Church of God Congregations Prepare to Celebrate Black History

 In All Church of God, CHOG

By Carl Stagner

While Black history isn’t restricted to February by any means, Black History Month continues to serve as a useful tool for society and church to appropriately highlight and commemorate the all-too-often overlooked contributions of Black leaders throughout history to the present day. Not unlike other celebrations marking the calendar, the recurring cultural observance serves as an annual reminder of matters essential to the development and progress of humanity over time. With February full-steam ahead, Church of God pastors and congregations are finalizing plans to harness yet another established cultural tradition for the edification of church and community, through the witness of a loving and united body of Christ, and to the glory of God.

“Black people should know that they have always played a central role in God’s plan for humanity and were not an afterthought of the Creator.” The quote attributed to Onleilove Alston was selected for promotion of the Black History Month observance at Refuge Church of God in Brooklyn, New York. With esteemed pastors Kevin and Tatum Osbourne at the helm, the teaching and celebration is slated to reiterate to all who are willing to hear that Black people are “blessed and not cursed.” Song of Solomon 1:5 graces the church’s ad for their monthlong emphasis; the invitation to discover the “Black presence in the Bible” welcoming and intriguing.

Black History Month at Praise Tabernacle International in Plantation, Florida, is shaping up to be both full and festive. This year, a unique theme and focus differentiates each Sunday in February. The first Sunday is set aside as “Old School Sunday,” while the second Sunday is promoted as “Youth Sunday.” Common to many congregational celebrations of Black History Month, Praise Tabernacle International will hold an “African Attire Sunday,” on which traditional cultural dress is encouraged; for this Florida church, the third Sunday is that opportunity. The fourth and final Sunday is dedicated to representing HBCUs, Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Throughout February, various opportunities will be seized to represent, reminisce, and reflect upon the meaning of the month.

Also in Florida, Solid Rock Community Church (Kissimmee) is on the ball when it comes to Black History Month (and certainly not just in February!). The youth and young adult ministries are coordinating with the Osceola Magic to host a “Black History Month Celebration Game.” The event, scheduled for the fourth of February, is described as an “inspiring afternoon filled with community spirit and basketball excitement.” Tickets sold to the event will support youth programs and offer access to the players after the game. “Let’s make history together while enjoying the game we love,” social media advertising communicates. “Can’t wait to see you there!”

Whether it’s music and the arts, food and fellowship, historical testimony and informational media, service projects and outreach programs to the community and beyond, or numerous other creative ideas, these churches and more are ready for Black History Month! By which creative means will your church observe Black History Month this year? Let us know via this online form, and please include pictures if you’ve got them!

Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.

Feature (top) photo: File photo of former Black History Month celebration at Kansas City Community Church.

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