Emmanuel Baptist Church will commemorate MAAFA from Wednesday, Aug. 20 through Sunday, Aug. 24. The theme is “The Way Out is Back Through: Fulfilling the Promise to Our Ancestors Through the Ministry of Love, Peace, and Justice.”
MAAFA (also known as the African Holocaust) is derived from a Swahili word that means disaster, terrible occurrence or great tragedy. The term collectively refers to the 500-plus years of suffering of people of African heritage through slavery, imperialism, colonialism, apartheid, rape, oppression, invasions and exploitation.
The schedule of events includes the Commemorative Service of Healing, which was held yesterday and featured Rev. Dr. John Mendez, pastor of Emmanuel. Thursday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m., Dr. Derrick K. Smith, a political science professor at N.C. A&T State University, will be the guest speaker. His topic will be “Breaking the Silence through Love, Peace and Justice.”
On Friday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m., a dinner theater presentation of “The Souls of Black Folk” will take place.
On Saturday, Aug. 23, events begin at 8 a.m. with “A Healing Journey Lake Ritual at Salem Lake.” A continental breakfast will be served at the church at 9 a.m., and a workshop led by Dr. Iva Carruthers will be held at 10 a.m.
Carruthers is the general secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, a national interdenominational organization focused on social justice issues. Carruthers has a long history of engagement in community development initiatives and social justice ministry and has fostered interdenominational and interfaith dialogue in the United States, Caribbean, South America and Africa.
At 5 p.m. on Saturday, “Prayer Meeting: Service of Healing and Renewal” will be held. Spiritual choirs from various local churches will perform.
The MAAFA commemoration culminates on Sunday, Aug. 24 at 10 a.m., when Dr. Carruthers will speak at the Morning Worship Service.
All events are free and open to the public. Emmanuel, located at 1075 Shalimar Drive, calls itself “The Church in the Heart of the Community: Community in the Heart of the Church.”
For more information, go to www.emmanuelbaptistws.com.