Tom Kroessig is an Ambassador Field Director volunteer for Promise Keepers, serving Fayette and Coweta Counties and beyond. His mission is to be a resource for local Pastors and their men and to act as a liaison between them and the national Promise Keepers ministry. The goal of Promise Keepers is effective ministry to men.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Local Watch Night Services

The Watch Night Service originated with the Moravians in 1733. John Wesley appropriated the event into Methodism where it later became a Covenant Renewal Service. It gained special significance in African American congregations where it is sometimes referred to as Freedom’s Eve when in 1863 they waited eagerly for President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Please consider attending a Watch Night Service at one of these local area African-American churches.

Flat Rock African Methodist Episcopal Church (Reverend Ed Johnson), Free Spirit Ministries (Reverend Dale L. Foster), and Mount Olive Baptist Church (Reverend Melvin Ware), will hold combined services at 8:00 PM at Mount Olive at 1565 Hwy 92 N. and at 10:00 PM at Free Spirit Ministries which is located 7880 Wood Road in south Fairburn. See for directions to Free Spirit Ministries.

Bethlehem Baptist Church (Pastor Dwight Elder) will hold their service at 10:00 PM. Bethlehem is located in Peachtree City at 475 Dividend Drive, near the entrance to Falcon Field (follow the airport signs.)

Flint Ridge Baptist Church (Reverend Jerome Drakeford) will have their Watch Night/New Year’s Eve Service at 9:30 PM, followed by a light breakfast. Flint Ridge is located off of GA Hwy 85 at 104 Old Road, just south of GA Hwy 279 and the Quick Trip (QT) gas station.

The Unity Christian Church's Watch Night Service (Pastor Smith Atwater) will be held on New Year's Eve from 10:00 PM until shortly after 12 Midnight. Unity Church is located at 426 Rivers Road.

Edgefield Baptist Church (Pastor Eddie Thomas) will have a New Year's Eve Service at 9:00 PM. Edgefield is located at 140 Church Street in Fayetteville. (

Little Vine Baptist Church (Reverend Steven Coleman), located at 115 Handley Road in Tyrone, will have their service at 10:00 PM.

The New Year’s Eve Celebration Service at Redemption Fellowship Church will begin at 10:30 PM. The pastor is Reverend Mike Higgins and Redemption Fellowship is located at 418 Highway 279. (

New Hope United Methodist Church (Reverend Belinda McCastle) will hold their service from 10:00 PM to Midnight. New Hope is located at 272 Weldon Road in the Inman area.

The service at Merrill Chapel United Methodist Church (Pastor Deborah Turman) will be at 10:00 PM. Merrill Chapel is located at 430 South Jeff Davis Drive.

Holly Grove African Methodist Episcopal Church (Reverend Eyvonne Whitman) and Flipper Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Pastor Sherryl Powell) will be having a combined Watch Night from 10:00 PM -12:00 AM at Flipper Chapel. Flipper Chapel is located at 175 Booker Street in Fayetteville.

In the ministry of Promise Keepers we are deliberate and intentional about unity as is clearly shown in Promise # 6: A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity. Please be a part of this effort locally, which we call Building Biblical Bridges of Brotherhood!

I have personally worshiped in all of these churches except for Redemption Fellowship, Free Spirit Ministries, and Flipper Chapel AME Church (and I'll get to them eventually), but Reverend Higgins, Reverend Foster and Pastor Powell know me or know of me. I can assure you that you will be warmly received at each and every one of these services. A Watch Night Service is a great way to end one year and begin another.

Be bold! Be strong! The Lord, thy God, is with you!

May God continue to bless you as 2008 comes to a close and throughout the New Year.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I recently heard someone say that Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday since it is void of hype or over-anticipation and people are seldom disappointed by the day. Some view Thanksgiving as special because it is a time for gathering with family and friends, and it certainly is that for most of us. Others are deliberate about remembering the origin and/or spiritual basis for the day. After all, what we now call a holiday used to be referred to as a "Holy Day."

I read several years ago that most of the world can not conceive of a meal like the typical Thanksgiving dinner in America. That statement made me pause to consider just how much we have to be thankful for. Korean Evangelist Billy Kim once said that America has been blessed by God like no other country in the world.

