LUDOWICI, Ga.- During his address at a service marking the 157th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in rebellious Southern states, Rev. Dr. Anthony Chavers told those gathered that in order to make America great again, we must first make Black men valuable again.
“We need to challenge young Black men by encouraging them, not hurting them. We need to tell them that they are great and they are going to do wonderful things,” stated Chavers.
He also told the audience that Black men are feeling down on themselves is a psychological issue. “The more they get into your mind, the more you get oppressed.We can make America great again by empowering our young men. All they are looking for is love and a kind word. We need to encourage them which in turn will encourage Black women.”
Chavers was the keynote speaker at the Long County Emancipation Proclamation Observance which was held January 1, 2020 at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Ludowici.
According to Lamar Tillman, the last Emancipation Observance in Long County was held 22 years ago in 1997. Ironically, at that time, Chavers was the pastor of Macedonia.
Chavers, who is the pastor of First Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Baxley, asked those gathered if there was anybody around them that can carry on their legacy or walk in their shadow. “Many of us are still walking in the grace of our grandparents prayers.”
Other local pastors in attendance were Rev. Artee Davis (St. Thomas Missionary Baptist Church), Rev. Leroy Lott (Greater Historical Elim Missionary Baptist Church) and Rev. Dr. James Evans (St. James Missionary Baptist Church). Pleasant Hill and St. Phillip Missionary Baptist Churches were also represented at the service.
Brewton said that he is looking forward to next year’s program which will be held at Greater Historical Elim Missionary Baptist Church in Ludowici. “I’m looking forward to God to bless this in the coming years.”
Lott had a similar statement saying “this should be the beginning of something great for years to come.”
For Evans, the program was something he thought about since becoming the pastor of St. James nearly 20 years ago. “Since I have been at St. James, one of my visions was that Long County re-start this service.”
Ludowici City Council member Mary Hamilton told those in the pews that her running for public office stemmed from a incident that happened to her in 2002 at the Ludowici Dairy Queen. Hamilton was handcuffed by local police and taken to the jail but was not placed behind bars. She ended up filing a lawsuit and won. Hamilton, who is getting ready to start her third term on city council, encouraged those in attendance to attend city council and board of education meetings.
Also during the program, John Jones gave the scripture and opening prayer, Carolyn Tillman gave the welcome and occasion, Alton Berry gave historical reflections, Jakayla Mallard read a poem while Celeste Collins read the Emancipation Proclamation.