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Celebrating Black History Month - A Reflection by Rev. Clarence Johnson, DSF/PSR Student

In order for individuals and groups of people to learn and grow from the past, it is necessary for those who have inherited lessons learned from the courageously faithful challenges, failures, and successes of ancestors to reflect on at least three questions going forward. They are:

1. What has been done well? 2. What was not done so well? 3. What can be improved upon and done better?

In a word, Black History/African American History Month means opportunity. Opportunity to continue doing what has worked well. Opportunity to recognize and avoid pitfalls and dangers realized. Opportunity to do better by improving on gathered knowledge, new insights, and the divine inspiration from the current moment.

At Mills Grove Christian Church, plans are made for those so inclined to dress in traditional African clothing. Speakers are selected from among and outside the congregation to address the historical journey of faith made by ancestors. Significant names of noted contributors toward the march to freedom, justice, and equality in these United States of America are highlighted with photos, stories, and unique remembrances of their contributions. Inspirational songs past and present are used to uplift and remind all of the Spiritual connection required to move successfully toward a more Perfect Union. Correctly handling the WORD of GOD and the Holy Bible as the foundation and source of our understanding of next steps.

Adherence to the lessons taught and learned over the years before and since 1619, when people of African Descent were brought to this land we now call home in chains to be used and misused as the economic backbone for much of America’s prosperity, progress, and power as a bright shining light of religious freedom, democracy, and justice for all.

"Every Valley shall be exalted, every mountain shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. And the Glory of the Lord GOD shall be revealed; and ALL flesh shall see it TOGETHER... the mouth of the Lord GOD has spoken it." - Isaiah 40:4-5vss.

"But let justice run down as waters and righteous as a mighty stream." - Amos 5:24vs.

Rev. Clarence Johnson, DSF/PSR student (D.Min.), Senior Pastor at Mills Grove Christian Church

Note from Editor: In honor of Black History Month, DSF has invited board members, students, and graduates to share their reflections on this annual celebration. Each of them has been asked to answer the following three questions:

1. What does Black History Month mean to you?

2. How do you/your church celebrate Black History Month?

3. How would you like our Church to honor Black History Month?

We invite you to take a little bit of time out of your day to join us in reflection.


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