JONESVILLE — Jonesville Historical Society, the Yadkin Valley Senior Center and the YVEDDI Volunteer Program celebrated Black History Month Sunday at the senior center.
The unseasonably warm weather welcomed a crowd of nearly 100 people to enjoy refreshments and inspirational music during the presentation which included sermons from the Rev. Todd Williams of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Jonesville and the Rev. Alvin Hayes of St. Homes Missionary Baptists Church of Elkin.
Williams offered, “Obama; From the Outhouse to the White House,” teaching the audience some of the details of the former president’s life and speaking on the personal impact he felt. “For him to go through what he did and do what he done,” Williams reminisced, “somebody who looks like me was in the White House,” was an inspiration.
Williams described President Obama’s election as, “one of the most memorable feats in American history, and to get through those four years without anything happening to him. Then he went and did it again.”
Hayes began his sermon assisted by the Praise Team Singers from his church after which he presented a lesson based on Hebrews 11:13-16. “We need to look further than this earth,” Hayes directed. “I have faith that whatever is going on, it is going to still turn out that He is still in charge.”
Hayes was grateful for those who had faith to resist their anger and instincts without giving up the fight for civil rights especially after having a difficult experience himself. “I thank God for Martin Luther King, my grandparents and all the others. Because they had a dream in something I didn’t have to go through all of that.
“As we look back over all our black history, I noticed one thing,” stated Hayes. “Through my grandparents and all the history, the one thing they all had was faith. You came this far by faith. You can come even further by faith in God.”
Joined by her sisters, Carrie Martin, Jonesville Historical Society member and chairman for the event, had earlier encouraged the audience to be in a receptive attitude, singing, “We Have Come This Far By Faith.” The growing crowd participated in all musical performances responding with heart when Martin asked everyone to “sing the Negro National Anthem ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.’”
“I love to hear the singing,” stated Marcellene Lindsey, who was particularly interested in hearing about local members of the community who were significant.
Former Mayor Leon Reece shared memories of several local figures. “During black history month, you talk about your heritage. These people were a very important part of my heritage as well,” asserted Reece. “[Carrie] was my neighbor. I have very happy memories of going to the black church’s revival. I feel like I am a better person for having that kind of upbringing.”
“I think today went really well,” declared Martin. “I’m very pleased with the turn out and the cooperation of everyone.”
“This is more people than I ever expected,” agreed Becky Wood, president of the historical society, who stated she was looking forward to having the singers participate in the Jonesville Jubilee this summer. “We’re planning on having the biggest Jonesville Jubilee that you have ever seen.
“We are planning a lot of great events,” asserted Wood. “We would love for [people] to come down and learn all about Jonesville history. We would love for you to join the historical society.”
The History Center is open from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays or by calling 336-244-5064 for an appointment.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.