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Bushy Pond Baptist Church Pastor addresses Voorhees Print E-mail

“I stopped by to tell you, you have a challenge to fulfill and a charge to keep,” Bushy Pond Baptist Church of Norway Pastor the Reverend James Holiday told the large crowd of students, faculty and visitors gathered in the Lawrence Memorial Auditorium in Massachusetts Hall on the campus of Voorhees College, Thursday morning for the annual Voorhees College Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.

Rev. Holiday, who is a native of Norway, South Carolina and a veteran law enforcement officer for over 20-years, told the captive audience that broke out into applause on several occasions during his speech that there were “three ways to keep Dr. King’s dream alive.”

The first way he said to keep the dream alive was to know the purpose for acquiring a formal education. Which he said included having “a strong outreach rather than a strong in reach.” “When you understand the purpose of education it is to lead,” he said. The second way to keep the dream alive he noted was “you must be a nonconforming-transformer.” “You can’t transform something that you are a part of,” adding, “you must not be a part of the injustices in society.” And, the third way to keep the dream alive he said was that we must be servants of the present age, you aren’t here by “happen stance” and take in everything that you can, God wants to use you.”

In his closing remarks, Voorhees College President Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers Jr., author of the book “The River of No Return” and himself, an iconic figure in the civil rights movement, said that once again Voorhees College has tried to present some information and an “inspirational presentation,” concerning the “life and legacy” of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to its students.

Dr. Sellers, who served alongside Dr. King and other legendary civil rights figures like Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, said after Rev. Holiday’s speech that he wanted to present “the lighter side” of Dr. King, whom he noted “put on his britches just like all of us.” Dr. Sellers finished his presentation by telling the audience: “Your time to step on the pages of history is coming soon. Wisdom, education and faith are the tools you need to get there.”

Others participating in Thursday’s program were: Director, of Freshman Year Experience Program, the Reverend Yvonne Singleton of Ehrhardt S.C., who served as the presiding officer; Inspirational music was provided the Voorhees College Concert Choir, under the direction of Professor of Music Mr. Alvin Tuck; The Reverend Dr. James Yarsiah College Chaplain/Vicar did the invocation followed by the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and the occasion by SGA President Emmanuel Nwokocha; Voorhees College Dean of Student Affairs Adrian West introduced the speaker Rev. Holiday. Closing remarks were provided by Executive Vice President/Academic Dean Dr. Paul Baker and College President Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. The group joined in singing the civil rights movement song “We Shall Overcome” followed by the benediction by Rev. Yarsiah.

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