MOULTRIE — The Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 421 Sixth Ave. N.W., has planned several activities in celebration of Black history.
Celebrations begin Saturday, Feb. 3, with a visit to the Black History Institute in Albany. The tour is included as an educational resource to benefit the youth and adults to view first-hand Southwest Georgia’s struggle in the Civil Rights Movement.
On Wednesday, the 14th, the congregation will celebrate the beginning of the Lenten Season with Ash Wednesday. The Rev. Otis Tony Brown, the senior pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, will conduct the service with a message and the disposition of ashes.
On Sunday, the 18th the Rev. Dr. Joseph Howard III of Albany will deliver the message at the 11 a.m. service. A graduate of Albany State University and Morehouse School of Religion, Howard is renowned for his rendition of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He is founder of Joseph Howard Ministries and serves as a chaplain at Phoebe Putney Hospital in Albany.
A skit, “The Ruby Bridges Story,” will be presented at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21, and the Adult Choir will render the music.
On Wednesday, the 28th, a spread offering a variety of African dishes and soul food will be served. Participants will bring their favorite potluck dish. Also, during this time a sweet potato pie bake contest will be held. The winner will be crowned king or queen of the competition.
The pastor will deliver the message at the 11 a.m. service on Sunday, the 25th.
The celebration of Black History Month began as Negro History Week. The celebration was created by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. Woodson is known as the “father of Black history.”
Since that time, every February the U.S. takes time to honor the many contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who helped to shape this nation. The celebration expounds on the rich cultural heritage that came about through many triumphs, hardships and adversities that are engrained in the country’s history.
Woodson first set out to designate a time to promote and educate people about Black history and culture. He chose the second week of February as Negro History Week. Woodson chose the month of February because it coincides with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln, who was influential in the emancipation of slaves and Frederick Douglas, a former slave, who was a leader in the abolitionist movement, which fought slavery. The idea and celebration grew in popularity and acceptance in the 1960s. Fifty years after the first celebrations, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized the celebration and it advanced into what is now known as Black History Month.
The youth will present Black History Moments throughout the month. And activities to celebrate the many contributions of the richness of Black culture will be presented throughout the year as a regular and ongoing inception of the church’s worship services. The public is invited to this and all services at Friendship.