Now is the Time. These words speak of a sense of urgency.
These four powerful words were the theme for the 2018 Liberty County Emancipation Proclamation Observance Day service Monday.
Despite the cold weather, people gathered from across Liberty County and other counties. Every year, despite the weather condition or the location where the Emancipation program is held, people continue to support this historical program. While the program starts promptly at noon, many attendees are at the church almost an hour ahead of the services.
“Our theme this year reminds us once again that there is a time for everything and that now is the time to move forward,” noted Rev. Dr. Hermon Scott. He serves as pastor of the Baconton Missionary Baptist Church of Walthourville, Georgia, moderator of the Zion Missionary Baptist Association, and also as president of the Liberty County Emancipation Proclamation Observance Day Committee.
Baconton Missionary Baptist Church was the site for the 2018 celebration. Baconton’s Youth Choir rendered the song service, under the direction of Dr. Pamela Scott, Oraetta Henderson, and Virie Walton. “We must get our young people involved so they can continue to carry on the Emancipation,” Pastor Scott said. Some youth also served as ushers (along with adult ushers from various churches throughout the community), under the leadership of Delores Frasier.
“Now is the time to move forward with positive social interaction. There was a time in our community when it was obvious, even to the most casual observer, that we are our brother’s keeper,” said Pastor Scott.
Rev. McRae Mangum., Pastor of Thebes African Methodist Episcopal Church in Midway, Georgia, was the speaker. He served in the military and is an educator in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System. Rev. Mangum recently graduated from Payne Theological Seminary (Wilberforce, Ohio) with a Masters of Divinity degree. He also holds a Bachelors in Social Science degree and a Masters of Educational Leadership degree.
Rev. Mangum’s spoke from the Emancipation’s theme and his text was taken from Deuteronomy 2:1-7. He captivated the congregation with his emphasis on the theme and his subject, Now is the Time.
“We, as a people, have many chapters in our lives,” Pastor Mangum said. He gave the audience an in-depth lesson on black history, tying it in with the history of Moses and the children of Israel. “It’s time to do some things right Now. We must learn to move in our Now,” he said.
“When we look at Moses, he was in the Now. We must learn to take a Moses disposition. Moses stayed with God,” Pastor Mangum said.
“In order to have the Moses disposition, we must learn the Now factor, Look at how God intervened with Moses with a Now factor. We must understand that God is a God who moves in his time. He is an on time God – when He moves, he is always on time.”
“In the word “Now” we find the word “No.” We can’t say Yes all the time; it will cause us to be in a mess. Sometimes we say Yes to some things when we should say No.”
“We see how the Emancipation Proclamation has been enacted, but we still have some gaps along the way. We have to dig deeper. Now is the time to change your trajectory. Now is the time to stop talking and start walking,” said Mangum.
The 2018 Emancipation Proclamation Observance Day program booklet was dedicated in honor of the late Stephen “Steve” Augustus Mullice, who was a faithful and active member of the community. Four outstanding citizens of Liberty County were recognized for their exemplary service to the community.
Dea. Joseph Wynn (First African Missionary Baptist Church, Riceboro, Georgia) received the Emancipation’s Willie J. McIver Humanitarian award. Matthew Carter (Baconton Missionary Baptist Church) and Sequoia Eldridge (St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, Hinesville, Georgia) received the youth award. Charles Frasier (owner of Frasier Barber Shop and a member of Pleasant Grove African Methodist Episcopal Church in Hinesville, Georgia) was the recipient of the President’s award.
Joy Brown, a 2017 high school graduate, who is currently a freshman at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia, read the Emancipation Proclamation. She is also a 2017 Liberty County Emancipation Proclamation scholarship recipient.
Pastor Scott thanked the various churches for registering to be in the souvenir booklet and the attendees for their offering. “Your offering goes towards scholarships for our youth. You are investing in their education.” he said.