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Church celebrates black history with readings, songs, dancing

Springfield Baptist Church celebrated its annual Black History Month program Sunday.

Established in 1874, Springfield Baptist has been celebrating black history from its very beginning.

Each year a theme is given to commemorate black history, and this year's theme was African-Americans and the Civil War.

Alden Jackson portrayed Frederick Douglass in the introduction skit and spoke to young adults about realizing the greater things in life, such as receiving an education and keeping God first.

"Ultimately, we want people in our culture to know that we are relevant," he said. "We have been relevant since we were placed on this Earth; from where we came from, to where we are now and the possibilities to go forward."

A member for 34 years, Mr. Jackson assisted with the black history program for the first time this year.

"This was fun, and I enjoyed it," he said. "I can't wait to do it again next year."

The program catered to the theme in dramatic readings, songs, poems and praise dance.

Two of Springfield's youth ministry dancers, Tyjah Ivey and Cedric Norris Jr., put on a show with the opening dance.

Tyjah is 13 and has been a member of Springfield since she was a baby.

"I enjoy dancing, and I have been dancing since I was a little girl," she said. "Being a part of the dance ministry is about making an impact and helping others, and anytime I'm able to do that I feel good."

Cedric is 13 and has been with Springfield's dance ministry for one year.

"I've been looking for something that I'm good at, and I found praise dance," he said. "I love to dance. When I dance, I feel the spirit, and it's like no other feeling."

Susan Tutt, a member of Springfield for 10 years, has been coordinator over the program for nine years.

"Here at Springfield we work a lot with our youth because we teach them and we teach by example," Ms. Tutt said.

She spends countless hours thinking of new ideas, revising old ones and rehearsing with the youth.

"It's important to deliver a truthful and positive message," she said.

Demonstrating, educating, and celebrating is what Springfield Baptist looks forward to accomplishing each February.

"The feeling is tremendous when you can provide a channel of enlightenment to the children, youth and community," said the Rev. Frederick Favors, who has led Springfield Baptist for 26 years.

Web posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011

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