My prayer for you today is that you find time to today and always to consider just how blessed you are and to render thanks to God accordingly!

For those of you who may be challenged by circumstances this season, I pray that you will come to know what Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians 4:17 when he said that our troubles are just "light and momentary." May you learn to focus on "an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." As some of you know, I have had to deal with chronic medical problems. It has certainly helped me to view them with an eternal perspective. The wonder of the Gospel is that God has dealt with all circumstances through Christ's atoning sacrifice at Calvary. There's plenty of thanks to be found there!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

142nd Anniversary at Mount Olive Baptist Church

Mount Olive Baptist Church will hold its 142nd Church Anniversary this Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 2:30 PM. The Senior Pastor at Mount Olive is Reverend Melvin Ware. The guest preacher will be Pastor Henry Carnegie, who will be accompanied by members of his congregation from Mount Gillard Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

Mount Olive is located in northwest Fayette County at 1565 GA Highway 92 North. The church phone number is 770-461-6526. Reverend Ware is the Treasurer for the Fellowship of Christian Churches and Friends (FCCF), an organization dedicated to building relationships among churches in the Southern Crescent area. So you know that Mount Olive welcomes members of the entire Christian community to join in this joyful celebration! We are building Biblical bridges of brotherhood!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bethlehem Baptist Male Chorus Anniversary

Bethlehem Baptist Church is having their Male Chorus Anniversary this Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 6:30 PM. The Pastor is Dwight Elder and the Chairman of the Deacon Board and Male Chorus Director is Robert Cofer.

Don't miss this terrific evening of worship in song, featuring selections by Bethlehem's male chorus and various guest male choruses.

Help us build biblical bridges of brotherhood! Following Barack Obama's election as President, the opportunity may be more available than ever.

Bethlehem Baptist Church is located in Peachtree City near the entrance to Falcon Field at 475 Dividend Drive.

Congradulations to Barack Hussein Obama

Congratulations to Barack Hussein Obama, our first bi-racial President.

I hope that this will foster unity in America, but even more importantly, I pray that this will help to bring unity within the Body of Christ!

Please consider going to this web site if you would like to pray for President-elect Obama each day from now until his Inaguration on January 20, 2009:

(Scroll down to the "77 Days of Prayer" link.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

UNITY Opportunities

Here's a number of chances to Fellowship across racial and denominational lines. Come help us Build Biblical Bridges of Brotherhood and sisterhood!

Wednesday, October 22 at 7:00 PM -- Edgefield Baptist Church (Pastor Eddie Thomas, 770-461-7388, It's Time Conference for Men, 140 Church Street, Fayetteville, 770- 461-7388. Speaker: Pastor Timothy Cox (City of Refuge).

Thursday, October 23 at 7:00 PM -- Edgefield Baptist, It's Time Conference for Women. Speaker: Evangelist Patricia Stephens (Purpose & Destiny Ministries).

Friday, October 24 at 7:00 PM -- Edgefield, It's Time Conference for Youth. Speaker: Elder Danny Smart (Ft. Lauderdale Bibleway Temple).

Saturday, October 25 from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM -- Fall Festival at Mount Olive Baptist Church (Rev. Melvin Ware, 770-461-6526).

Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 11:00 AM -- Flat Rock African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church (Rev. Ed Johnson, 770-461-0283), will hold their annual Annual Women's Day celebration. The keynote preacher will be Reverend Doctor Frances Bryant-Lowery, Professor of Pastoral Care at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta.

Wednesday, October 29 at 7:00 PM -- Little Vine Baptist Church Anniversary, (Rev Steven Coleman, 770-487-4686), 115 Handley Road in Tyrone.

Saturday, November 8 at 6:30 PM -- Bethlehem Baptist Male Chorus Anniversary, (Pastor Dwight Elder, , 475 Dividend Drive in Peachtree City.

Sunday, November 30 at 2:30 PM -- Fellowship of Christian Churches and Friends (FCCF) combined Worship Service at Flat Rock AME Church.

Hoping to see many of you at these events!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Holly Grove A.M.E. Church will celebrate Homecoming on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at 11:00 AM. The Reverend Walter E. Daniels, Presiding Elder, South Atlanta District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will be the preacher of the hour.

