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Traveling and Thinking out Loud with the People's Pastor March 2024 Highlights

Fri March 1, 2024: Belafonte Family

I attended the celebration of the life and times of Harry Belafonte. My wife Dr. Karen and my daughter Rev. Leah Daughtry and I attended the celebration for Harry Belafonte. It was held at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. The downstairs sanctuary was filled to capacity, in fact some of the attendees were seated upstairs in the balcony. As we sat there, I could not help but remember the important historic times I’ve been in this church. I was there in 1967 when Dr. King made his speech “Why I oppose the war in Vietnam”. I was there when Mandela was released from prison. I was a speaker that evening.

During the Iraq war I led an interfaith interracial delegation to Iraq before the bombing

started. I made my report in a speech I delivered at the Riverside church. The celebration was long almost three hours with speeches, artistic expression and family remembrances. Harry and I were great friends. My wife and I have visited them in their West Indies home. We had marched together on many issues especially South Africa. He deserves all the accolades we could heap upon him. He was every bit the personification of Paul Robeson. Both of them used their prodigious talents to fight for global justice, equality, and freedom. Long live the spirit of the great Harry Belafonte.

Saturday March 2, 2024: Remembering Cujoe Bandele

There was a celebration for Cujoe Bandele at the Restoration Corporation in Brooklyn. Cujoe was the son of Adeyemi and Khadijah Bandele. We were like family. Adeyemi was our international affairs director when I chaired the National Black United Front. He was a major architect in our foreign relations. The celebration was crowded in fact, it was standing room only. It was like a family reunion. The attendees consisted mostly of Black Power, Pan-Africanists, Black Nationalists. The attire was mostly African apparel. The praises for Cujoe were profuse and pervasive which could be summed up in the words of kindness, gentleness, courageous and committed to people of African Ancestry.

Saturday March 9, 2024: Families Of Victims Against Violence Mothers Reunion at Le Petit Cafe

FOVAV mothers gathered in Brooklyn for a reunion. FOVAV meaning families of victims

against violence was organized in the 80s to comfort mothers whose children had been

killed by street violence or police violence. In addition it was to encourage them to

become active in preventing what happened to them to happening to others. Deborah Dawkins, Aimee Council, Carol Gonzalez, Ms. Davis. See videos on Facebook.

Tuesday March 12, 2024: NYC Concerned Clergy journey to Washington D.C.

About 50 clergy members took a trip to Washington D.C to lobby elected officials regarding immigration. We had plenary sessions with Minority Speaker Hakeem Jeffries, Congressman Meeks and Senator Schumer. Plus we had group meetings with various elected officials primarily representing the area of the visiting group. In other words, the delegation was divided into smaller groups to visit their particular representative. It was a long bus ride but we felt that it was worth it. The time and energy spent for the cause of immigration policy. We made four points in our meetings:

- the imperative for a national immigration policy

-additional help for NY and support from the faith community in

-support for Governor Hochul's bill which is why a change in the employment practices

-special consideration for the asylum seekers who demonstrate that they should be given consideration of citizenship

Sunday, March 17, 2024: Visits to correctional facilities Sullivan & Eastern

We, Kefentse Johnson and I resumed our visits to correctional facilities in Sullivan and

Eastern, Upstate New York. It was the first time I had been to Sullivan since Covid. I was sad yet glad to see some of the same fellas still there.. after Sullivan I went to Eastern about 45mins away. It was the same for Eastern as it was for Sullivan, some of the same fellas still there. I had visited Eastern last month, but there was confusion with Sullivan last month. This month however everything was corrected and I did both. Every 3rd Sunday is my monthly correctional facility visits. I usually spend the day visiting these facilities.

First, I start with prayer with the basketball players in Teaneck, NJ. But the basketball has

been suspended or the players were in different leagues and would not resume until April.

