The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, host of their Annual Black History Program, had one thing in mind on Sunday evening, February 26, to keep the dream alive by reminding us of where we came from and how we got there.
Pastor Cedric Brock, Pastor of Mt. Nebo Baptist Church and President of the I. M. A. , shared a desire to pay homage to some of the pioneers in this years’ celebration by sharing the host role with St. Mark Baptist Church, 2340 N. Holland Sylvania Rd. , ensuring that the celebration this year would not leave out a significant person who has played a valuable role in the Civil Rights Movement and era in the Toledo community: Rev. I. J. Johnson.
As many gathered to share in this year’s service, the presiding Officer was Pastor Jerry Boose of the Second Baptist Church who ushered a spirit of celebration into the room. He presented Pastor Leroy Williams of Searchlite Community Baptist Church who made the Call to Worship through the reading of Psalm 150 which reads, LET EVERY LIVING THING PRAISE GOD: “ Praise the Lord. Praise God in the sanctuary, Praise God in the marketplace. Praise God for mighty deeds, praise God for greatness. Praise God in the choir stand, praise God in the pews. Praise God with tambourine and stomping feet. Praise God with piano and guitar, praise God with organ and bass”. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
The Negro National Anthem provided the opening of the song service, with the congregation singing all three stanzas of the Anthem. The scripture was read by Pastor Robert Birt from the Glass City Church of Christ. Pastor Timothy Clark blessed the service with a fervent prayer that would set the stage for the service to continue to escalate higher in praise and the word. Dr. Otis Gordon of Warren A. M. E. Church shared the Occasion and why the need for such a service. The songs of celebration were sang by the St. Mark Gospel Choir, who sang Through It All and Our Day Will Come.
As the service progressed, Pastor Brock introduced the stellar speaker for the service, Rev. I. J. Johnson, a patriarch of the gospel and a Godfather of Preachers in the city. He shared the need to showcase such a gift to the body for this year’s service, particularly reminding the congregants of where this historian and stellar preacher had come from to where God had presently placed him. As Patriarch Johnson approached the podium, he took the audience down memory lane and reminded them of the days when Moses was commissioned by God to go to Egypt and tell Pharoah that God said “ Let my people go”. He introduced the days of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Montgomery, Al. and the bus boycotts and his role in the movement that was designed to liberate a people. And lastly he shared Jesus Christ and how he came that the people of God might have life in abundance. Pastor Johnson’s message was titled THREE EMANCIPATORS, MOSES, DR. KING, AND JESUS CHRIST!
The service ended on a high note with all leaving in a spirit of unity, whereby officials of the I. M. A. expressed thankfulness for all in attendance. Praise God for a job well done Pastor Brock, I. M.A. Pastors, Leaders, and those in attendance at the annual Black History Service. God bless you!