Pray for peace, understanding and a commitment to do better
By Ciera Campbell, A’Nassya Bruton and Jalen Williams
Last week on Tuesday July 16, 2013, communities from all over Broward County gathered at The New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to have a prayer and rally for peace for the families of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.
Several pastors came to the pulpit to offer inspirational messages of healing through prayers.
In search of peace and understanding this rally showed the unity of the Fort Lauderdale community. People of all races and denominations came together to promote safe neighborhoods and communities.
In bringing awareness of the racism that still exists today, hearts were heavy, burdens were deep, but despite the grief from this crisis the room was filled with joy.
The purpose of this rally was more about bringing awareness to what has been going on and what is continuing to go on in the Black community.
This event brought awareness to the racism that still exists today. The music and prayers were uplifting, inspiring others to remain positive during difficult times in life.
Geraldine Bartelle, a mother of three, said, “This event was very moving and consoling. I enjoyed it, I feel inspired and filled with hope.”
“Bringing the community together through faith and prayer can strengthen them,” said Dr. Rosalind Osgood, Pastor at New Mount Olive Baptist Church. “Prayer is one of the most effective tools used by our African-American community,” Osgood also said.
Is Your Faith on Trial
Trayvon Martin’s death case and George Zimmerman’s aquittalhas caused communities across the nation to question the disarray of our judicial system.
However, The New Mount Olive Baptist Church peace rally aimed “for a revival not a riot” according to Senior Pastor of New Mount Olive Baptist Dr. Davidson.
Davidson continued, “The Black community is at a point where it realizes they can’t just march and go home; we cant continue to stay selfish and isolated. God has called us to come together; if we don’t come together, more children are going to die.”
This was a major focus at the rally as well; coming together means a lot.
Reverend Davidson also said, “If the Black community wants to see change they must come together, change themselves and the ones around them. Then progress to a better future.”
The overall message of this assembly was for Fort Lauder-dale citizens to understand that we must pray for everyone in this situation, not hate or bash George Zimmerman because we are all children of God.
“I thought the rally represented a true community. There were people of all ethnic groups and sexual orientations”. For Pastor Davidson to call this rally to focus us on prayer and peace was very significant,” commented Dr. Rosalind Osgood.
During the rally the ceremony reinforced the importance of voting, education and equality and other social and economic problems that Americans, especially African Americans, are plagued by.
Rev. Lori graced the audience with words of wisdom that reassured that with being children of God “We will use our greatest and most powerful tool, that is the power of prayer,” said Rev. Lori Morton, director of Counseling and Family Ministries at Mount Olive. “In the end, leave this place saying, ‘Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me,’” she said.
Of the many in attendance were: Dr. Marcus D. Davidson, who is the Senior Pastor of the New Mount Olive Baptist Church; Dr. Rosalind Osgood, who is the board member for Broward County School Board, District 5; Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel; Florida State Senator Christopher Smith, District 31; City of Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Bobby DuBose, District 3; City of Lauderdale Lakes Commissioner, Levoyd Williams; City of Lauderhill Commissioner Margaret Bates and many other elected officials and ministers.
Summer interns Ciera Campbell, A’Nassya Bruton and Jalen Williams are all students at Florida A&M University seeking a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Broadcast Journalism.