Revival Services will be held at Holly Grove on Monday-Wednesday, August 25-27, 2008 at 7:30 PM.

Here are the preachers for each service:

Monday, August 25, 2008 - Reverend Edward Johnson, Senior Pastor, Flat Rock AME Church, Fayetteville, GA

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 - Reverend Kenyatta Arnette, Senior Pastor, Pleasant Hill AME Church, College Park, GA

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 - Reverend Lemora Dobbs, Senior Pastor, St. Paul AME Church, Canton, Georgia

The Senior Pastor at Holly Grove is Reverend Eyvonne Whitman. The church is located in Peachtree City at 400 Holly Grove Church Road, just off the southern end of Robinson Road. Look for the historical marker and church sign. The church phone number is (770) 631-7650.

Holly Grove was founded in 1897 and has a rich history of faith. The church has worked and will continue to work for biblical unity among all races and denominations in this area. You can help in this effort by attending one or more of these services!

Reverend Ed Johnson to preach at Grace Evangelical Church

Reverend Ed Johnson, Senior Pastor of Flat Rock African Methodist Episcopal Church, will be preaching at the 10:30 AM service tomorrow (Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008) at Grace Evangelical Church ( and bringing his congregation from Flat Rock with him. I believe that we all can rejoice over this show of unity in the local body of Christ. I know that many of you are otherwise occupied on Sunday mornings, but would you please say a prayer for this service and consider attending to show your support?

Monday, August 18, 2008

REVIVAL at Flint Ridge Baptist Church

PROMISE #6: A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity.

Flint Ridge Baptist Church (Reverend Jerome Drakeford, Senior Pastor) will hold Revival Services Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, August 20-22, 2008, at 7:00 PM nightly. A special youth speaker will be featured on Thursday evening. Flint Ridge is located in northeastern Fayette County at 104 Old Road, facing GA Hwy 85. Reverend Drakeford can be reached at 678-438-0905 or 770-461-8742.

Reverend Drakeford is the current President of the Fellowship of Christian Churches and Friends (FCCF) which is working for unity among the churches and ministries in the South Atlanta area. Additionally, Reverend Drakeford and Brother Bobby Zachery, the men's ministry leader from Flint Ridge, attended the recent Atlanta Promise Keepers Conference with a number of other men from the Fayette County area. They are eager to build relationships with other churches in this area and this week's Revival provides an excellent opportunity for you to meet them and their congregation as well as guests from other area churches. I guarantee that you will be warmly received. (My plan is to be there on Wednesday evening.)

Come help us build Biblical bridges of Brotherhood! Admit it, couldn't you use a little revival, too?

Revival at Bethlehem Baptist Church

Bethlehem Baptist Church will hold Revival Services on Wednesday, August 20th through Friday, August 22nd at 7:30 PM nightly. The guest revivalist for the week will be Reverend Curtis Green of the Greater Liberty Hill Baptist Church in Atlanta.

The Senior Pastor at Bethlehem is Dwight Elder. Pastor Elder and his congregation are members of the Fellowship of Christian Churches and Friends (FCCF) and, as such, are eager to build relationships with other churches in this area. First Lady Annie Elder and some of the women from Bethlehem are regular participants in the Peachtree City Lighthouse for AGLOW, for which I am a spiritual advisor.

Bethlehem is located in Peachtree City at 475 Dividend Drive, near the entrance to Falcon Field. The church phone number is 770-631-0267.

I'm planning to be there myself for Thursday and Friday evening. I have visited Bethlehem at least forty times in the last four years and they treat me like I was one of the family.

Are you bold enough to step out for Jesus Christ in order to build unity in the local body of Christ?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

SIX REASONS men attend a Promise Keepers Conference

WORSHIP: PK music engages the heart of a man in a corporate setting with thousands of other men, and creates a unique, often life-changing experience. (Imagine singing with over 10,000 other men; It makes for a pretty amazing choir!)

FELLOWSHIP: The unified purpose and aligned attitudes of men at PK events tends to amplify the experience of the Holy Spirit. Men are spiritually and personally refreshed by participating with a multitude of men.

