This Saturday, October 29, members and friends of First Baptist Church of Highland Park will travel up the hill from our current sanctuary to our new church home. Joyful, excited, grateful, these words only begin to describe the emotions felt.
The past days, leading up to our Consecration Celebration, have had me reflecting on the march to a new sanctuary with my parents, members and friends of New Shiloh Baptist Church. I remember the day we marched, May 27, 1990. The distance from the old church, on the corner of Freemont Avenue and Lanvale Street to the new church at 2100 N. Monroe Street is a little less than two miles. It was a great time. The singing started in the sanctuary, I can still hear the deacon singing, “I’m a soldier, in the Army of the Lord,” We were on fire and ready to march.
As we were lining up outside of the church, the country preacher, my dad’s good friend Rev. Jesse Jackson pulled up to march with us. If you knew my dad, you know that though it was late May, he was wearing a hat. Jesse Jackson said, “Harold take of your hat, the cameras (news) are running. It makes you look old.” Without hesitating, my dad took off his hat.
I never imagined that I would again share in the experience of going into a new church. It seems surreal. I do wish that my parents had lived to see this day, particularly my father as he started on this journey with my family. When my brother and I sold our parents home last year, I gave to the work a tithe and offering with my portion of the proceeds from the sale. Had my parents lived, I have no doubt that they would have been a part of the work in a significant way. I was happy to honor them.
Each generation has to push the mantle forward. The Love of God is still the only force that will cleanse the hearts, minds and souls of people. I want people to know that God is our Help. As I look forward to Saturday I am humbled and grateful to God. I have no desire for life without the Love of Jesus. I’m happy to still be counted in the army of the Lord.
There is nothing like working together with other Christians and seeing that work come to fruition. When God blesses my effort and your effort, things happen. When God hears your prayer and my prayer, mountains move. When God sees your faith and my faith…Lookout.