Awareness Celebration reflects on King
by DELANEY WALKER, Banner Staff Writer
Feb 13, 2013 | 934 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A ‘hallelujah’ moment
BISHOP BRANDON B. PORTER began the Black Ministries’ Awareness Celebration Tuesday morning during a Pentecostal Theological Seminary chapel service. Porter is at far left next to Dr. Wallace J. Sibley;­ M. Thomas Propes, Church of God secretary general; Kenneth Hill, Black Ministries coordinator; and Ken Davis, PTS vice president of institutional advancement. Banner Photos, DELANEY WALKER
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Black Ministries Awareness Celebration started off with a hallelujah Wednesday morning at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary chapel during Bishop Brandon B. Porter’s sermon.

“Some of us can’t get happy for other people because we feel God has forgotten all about us,” Porter said.

He said three actions must be taken for people to discern their destiny. They must calculate their commitments, formulate their faith and grasp their gifts. Porter said people make God more complicated than He is. He said each person’s individual gift is what they are good at in life.

“If whenever you cook, everyone goes out to eat, then guess what? That is not your gift,” Porter said with a laugh. “... Gifts are for difficult seasons, for difficult periods in your life. You do not need a gift if you are going to live an ordinary, unchallenged life.”

Porter said each person should know their gifts and work them. He told the attentive crowd they were anointed to do something in this life. He said the anointing was not for themselves, but for others.

According to Porter, discovering and using a gift to be an anointing to someone else is not meant to be fun.

“Do you think Dr. King was just having a ball?” Porter said of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “The man who gave his final speech after having death threats every day and not just to him, but to his wife and children. Do you think that was fun, people? Do you think he was doing it out of ego because he liked to be in front of people?”

Continued Porter, “He made that mountaintop speech saying, ‘I may not get there with you, but I’m going to get to the promised land.’ He steps out on the promised land and­— POW! Brains splattered everywhere.”

Porter left the gathered mass of seminary students, local residents and church officials with a simple reminder.

“Remember something, beloveds ... you must realize above anything else, [God] has a good understanding of what we are to do, and who we are to be,” Porter said. “He has it all played out.”

Closing remarks at the end of the service were provided by Dr. Sang-Ehil Han, PTS vice president for academics.

“The theme of this week is that of ‘celebrate.’ Celebrate with Black Ministries which has been with us for many years,” Han said. “You realize there are so many stories we can celebrate. I see folks here who are all living testimonies. They have overcome the obstacles. They have a reason to celebrate.”

Continued Han, “It is not a commentary on us. It is a commentary on God. Because of our marginalities, God’s grace has worked to overcome the many obstacles we face.”

Steve Land, PTS president, and Mark Williams, Church of God general overseer, gave their support to the awareness celebration through recorded videos.

“The church does not have a social ethic, it is a social ethic,” Land said. “By the way we relate to each other, we give testimony to all others of our savior, Jesus Christ.”

Land said if the crowd believed these things then they would be in for a wonderful week.

Williams cited the diversity within the Church of God’s membership.

“Our movement is comprised of more than 36,000 congregations in a 179 countries in the world ministering to more than 15 million people every week with a membership of 7 million. All of that is traced to some of the early witnesses of diversity,” Williams said.

Ken Hill, Black Ministries Department of the Church of God coordinator, said the event was a success.

“I think the audience was challenged in such a way where it was not just chapel as usual,” Hill said. “The services coming together with Black History and PTS is showing there is a connectivity. A connectivity is going to bring recruits for the future.”

Continued Hill, “The executive committee and the general overseer, Mark Williams, have been more than supportive of this event.

“I would also like to say women within the community, schools, and [service organizations] will also be involved in [Wednesday’s] session and panel discussion,” Hill said.

Those interested may attend a seminary chapel service presented by Dr. Wayne Solomon on Thursday at 11 a.m.