SPEAKERS: Men need to be challenged, convicted, and encouraged to strive to reach the next level of holiness. PK’s national authors, leaders and speakers address guys directly, with exceptional candor, personal insight and enthusiasm. (You'll get excellent insights on authentic manhood and practical tips on how to live it out.)

EVANGELISM: PK offers men the rare opportunity to bring their sons, family, friends and co-workers to a “non-church,” non-threatening environment where they can hear the Gospel Message in a masculine context.

CONNECTIVITY: An innate desire in all of us is to belong to a cause that is bigger than ourselves. PK offers men the opportunity to become part of the greater work of God though the men’s movement.

EXPERIENCE: The challenge to set aside the time to go, (fellowship while traveling to and from the conference), the magnitude of the event, and the support of wives create a catalytic experience, a milestone and life’s journey for the men that has a remarkable and lasting impact.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

2008 Atlanta PROMISE KEEPERS Conference

The 2008 Atlanta PROMISE KEEPERS Conference will be held At new Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia on Friday and Saturday, August 1-2, 2008. Go to for more details and registration. You may also register by phone at 1-866-PROMISE (8:00 AM-8:00 PM. M-F, MT).

Here's the line-up of speakers for the Atlanta event: Mike Sylva, Josh McDowell, Richard Blackaby, Larry Jackson, Dan Seaborn, and Coach Bill McCartney.

WORSHIP will be led by Stephen Newby.

COMEDIAN Cleto Rodriguez will help to lighten the load.

Don't miss this chance to participate in masculine worship and learn more about authentic manhood!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Contact Lens and the Heavy Load

A friend sent me the following story in an e-mail. I've labelled it "The Contact Lens and the Heavy Load" It was especially poignant for me since I have been confronted with a number of medical problems over the last several months. None of them were life threatening but they kept me feeling pretty poorly, hence the lack of recent postings on this blog. This was too good not to share:

Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens. "Great", she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry." She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there. She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?" Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!

The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

I think it would do all of us some good to say, "God, I don't know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if You want me to carry it, I will." God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Yes, I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my Savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him....I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Rain, Rain, Glorious Rain!

Thanks be to God for the rain!

I just wanted to publicly thank God for the rain he blessed us with on Thursday and Friday. I "recorded" 1.7 inches of rain at my house in Peachtree City and according to my unofficial records, this is the largest two-day total here since August.

I thought I'd share some passages from Scripture about rain:

LEVITICUS 26:3-4 "If you will follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit."

2 CHRONICLES 7:13-14 "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locust to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if My people. who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn form their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

MATTHEW 5:44-45 "But I tell you: Love you enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and the rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous."

My thoughts include that I should be careful not to think that God made it rain because I was righteous, but I also know that he wants me to be obedient, humble, and repentant and to love my enemies and to pray for those who persecute me. I think it's a great idea to pray for rain, too. I do not know if that will end the drought, since God is sovereign, but it couldn't hurt to do the will of the Father! Amen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hurry, Men, Tomorrow is Valentine's Day!

Okay, guys, here it is the day before Valentine's Day and time to do something (anything?) to remember your sweetheart!

At a minimum, make sure you give your wife (Single men read: girlfriend) a card. If you want to show her an extra, special touch, make her a card.

When it come's to giving a gift, here's some things to avoid: A vacuum cleaner, toaster oven, or waffle iron. In short, generally avoid most things that plug in or require her to do any kind of house work. Even if she begs you for a hair dryer, electric curlers, or a food processor, there are probably better choices.

I went to my resident expert, Jane, and asked her for a list of suggetions. I'm pretty sure we should trust her on this. Here's her list:

  • Candy
  • Flowers (RED says LOVE)
  • Jewelry (Jane says this is "always a winner," but see my comments below.)
  • A Gift Certificate to a SPA.
When deciding how much to spend on a gift, neither the husband nor the wife should should be to eager to bust the family budget out of generosity or out of unreasonable expectations. I personally dislike advertisements that use a tag like "I deserve it" or "I'm worth it."

