys Smalls; Remarks—Russ Deen, Mayor Elect; Remarks—President Edies Cope, NAACP.