R. Steven Norman III
R. Steven Norman III
The Black History Freedom Walk at Bethany Christian Academy in Macon, Georgia, where Thomasa Henry is principal, was held February 23, 2017. This grand event was hosted by Bethany Church, where Steven Ruff is pastor. Students, staff, parents, and friends convened in Bethany’s cafeteria to enjoy a traditional soul food dinner. The term “soul” originated sometime in the mid-1960s, to describe African American culture.
After dinner, the guests assembled in Bethany’s sanctuary, welcomed by the song “I Love the Lord Today,” featured by Samuel McClendon. The students of Bethany Christian Academy provided powerful singing, movements, orations of Negro spirituals, and a compelling rendition of Martin Luther King Jr.’s unforgettable speech, “I Have a Dream.” Each student performed with pride and precision. God’s Spirit showered the sanctuary with the “reign” of freedom.
After the program, the congregation prepared for the Freedom Walk — a walk embodied on the left side of the hallway by shadowed art depicting African natives, the jungles of the motherland, and the native animals. On the right side, all witnessed the African trade ships that landed thousands of ancestors on this foreign soil, to the chains that bound them to the rigidity of the master’s command. From the platform of the slave trades in Charleston, S.C., to the platform of the first black President of the United States — God has been good: God has had His eyes upon them, He has had His arms around them, and His heart within them.
The highlight of the evening was the piercing words of R. Steven Norman III. Norman reminded the attendees that the importance of their being was “Standing in the Gap.” These words were etched in the hearts of the students, and are still rehearsed daily in their devotions and conversations. The students and teachers are so proud to be a part of a church and school that can never forget their past, and will always celebrate their future through the love and commitment in keeping Adventist Christian education alive.
“Ordinary kids, with an
Ordinary purpose, worked with
Ordinary skills, and did an
Thank you, students of Bethany Christian Academy. Never forget!
The foundation and academic parallel of this program was based on the integration of Black history, paralleling it to the academic standards of education. This includes reading, writing, history, art, music, geography, social studies, technology, literacy, drama, Bible, poetry, research, spelling, and public speaking.
His-story yields our future:
“Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations. Ask thy father, and he will show thee, thy elders, and they will tell thee,” Deuteronomy 32:7.
“We have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history,” Life Sketches, Ellen G. White, page 196.
is the K-2 teacher at Bethany Christian Academy in Macon, Georgia.
South Atlantic | June 2017