So, here's the bottom line: Definitely do something for your sweetie for Valentine's Day, but also have the wisdom to show restraint.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Prayer Summit Results

I spent Monday through Wednesday at the Prayer Summit in Toccoa, Georgia, sponsored by "Mission Jesus" (soon to be known as "UNITE! Atlanta Southwest", as we attmept to broaden the scope of the organization.) It was a Great time with GOD and with 19 other brothers, many of whom are pastors and ministry workers in the Fayette County area. We spent three days praising God in song, studying selected passages of Scripture, and praying. The fellowship was terrific, once again confirming for me what Promise Keepers co-founders Coach Bill McCartney and Dave Wardell frequently said, "When men get together in the Name of Jesus Christ, something special happens."

I do not remember a time when I personally felt so close to God, which brings me to my next point. It is important to deliberately carve out time in your schedule to spend some quality time with God.

I'm excited about the relationships that were established and fortified during the Prayer Summit and the commitments that were made, notably to increase our efforts to build unity in the body of Christ in this area.

News from Promise Keepers

I spent last Friday and Saturday at Camp Kaleo near Forsyth, Georgia with Hal Taylor, the Eastern Regional Filed Director for Promise Keepers and some of the other Ambassador Field Directors and Ambassadors from Georgia.

I have two very important important pieces of information to pass on to you:

1. It's official. Atlanta will have a 2008 Promise Keepers Conference on August 1-2. Details about times and speakers will be forthcoming but registration is now available on the PK web site --

2. As Promise Keepers continues to expand its field ministry, Georgia is about to be the first state in the country to fill the position of State Field Director. Our soon to be official Director is Glen Wise from Warner-Robins. Glen has been serving as an Ambassador Field Director (AFD) for that area. State Directors and AFDs will soon be added to the PK website to make it easier for churches and men to contact the PK volunteers nearest to them.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Revival tonight and tomorrow night at Little Vine Baptist Church

Little Vine Baptist Church (Reverend Steven Coleman, Pastor) in Tyrone will hold a new year "Restoration" REVIVAL, (tonight and tomorrow night) Thursday and Friday, January 24th and 25th at 7:30 PM.

Thursday's Revivalist is Pastor Dudley of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church.

Friday's Revivalist will be Pastor Walker of Just Jesus Word of God Church.

DIRECTIONS: Little Vine Baptist Church is located at 115 Handley Road., at the corner of Tyrone Road, just east of the BP station which at the corner of Tyrone road and GA Highway 74. The church phone is (770) 487-4686.

Little Vine is a welcoming African-American church. Reverend Coleman and his congregation are eager to build relationships with other churches in this area. Come get revived and help us Build Biblical Bridges of Brotherhood!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Questions

Today is the day set aside to honor the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Whatever your personal view of the man, I believe that we could ask a number of questions.

How would Dr. King himself like to have been remembered? Founder and first President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Noble Peace Prize winner, Civil Rights Leader, Medal of Freedom recipient, great orator, Congressional, Gold Medal recipient? I remember seeing Andrew Young interviewed a few years ago and he said that, first and foremost, that Dr. King thought of himself as a Pastor.

Have you ever Googled Martin Luther King, Jr.? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. As a mentioned in a previous blog, the I Have a Dream speech is not to be missed.

After all these years don’t we wonder if things would be different if Dr. King were still alive? Would we be better off?

Is Dr. King's dream still alive? I think it is and one of the reasons I think that is the number of observances that occur each year in many locations across the nation.

Can we really get along? If we concentrate on our past I fear we will despair. If we look at the present, we may very well become discouraged. However, if we look at the glorious future we have together in Jesus Christ, we just might find the hope we need. I mean regardless of your skin tone, as Christians our Lord and Savior gives us the very sure hope of reaching Heaven. Can you imagine anything other than complete harmony among all we meet there? Don’t you think that our Father in Heaven wishes that we would get along in the here and now? We may have changed the laws (and rightly so) and politics, but our best hope for unity always has been and always will be Jesus Christ!

What price are you willing to pay for unity? Dr. King used to say that the 11:00 o’clock hour on Sunday morning was the most segregated hour in America. Almost forty years after his death, that has not changed much. So what can you do? You can get out of the box you are in, that’s what. For all of us this means stopping stereotyping groups of people. For some Whites, it will mean repenting of the institution of slavery and a history of injustice. For some Blacks, it will clearly mean letting go of your anger and stopping trying to hold all white people hostage for what happened in the past.

