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“Preaching is an Honorable Work— it’s Not Easy But it’s Worth It”

      A Prayerful Decree and Rally in Support of Honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Exclusively on His Federal Holiday and— 
No Longer Sharing the Day with Robert E. Lee in Arkansas

Romans 10:13-15  13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

If there is anyone interested in the work and the works of a preacher and what their lives are truly all about, stop here for a short read and I promise you that I will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  Today’s preachers are greatly challenged.  The work is not easy but it’s worth it.

Contrary to popular polls and opinions, preaching the Word of God is one of the most honorable works that one could be called upon and chosen to bring forth. (Let all the preachers say Amen).       But today, in many cities across Arkansas and across this nation, giving honor to God’s preacher is at an     all-time low. Sometimes, it is the fault of the preacher, but most often it is the call of God that causes His preacher to move out in the midst of controversy and chaos to bring a word of hope and truth and people oftentimes misunderstand, devalue and/or simply ‘hate’ the preacher.  With either or all in view, yes, this low honor may have lasted for a season— then came… ‘WE THE PREACHERS’.  

WE THE PREACHERS of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Church, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the spiritual and common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for the People of God and our Posterity, do promise to uphold the teachings of the Bible with the Church of the Living God in and for Arkansas and throughout these United States of America, and throughout all regions in the Kingdom of God.

OUR RIPE AND NOW MOMENT: 
The MLK Holiday (HolyDay) is 30 years in observance, and it's high time for Arkansas to join the nation in separating MLK Day from the Robert E. Lee Day.  Mississippi and Alabama are the only two other states that have the Robert E. Lee Day shared with the MLK Holiday.  Arkansas no longer has to be last.   
The Rev. Dr. King was a 'biblical rights' leader and activist. Some still label him as a civil rights leader, but this is not the authentication of his calling.  Yes, King was an activist. He was called and chosen to activate/preach God's word, and while some of his works were in strategic alignment with civil rights, his ultimate call and mandate was to promulgate biblical laws and values.  The Rev. Dr. King stood in the gap for God's people as a Pastor, Prophet and Preacher. He gave the ultimate sacrifice— he laid down his life for his friends.
We are taught in Scripture to give honor to whom honor is due.  The Rev. Dr. King did his part in blazing the trail as our 20th Century Pastor/Preacher/Prophet as he brought dignity and honor to the office of the preacher in ways that only God could have ordained.  In Arkansas, it's our turn now to stand in the place of honor on this day (his day/our day) with a message to this nation that God honors His preachers and His preachers are giving honor one to another. God has spoken.  What better time than now for preachers to line up for a noteworthy Call to come together in unity and love?

Two Key Facts:
1.       The Rev. Dr. King is the only person in this nation who has a holiday that honors the works of preachers. 
2.       The monument in his honor is the only non-Presidential and non-War Memorial that is represented on the National Mall that gives honor to a preacher.

WHY I’M SHARING THIS STORY WITH THE PREACHERS OF ARKANSAS:

Like many preachers, I never wanted to be a preacher.  As a child, being one of nine siblings (not to mention others who lived with us, along with two sisters who were adopted into the family), I saw too much stress and struggle on my parents and their parents who were in full-time ministry.  Did I see any honor and glory moments? Yes, but the way I saw them live by faith from day to day was way too much for me to choose ministry as a way of life. (I do have a powerful legacy testimony of triumph, but we will save it for another time in the very near future (hint: September 1, 2016 at The Legacy Assignment 2016 Convention and Reunion at my church). Eventually, I came to accept the work and honor of being called into the ministry.  It was no easy task and today I still have my challenges, but I have come to know that God is faithful. 

Besides giving honor to my father/dad both in biological and spiritual works as his successor as pastor, I have been blessed to give honor to The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with national tributes now for over 25 years.  In short, it began with me producing the first three years of the federal holiday in his honor in Memphis, TN beginning in 1990. I was blessed to bring in notables including the late Dr. E.V. Hill, Clifton Davis, along with members of the King Family who delivered keynote addresses and were honored by thousands who attended. A major moment was when I was asked to do the opening tribute for the National Civil Rights Museum on the MLK Holiday in 1992.   These years gave me joy and revealed clarity as to why MLK Holiday is the ‘day of honor’ that God has ordained for His preachers in this nation.  
“We the Preachers”—How We Got Here and How We Will Succeed: Leading the March to the AR MLK Holiday ‘Exclusive’ Celebration… “From the Little Rock Nine to the Carolina Nine”

Nearly one year ago, on June 17, 2015, Reverend-Senator, Pastor Clementa Pinckney and eight others were killed (sacrificed) by a gunman proclaiming hate for African-Americans inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. This sparked a national movement. This happened in a church, not the streets, but in a Bible study. God wants to teach a lesson on love and who better than ‘we the preachers’ to talk it out and to walk it out in this moment?  Immediately following this massacre, leaders from the Arkansas NAACP and The College of Aspiring Artists met with Governor Hutchinson and his chief of staff regarding why this was the set moment for Arkansas to reset and focus on giving the full honor due to the King Holiday. From a meeting in June 2015, to a letter of support in July, the Governor agreed to speak on 9.11.2015, in advocacy of making MLK Holiday an exclusive day of honor to The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Today, “We the Preachers” are employing our collective efforts to lead this exclusive day of honor, yes, for The Rev. Dr. King but again, we see it now more clearly as a day of honor ‘for all preachers’ who are standing in the place of service and in the gap to serve God’s people as did The Rev. Dr. King. 

WHAT IS OUR PLAN AND CALL TO ACTION?   ONE YEAR LATER…
On June 9, 2016 at 5:30 pm, a community rally and forum, “We the Preachers: Give Us This Day”, has been set at the Mosaic Templars Culture Center in Little Rock to bring this matter to a high regard. The theme, “GIVE US THIS DAY” focuses on both a humble request and thanks to God for his grace and provisions, but it also conveys a strong decree requesting state leaders to prepare and pray forward the plans and the works that must take place for Arkansas to celebrate the MLK Holiday 2017 as an exclusive celebration and to no longer be a part of a dual celebration with the Robert E. Lee Day.  Regrettably it has not happened! The devil got in the details, but God is in the destiny. 

The forum will be led by preachers and leaders who are advocating legislation for MLK Holiday 2017 to be separated from the Robert E. Lee Day, to come before the Legislature during a Special Session— this year. A special moment to remember those from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina will also take place.  The forum is being presented by The College of Aspiring Artists, Arkansas NAACP, Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration (PBICVR), JoynetRadio.com, Family Council and the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.  Register today, become a partner, add your voice to the discussion, donate at wethepreachersgiveusthisday.eventbrite.com. Additional information, blogging and posting can be done at www.giveusthisdaymlk.com  

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