LISTEN NOW! Greg, John and Pat discuss the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream Speech”. They discuss Dr. King’s journey from the days of Ebenezer church all the way to the Washington Mall. He was invited as a speaker for the March on Washington event and Dr. King just released what was on the inside of him. Dr. King’s speech is still so moving even when heard today because just as it struck a chord then it strikes a chord today in the hearts of all men that have seen and or experienced the injustices and inequality that African Americans have experienced before, during and after his “I have a dream speech.” In his speech Dr. King said “I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self- evident that all men are created equal.” The truth is that all although the Declaration of Independence stated that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,” a key principle in America’s Revolution, this still was not a reality for African Americans.
He goes on in his speech to share that his dream was far different than what was happening in the southern states like Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. “I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and Justice. Well just about six weeks before the March on Washington civil rights activist Medgar Evers was assassinated in Mississippi. In this same speech this is what he said regarding the state of Alabama, “I have a dream that one day in Alabama, with its vicious racist, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” If you don’t have context, you may be tempted to think that these are just eloquent words but the truth is that the citizens of Alabama voted in a racist Governor by the name of George Wallace who was the third longest serving governor at 5,848 days. He believed in segregation and did everything in his power to enforce it. As a country we need to humble ourselves and look at the whole picture of America and see that it was not too long ago that great injustices had been committed in this nation. They continue to discuss the brutal beating and eventually killing of Emmett Tillthat resulted to him being tied to a cotton gin fan and his body thrown in the water just because of rumor involving a white woman. It was his mother who made the brave decision to have an open casket for Emmett’s funeral so the world could see what was happening to African Americans just because of the color of their skin. Now almost fifty years to the day of Dr. King’s “I have a dream speech”, in Escambia County an African American man by the name of Roy Middleton was shot at by two Escambia County deputies. Mr. Middleton was shot at fifteen times fortunately none of the bullets were fatal although he suffered from a fracture in his femur. They continue to discuss how many in the community were not pleased with the Sheriff’s response because it lacked empathy especially for a man that was shot at in front of his own home, entering his mother’s car and where no crime had been committed. In context of this discussion about Dr. King’s speech and what led up to it they continue to discuss how the church was not present standing with Dr. King, in fact some in the church at that time where burning crosses in front of African American homes. They discuss a segment entitled, “Racism in the Church still?” which is about how Derrick Grice an African American brother in the Lord one day had the police called on him while he was praying in the parking lot by the same white woman he attended church with for five years. It’s time for the church to repent individually for our sins but for the sins of our fathers as well. They continue to discuss how on 2 days short of the 37th anniversary of Dr. King’s I have a dream speech Greg along with other pastors gathered to pray at a city wide event, “United Prayer for Pensacola”, held at the Pensacola Bay Center, formally known as Pensacola Civic Center. Greg was led by the Lord to repent for the racial profiling that was done by police officers in the city. He and Pastor Willie Williams prayed together as Greg offering repentance and African American Pastor Willie Williams received it. This act of humility brought great healing. See video of this repentance here. Humility and repentance is the only way to bring healing.