Rev. Daughtry's weekly article that appears in the NY Daily Challenge every Wednesday and Friday.
PRAYER VIGIL AT THE UNITED NATIONS
It was a windy, chilly Sunday, October 29, 2006. But it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the assemblage of interfaith, interracial, religious leaders and the general public.
It all started with Sudan Sabbath October 27, 28 and 29. The religious leaders of the Abrahamic faith, were asked to make reference to Darfur in their Sabbath worship – to remember the 400,000 people killed, two and one half million people displaced, daily rapes and violence, the enslavement and the destruction and confiscation of land. The weekend would end with a Prayer Vigil at the United Nations.
When Sunday arrived the religious leaders and choirs gathered at the Covenant Church on 42nd Street. After “robbing,” I thanked Rev. C. Herbert Oliver, veteran civil rights leader, for arranging the meeting at the Church. Then I gave directions for the day’s program. When prayer had concluded the ministers with choirs with a huge banner in front of them walked east on 42nd Street turned on 1st Avenue where they paused in front of the Isaiah Wall. The Wall is named after the Hebrew prophet whose words are carved into the stonewall. “They shall beat their swords into pruning hooks and their spears into ploy shares . . . .” Holding the banner in front of them, the thirty odd religious leaders offered a brief prayer. The banner read:
“The National Religious Leaders of African Ancestry Concerned about Darfur. Save the People of Darfur “Worst Humanitarian Crisis in the World “ This is Genocide”. . . . The U. S. over 450,000 men, women and children killed. 2.5 million people displaced. Daily violence, murder and rape.”
For more information call 718-596-1991 or website www.holnj.org
After the prayer ritual, the leaders with choirs resumed walking along 1st Avenue, passing the U. S. Mission turning onto Dag Hammasos Plaza on 47th Street.
They joined the public that had already commenced the program. Ms. Peggy Washington led the songs and chants.
With the stone steps as a platform, across the street from the Sudanese Mission, the ministers offered more prayers and speeches. The spoken words were interspersed with music from the choirs. The song selections included the Battle Hymn of Republic. The ministers included Rev. C. Herbert Oliver, Covenant Church; Rev. Dr. Gregory R. Smith, Mother Zion AME Church; Iman Talib Abdul Rascheed, Rev. Robert Foley, (church); Rev. Charles Curtis, Mt. Olivet Baptist Church; Rev. David Butler, Fullness of Joy Ministries; Min. Conrad Tillard, Church of the Nazarene; Rev. Dr. Clyde Anderson, President Ministerial Interfaith Association/Rainbow Push Coalition, NY; Rev. Earl Kooperkamp, Pastor St. Mary Episcopal Church; Rev. Jacques DeGraff, Association Pastor Canaan Baptist Church; Bishop Orlando Findlayter, pastor New Hop Christian Fellowship; Bishop Theodosia Stevens, CEO Reflections of the Covenant Youth Organization; Archbishop Pamela Taylor, Divine Order of St. Anthony; Rev. Darryll Young, Sr. Pastor, Siloam Presbyterian Church; Rev. Podres Spencer, Associate Pastor, Concord Baptist Church; Rev. Tomas Rivera, House of the Lord Church; Yahya Osman, Secretary General Darfur Rehabilitation Project; Rev. Bernard Mayhew, Ministerial Interfaith Association; Rev. Allen K. Hand, Sr., Association Minister, Little Rock Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. Karen S. Daughtry, National Women’s Department, House of the Lord Church; Johnnie Johnson, Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Church; Rev. Dr. Jill Schaeffer, New York Presbyterian Church; Min. Amir Al Islam Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood; Min. Afiya Dawson; Sr. Min. Alice Edward, House of the Lord Church; Min. Cynita Hickman, House of the Lord Church; Rev. Patricia A. Reeberg, Assistance Pastor, St. Paul Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. Luonne A. Rouse, Pastor Metropolitan Community United Methodist Church; Khari Russell, representative for Rev. Carl McCall; Rev. Clarence Norman, Pastor First Baptist Church of Crown Heights.
All the speakers in their prayers and speeches invoked the name of God and called on the nations of the world to end the violence and bring peace and prosperity to all the Sudanese. Some of the ministers called for a substantial U. N. presence capable of securing the peace; others called for divestment and still others urged sanctions. There was even a called for civil disobedience.
It was unanimous among the participants that the event had been a success. The conviction was that the action would have an impact on the crisis in Darfur. In my remarks I said, “Religious leaders of African Ancestry along with clergy of other faiths had demonstrated their concerns and their determination to continue the struggle. It was a success beginning,” I said, “but it is not the end. It was the beginning of the end of non-involvement. More action will be forth coming.” All of the participants from the stage and also on the street urged everybody to get involved in this, the worse humanitarian crisis in the world today.
It was announced that the next planning meeting will be at the House of the Lord, 415 Atlantic Avenue, between Bond and Nevins Street, Brooklyn, NY, on November 2, 2006 12-2 p.m.
For further information call the House of the Lord Church 718-596-1991.
The Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry is featured in The Daily Challenge’s Wednesday and Weekend Edition. Reverend Daughtry, known as the “People’s Pastor,” is the National Presiding Minister of the House of the Lord Churches (HOLC). He also pastors the Brooklyn Church. A prolific writer, his books include “No Monopoly on Suffering, Blacks and Jews in Crown Heights,” “My Beloved Community,” “Effectual Prayer,” and “Tupac, Letters to a Son.” HOLC has a weekly broadcast which airs on WWRL 1600 on Sunday from 10:30am-11:00am. He is also on BCAT the 2nd and 4th Sundays at 2pm. Website: www.holnj.org