FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) -- Saint James Baptist Church has a rich history in the community, they were established after the civil war by a freed slave. That was 155 years ago - today, they want to remember the past and celebrate the present with Black History Month.
Mary Greene, Director of Special Events for the church, invited four choirs and a special African dance-group to perform throughout the month. They are encouraging everyone to wear different colored clothing in different weeks:
1st Sunday-GOLD, for the richness of the people
2nd Sunday-RED, for the bloodshed, Black Minds Matter shirts
3rd Sunday-BLACK, for the people
4th Sunday-GREEN, for the earth and wealth of the people
The Langston Choir lit up the church with harmonies that brought people to their feet. The pastor also spoke of challenges the African American community faces and how to over come obstacles.
Senior Pastor Curtiss Smith says, “I think it's very inspiring for kids to see someone who looks like them - who are doing incredible things. The first open-heart surgery was performed by an African American man, and the first cellphone was invented by an African American. These are a few things we try to share and show them that they have great potential.”
The church hosted several guest choirs during the month which included the UAPB Vesper Choir, LOVE Choir, and the Langston Choir which are historically black colleges. Next week, they will be hosting the African dance group, Afrique Aya to start the morning. After the service, a home-style soul food meal will be served.
“I think I am black history. I grew up in a family that stood on the front line, and representing black history you should never forget where you come from," says Mary Greene.