By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The Alpha Church, Congregation of the Temples of the Living God, Inc., 1084 E. McLemore where Elder Victor H. Williams III is the Sr. Pastor, held a Black History Program featuring the Memphis Christian Ensemble in concert on Sunday, February 24th at 3 p.m. Known as “A Church of Distinction,” the program, “Because of Them, We Can!” opened with Elder Ruby J. Payne who was followed by her husband, Deacon Jack Payne Sr. who recited “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Elder Payne included the audience providing "Libation to the Ancestors" along with a call and response reading of the "African Pledge:" We are an African People. We will remember the humanity, glory, and sufferings of our ancestors and honor the struggle of our elders. We will strive to bring new values and new life to our people. We will have peace and harmony among us. We will be loving, sharing, and creative. We will work, study, and listen: so, we may learn. Learn, so we may teach. We will cultivate self-reliance. We will struggle to resurrect and unify our homeland. We will raise many children for our nation. We will have discipline, patience, devotion, and courage. We will live as models, to provide new direction for our people. We will be free and self-determining. We are African people. We WILL WIN! Ashe Payne introduced Sister Barbara Earle, the program narrator (Above) Makyah E. Williams performed a special Liturgical Rendition in honor of the 2019 Legacy Award honoree, Peggie B. Jackson Cross. (Below) The program began with Deacon Jack Payne Sr. reciting “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” and the Memphis Christian Ensemble who performed several songs including the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and recited facts regarding the accomplishments of several historical figures. The Memphis Christian Ensemble performed songs and recited biographies. Soloist Paul McKinney Jr. and Eva Jones performed “I’m Building me a Home” on Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950), the Father of Black History. Gail House and soloist Billy Earle performed “There’s a Man Going Round,” on Harriet Tubman (1820-1913), an African American Abolitionist and Political Activist. Andrew Earle performed “I’m Gonna Sing to the Spirit Moves in My Heart,” an African American A cappella Ensemble performed by the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University. Linda Coins performed “Soon Ah Will Be Done,” as recorded by the African American Gospel Singer Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972). Martha Richmond and soloist Andrew Earle teamed up to perform “O’ You Better Mind,” a piece honoring African American Journalist, Educator, and Feminist Ida B. Wells (1862-1931). Tomonsa McKinney and soloist Paul McKinney performed “Ole Time Religion,” in recognition of Paul Leroy Roberson (18981976), a Cultural Scholar. Demetrice Rufus and soloist Charles Earle performed “I Want To Be Ready,” in honor of Nat King Cole (1919-1965), an African American Pianist and Vocalist. Charles Earle and soloist Barbara Earle took the house down with their rendition of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” by Louis ‘Satchmo’ Daniel Armstrong (1901-1971). Billy Earle and soloist Andrea Earle performed “Wade In the Water,” a piece written by Eva Cassidy; Jermal Blanchard performed “The Battle of Jericho, a composition honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), an African American Minister and Civil Rights Activist. A special Liturgical Rendition was performed by Makyah E. Williams in honor of; and the 2019 Legacy Award Presentation was presented by, Elder Williams and Mother Willie Eva Sims, to Sister Peggie B. Jackson Cross. District 11 Shelby County Commissioner, Eddie S. Jones Jr., presented a Proclamation honoring Jackson Doss and the program ended with closing remarks and the benediction provided by Pastor Williams. 18

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