The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local News

January 20, 2013

Harris delivers his message during MLK service

To grow, the past and God can’t be forgotten, he says

ANDERSON, Ind. — In order to grow, to learn, the challenges from the past must be remembered and God mustn’t be forgotten.

That’s the message the Rev. Anthony Harris gave during the Concerned Ministers of Anderson’ 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Service at the Sherman Street Church of God, 1820 Sherman St., Sunday.

The church was full as members of the community came to worship, sing and recognize accomplishments.

Harris, who gave the message, spoke of God, King’s achievements and challenges from the past and present.

“It was never about color,” he said. “There’s only one race. It’s the human race.”

It, he said, was about fighting Satan: the enemy.

Harris said King worked for God and the human race through peaceful rallies and messages delivered through speeches and letters.

He recalled what Anderson was like before the civil rights movement. He said blacks could work at the Alibi restaurant, for example, and walk in through the back door, but couldn’t sit in the dining room.

King and God helped change that, he noted.

“We need to remember because things have changed so much for us,” Harris said. “We can shake hands and call each other brothers and not do it in secret.”

The Rev. Bennie Santiago said he remembers when blacks rode in the back of bus and now they’re sitting in the front, driving buses and own them.

He gave many other examples, such as not seeing any black police or fire chiefs before the civil rights movement when now, Anderson has one of its own. Civil rights have gone a long way.

“From the outhouse, to the House of Representatives, to the House of Senate, to the White House,” he said.

While some things have changed for the good, Harris added some have changed for the worse.

Today, he said, people don’t have to live in the ghetto to feel unsafe anymore. Children are being shot and killed in schools where they’re supposed to be safe.

Americans, he said, have abandoned God and need to put faith in him again since he helped society get where it is today and will fix things.  

Santiago said real freedom comes from within, from God, before outward freedom can be truly expressed.

And, Harris said, people can’t forget where they came from and what they’ve suffered through. If each generation forgets, society won’t be able to grow.

“We need to remember and our children can’t remember unless we teach them,” he said.

The Rev. Sam Dixon said slaves weren’t provided the option of an education, but today, so much has opened up and there aren’t any more excuses.

He said parents need to take responsibility for their children and get them to listen.

“Let’s remember,” Harris said.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

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