Church will treat students to trip

Published 1:45 am Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Students who attend three consecutive Movie and a Message events at First Baptist Church Whatley Street will have the opportunity for a free trip to the National Memorial to Peace and Justice and the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery. The trip includes breakfast, transportation and lunch.

The church hosted its first Movie and a Message event in July. Another event is planned for 5 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 18. D.J. Calloway Jr. will be the speaker, and movie-themed refreshments will be served.

A special guest speaker, NASA systems engineer Dr. Virginia Tickles of Marshall Space Flight Center will be the speaker on Sept. 15.

Andalusia native Darrell Thomas has helped coordinate the events, and said he feels it is very important to raise the awareness of youth. Thomas lives in Atlanta, but is very active in the local church.

“Our youth have become so enamored with video games, social media, and material possessions; however, many lack social awareness and are not aware of the struggles of so many to provide the freedoms and rights entitled to all, he said “The failure to recognize the history and struggle of America is the first step in devaluing the strength of the country–the people make our country strong.

“Most often, we equate those who pay the ultimate sacrifice to be those who lost their lives while serving in the military. We honor them on Memorial Day, and we vow to continue to treat them with dignity and respect and thank them for their service to the country to ensure our freedoms,” he said. “Yet, those who are memorialized in the Museum for Peace and Justice also paid the ultimate sacrifice to advance all people to continue the struggle for equality and ensure the same freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution–life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; however, as opposed to giving their lives to the country, their lives were taken in the most undignified manner possible by others who did not respect them or value them as citizens in this country. Those who are memorialized in the Museum for Peace and Justice were denied those treasured inalienable rights.

“Each teen who visits the Rosa Parks Museum more than likely knows someone who lived during the times when the Montgomery Bus Boycott occurred,” he said. “The Rosa Parks Museum will help each understand the courage that it takes to effect change. Each can learn how one person can start a movement. Each teen can be a leader to fight for equality and social justice to rid society of the evils that try to divide us.

“By looking at the example of Rosa Parks, each can learn why she was a heroine who gained the attention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Ralph Abernathy, and Congressman John Lewis, and others in the Civil Rights movement, the fight for social justice,” he said. “As Dr. King said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’

“Visiting these museums is actually an opportunity to as we say, ‘take a walk in my shoes.’ In order for our nation to heal, we must first feel and understand its pain. Each teen needs to hear the cries of those who suffered mightily and then vow to never allow any others to feel that sort of pain.”

To address todays injustices, he said, many must leave their comfort zones.

“ Before we can address those injustices, we must first understand them and see the impact that they have had and continue to have on our nation,” he said. “Before we can develop a solution, we must first educate ourselves and define the root cause of the problem. Then, we can design the proper policies and programs to effect change and then develop and implement those programs to be administered fairly and equitably so that our nation can continue to grow, be stronger, and be the nation where every citizen can continue to pursue the American dream.”

The Movie and a Message events are free, and open to the public.