Church was in service this past Monday as local pastors of the Baptist Ministers' Conference of Los Angeles and Southern California met for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration at Mount Moriah Baptist Church.
Dr. King was the reason for the celebration, but it was clear that this event was to support President-elect Barack Obama through prayer.
Pastors Kelvin T. Calloway, Williams Todd Ervin, Michael S. Jones, Raymond LeBlanc, Roy S. Pettit, Richard D. Sanders, and Austin F. Williams each gave a prayer and kind words for Obama and his family, and for Obama's presidency.
It was clear that Obama certainly is not alone as he takes office. He has the support of his community, and of the many men and women who paved the way for him to have this opportunity.
Keynote speaker Dr. C. Dennis Williams, pastor of Ward A.M.E. Church, gave a short history lesson about the White House, where Obama and his family will be living for the next four, and possibly eight years. He said that slaves built the house, that they were not building the house for the president at the time or any of the White presidents, but that they were building it for future President Obama.
Williams also pointed out that a number of former presidents were slave owners while they were in office, that a Black man now holds the same office that former slave owners held.
Williams also said that Dr. King's efforts have paved the way for Obama. 45 years ago, King gave the "I have a dream speech" at the Lincoln Memorial, which is where Obama will be sworn in. King's dream has taken a major step to being realized, as a Black man will hold the highest office in this country.
This was a very joyous day, as two great Black leaders were celebrated.
"This is a special time of the year, with one of us taking office," said Bishop Roy S. Pettit. This is a time when the Black community has something to shout about, something to be excited about. I like the message that I heard today, and this is something to praise God for. Obama has grace under pressure, he works under pressure. He fights the good fight."