Where do we go from here? How about visiting a church with a congregation that’s different than your own? Sure, it may seem uncomfortable at first, but I know from firsthand experience that it’s worth it. Watch the Faith page and the Happenings page on as well as local newspapers for special events at area churches. Plan to attend.

Show yourself faithful. Don’t be afraid to be different. After all, you are representing Jesus Christ and His unifying love (See JOHN 17). Let’s try to get to know more of our brothers and sisters in Christ!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Why Should You Go to the MLK Parade?

Why Should We Go to the MLK Parade and Program This Saturday?

There is a Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance scheduled for Saturday, January 19, 2008 in Fayetteville. The Parade begins at 11:00 AM from Fayette County High School on Tiger Trail. The Program follows in Sam’s Auditorium.

Here are some good reasons why I think we should attend:

1. Rev. Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech delivered in August 28, 1963. (To see the full video of the speech, please go to

Key excerpts from that speech:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths, to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; ‘and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together’."

(Almost 45 years after the speech and nearly 40 years after Rev. King’s assassination on April 4,1968, in spite of the of the gains that have been made, we still have not fully realized his God-given vision for brotherhood in America. I pray that each of us will examine ourselves and see what we can do to make it a reality.)

2. Reverend Ed Johnson, Senior Pastor of Flat Rock African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Chairman of the MLK Parade, and my good brother in Christ. Let me add the following Pastors and their congregations: Reverend Jerome Drakeford, Pastor at Flint Ridge Baptist Church and President of the Fayette County Christian Fellowship; Reverend Eddie Thomas, Senior Pastor of Edgefield Baptist Church and President of the Fayette Area Ministers Alliance; Reverend Melvin Ware of Mount Olive Baptist Church, Reverend Deborah Turman of Merrill Chapel United Methodist Church, Reverend Belinda McCastle of New Hope United Methodist Church, Reverend Milton Reeves of Rising Starr Baptist Church, Reverend O. L. Wood of Hartford United Methodist church, Reverend Eyvonne Whitman of Holly Grove African Methodist Episcopal Church, Reverend Dwight Elder of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Reverend W. Anthony Guthrie of Wilk’s Grove Baptist Church, Reverend Steven Coleman of Little Vine Baptist Church, Reverend Elbert Jenkins of New Song Community Church, Reverend Smith Atwater of Unity Christian Church, Reverend Jerome Dukes of Community Fellowship Christian Center International, Reverend Howard Creecy, Jr. of Olivet Baptist Church of Christ, and Reverend Fred Downing of The Branches Community Church. (I know each of these Pastors personally and I can tell you that they all are eager to build unity in the Fayette area body of Christ. You can make a statement of agreement just by showing up!)

3. PROMISE KEEPERS' Promise #2 which states that “A promise keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of Biblical unity.” (In the Fayette area we are calling this effort Building Biblical Bridges of Brotherhood. Wouldn't you like to be part of it?)

4. The local NAACP activities are more like church services than political events. (I've attended three of the last four MLK Parades and the past two Freedom Fund Banquets. I was pleasantly surprised to hear how many times the Name of Jesus Christ was lifted up!.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Once again, Reverend Fred Downing of the Branches Community Church ( has provided a poem; This time, to celebrate the start of another God-given year (colors added for emphasis). May we all see 2008 as the gift it is!

HAPPY NEW YEAR © Frederick D. Downing

Happy New Year is the annual cry
As the New Year says hello
And the old year says goodbye

Most people are grateful to see another year
Some face it with hope
Some face it with fear

What will you do with this divine gift
Will your life be Christ centered
Or will your life simply drift

Is God pleased with the things you do in this life
Do you share joy and love
Or cause misery and strife

God desires that we grow more like Christ each year
That’s why He gave us power, love and a sound mind
And not a spirit of fear

Let’s honor the Lord with holy boldness, not fear
If we are obedient to His Word
It will be a Happy New Year

Frederick D. Downing