Friday, March 22-24, 2024: Holy Pilgrimage & Memorial Ceremony of the House of the Lord Churches

See videos below during my time in Augusta:

Good Friday March 29, 2024: Baptizing of Mayor Eric Adams

While we were in Augusta, GA for our Holy Pilgrimage and memorial ceremony, my wife received a call from Mayor Eric Adams. He was looking for me to ask me if I would baptize him on Good Friday, March 29th, 2024, at Riker's Island. I replied in the affirmative. He said details would follow..

As stated earlier, the Holy Pilgrimage Memorial ceremony is a time we remember the deceased members of the House of the Lord church as well as those who have been significant supporters of the church. The significant supporter names are on separate plaques from the members in good standing of the church. This tradition started when my father made his transition. When I became the National Bishop, I had it to be inclusive of all the members of the church and not just my father.

On March 29th, 2024, as Mayor Adams requested, we gathered at Riker's Island along with the 11 inmates, who are persons in custody, (I believe that is the acceptable term for the incarcerated). The mayor arrived at 10:15 for the 10:30 AM ceremony. Patiently he said through the entire ceremony. We were prepared to baptize him first and allow him to leave to attend other events or attend to his other mayoral duties, but he elected to stay for the entire ceremony and circulate among the people after the ceremony.

The baptism was done as follows: There was a miniature pool a little larger than the old-time wash tubs of years ago. Water from a large pail equivalent to a garbage pail, was filled with portions of water of which was put in the tub halfway full. There was a special glass container that was filled with water. When the baptism took place the person who was baptized stepped onto steps, lower than the tub of water. The person put his head back and leaned backwards over the pail of water and the water from the glass container was poured over his head and the traditional words were said while the water was being poured over his head. He was later given a towel to dry his head and face and was then seated for the feet washing ceremony which the Chaplain Reverend Barnett and I conducted. Reverend Sharpton poured the water for the feet washing ceremony.

When Mayor Adams was baptized Reverend Sharpton stood on my right and laid hands on the mayor and on my left was Reverend Barnett and he poured the water. I said the prayer and the traditional expressions and laid hands on the Mayor. The three of us had a significant role in the Mayor's baptism.

Afterwards we washed the feet of the Mayor along with the 11 inmates. Present were members of the Mayor's administration, and officers of the institution along with the guards and what appeared to be the swat team. They were all crowded around the walls of the rather spacious Chapel.

Everybody seemed deeply moved by the ceremony. I pointed out that this was a memorable occasion with the Mayor of one of the largest cities in the world being baptized along with persons in custody and with Reverend Al Sharpton who is one of the most prominent world leaders today.

"It's not every day or every baptism we have this kind of mix, I said to the inmates, “what you have done today let's make it last. I am certain that God's going to do something special resulting from this baptism. Anyone of us here today can be the person that God lays hold upon and do a special work for him,” I concluded.

Reverend Sharpton also made remarks and stated that with God all things are possible no matter how deep you have fallen, God can pick you up and put you on the straight and narrow.

The Mayor thanked everybody and expressed that it was an honor for him to be among the baptismal candidates. He gave me a shout out saying that I encouraged him to direct his anger in a positive way; as he too had problems with the police.

It was a great day and as I stated I believe that God is going to do something special. I hope that in some way the ceremony will contribute to fulfilling the vision, deepen relationships with the Mayor or put the vision among one of the top items on the Mayors’ agenda.

Resurrection Sunday, March 31- House of the Lord Church Bergen County

Facebook Post:

It's Resurrection Morning; Hallelujah!

Wake up world I've got good news! Jesus Christ has risen from the dead! And He has

promised, He will be with us in Spirit and we too shall over death.

He has promised to return with great power and glory!

"For the LORD Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout and the voice of the Archangel and the Trumpet of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first and we are alive shall be caught up to meet the LORD in the air, so shall we ever be with the LORD " 1 Thess. 4: 16-17

But remember before the Resurrection there is the Crucifixion!

I will be preaching this morning 9a 191 Humphrey St, Englewood NJ: The eternal exchange.


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