Published on June 19, 2018
By: K.T. Young and K.L. Young Special to the (GBCI) News
Racism seems to be having a moment. Whether it's your local legislature, at the culture of carshare service Uber; in the syrup at your local Waffle House or
disrupting your cup of coffee at Starbucks, or at the morning worship service of your local congregation, the political ads are seen on facebook, twitter and Instagram,
incidences of overt racism/hate seem to make news on a daily. Often times as a response, these institutions then hire executives armed with the ability to handle
the complex landscape of racial bias with a temporary fix.
On Sunday, June 17th, an athletic framed, attractive, appealing African American Preacher stood via remote viewing lit a fire that the fire hoses could not contain, those who listen and shouted amen by the thousands gathered to hear Bishop Toris T. Young as he spoke to them about, "The Redemptive Power Of Love," the crowd responded repeating Bishop Young, saying "What’s Love Got To Do With It." Bishop Toris T. Young has now returned to ignite a flame about activism.
Two day's after he delivered this major father’s day message to his flock at Greater Bibleway Church International, and their affiliates around the world, the pastor, activist, father, bishop, and first African American to lead the church having been honored by former American President George W. Bush, who honored Bishop Young in 2006, with the American spirit award for his heroic work during and after Hurricane Katrina which hit the gulf coast to include the city of New Orleans in 2005. Bishop Young led thousands of volunteers and re-building efforts that helped thousands of people many who are still receiving help from Bishop Young and Greater Bibleway Church International and it's affiliated.
Bishop Young encouraged and called for the tens of thousands of participants in a candlelight march led by many prominent clergies, civil rights activist, and leaders of other organizations were present as they filled the sanctuary, foyer, and steps of the over 5,00 seat structure. Bishop Young spoke to a standing room only crowd about the redemptive power of love. In a statement, Bishop Toris T. Young, connected his father’s day message with his work to eradicate racism/hate in and around the world but particularly in the United States Of America "America's Original Sin". As church leaders, we view bringing the "Reclaiming Jesus" declaration to the public square as a tangible example of how to live out the way of love," Bishop Young said. "We are Christian leaders bearing moral witness to the teachings of our faith in the public square. As citizens we want our government to reflect our values. As a Presiding Bishop, I believe we should follow the teachings of Jesus - who taught us to love God and love our neighbor."
Bishop Young and other leaders from around the nation representatives from many denominations of churches and a range of other faith and social justice groups called on president Donald J. Trump to make a paradigm shift in rhetoric and policies that are dividing a nation that has an epic rise of hate groups and hate speech, of which the Russians have used with propaganda in the 2016 presidential election and others are using this same sin to build there following.
"We came together, liberal and conservative and everything in the middle. What binds us together is Jesus Christ and his way, his teaching and his life," Bishop Young said. "And when we leave this place this is not a protest march, this is a procession of Christian people representing some four million Americans. This is what they did on Pentecost, this is a Pentecostal moment." Bishop Young was referring to the day of Pentecost, which according to the New Testament of the Bible is when the Holy Spirit descended on a group of Jesus followers, while in one place at one time on one accord, including his mother and the apostles, and caused them to speak in many languages or "tongues" 50 days (Pentecost literally means 50) after the resurrection. According to Greater Bibleway Church International religious education division, the first Pentecost marks the beginning of the Christian church.
Bishop Young has led many organized events to bring change and to forge new opportunities for the least of them around the globe his work is seen. Bishop Young told the gathering, "We are here tonight because our faith demands that we stand in confrontation of injustice that is sweeping this nation, injustice against the immigrants, the poor, the incarcerated, children, elderly, college students, health care and doesn't mind using the vilest and racist terms to dehumanize God's people to unite. You see there are black people here, brown people here, white people here, rich people here, poor people here, gay people here, straight people here, Christian people and people of no faith all here. said Bishop Young. A close associate the Rev. Aubrey Wallace of Heavenly Star Baptist Church in Southeast Louisiana said "We will not stop until justice is a reality in these United States Of America." after the message and instructions are given by Presiding Prelate Bishop Toris T. Young, the people silently walked to Lafayette Square, located in the nations’ capital of the United States of America, where they offered prayerful petitions in front of the White House to make their presence, strength and challenge to President Trump. For policies that leaders charge has put the United States of America in a moral crisis.
The Rev. Barbara Skinner, a former faith advisor to President Barack Obama, "My prayer at the gate was; Lord please touch the hearts of our leaders in the Congress and the White House that they have compassion and mercy for all God's children." Skinner said in an interview. Former Mayor of Atlanta, U.N. Ambassador, Pastor Andrew J. Young, an icon of the Civil Rights movement and aid to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who is a huge backer of Bishop Young said. "We are fighting racism at every level because it demeans the divine imprint. Our battle is not against President Trump but to address the needs of all Americans whose jobs are not coming back. This is a message of love our people are sending." Bishop Joseph Walker said that leaders of this new movement are planning a series of organizational meetings to build bridges with a new generation of the clergy of many races and background to forge a common agenda. Elder Vernon Allen of Greater Bibleway Church International, New Orleans, said change is already coming. While the elders of this movement were speaking inside the church at Thomas Circle, the steps leading into the historic sanctuary became a diverse quilt of many, old and young. Rev. Leslie Copeland Tunes, director of ecumenical advocacy days, a progressive group of ministers who have challenged those on the so-called religious right weighed in on the importance of the gathering. "For us to come together, for us to say that we are reclaiming Jesus from those who have hijacked and distorted the gospel and for us to proclaim that it is a liberating gospel." Copeland Tunes said. "To say that Jesus loves the poor, and cares for the poor and we are not going to stand for policies that discriminate against people."
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