A Nike shirt giveaway, wise words from NAACP representative and national board member Morandon A. Henry, and rousing enthusiasm for social justice, rocked the walls of Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday, Sept. 23, in Oakland.
“If you’re going to make some changes, register to vote,” said Mr. Henry as he reviewed the ongoing social justice campaign of former football star Colin Kaepernick to address police violence in the U.S. The NFL has boycotted Kap, who is suing. Kap’s “take a knee” protest and new contract with the Nike company, has sparked a movement and sales yielding huge profits for Nike.
Other churches also designated this NAACP/Nike Sunday, and wore their gear to worship. In a political climate that harms our communities, the call for all to do what they can was loud and clear throughout the service.
Bishop Kevin D. Barnes, Sr., who presides over Abyssinian at the Oakland and Vallejo campuses, preached in what he called a more “casual” style, and appealed to the church to “tell them about Jesus and tell them about our church.”
He preached about the need to fill churches with active members who will work for better housing, work to stop forcing people of color out of Oakland because of skyrocketing cost-of-living, and work for social justice for everyone. He cautioned that Christians need to ask themselves, “What am I standing for; what do I do for Jesus Christ?”
Returning to active pastoral leadership after health challenges, Bishop Barnes was joyously welcomed by everyone, who applauded the sermon message and the announcement that the NAACP is honoring Bishop Barnes on Sept. 25 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Emeryville.
The 44th Church Anniversary will be celebrated October 14, at 3:30 p.m. at the Oakland campus at 528 33rd Street in Oakland. All are invited to join in the celebration and the church’s work for social justice.