I thought about skipping church Sunday based on the powerful message I heard Friday night at Rust College.
And I’m just kidding about the skipping church but not about the powerful message.
Since the planning committee first learned Dr. Bartholomew Orr would be the guest speaker for the Frances A. Hathorne Holly Springs/Marshall County 27th annual UNCF Banquet, excitement filled the air.
We’d heard from others over and over – “He’s an outstanding speaker. You’re in for a special treat.”
And Orr, pastor of Brown Missionary Baptist Church in Southaven, delivered big-time. His message focused on the power of one.
He referred to Jeremiah 5:1 – “Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through the squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.”
Orr emphasized the importance of one person stepping up and doing good – in the church, in the community, in school.
“Will you be the one?” he asked.
And believe me, he delivered the brief message in a way that kept everyone’s attention from the get-go.
One person can indeed make a difference. And thanks to Dr. Orr for challenging us all to help build a better community through our service.
Orr’s remarks were one highlight of another fabulous UNCF Banquet.
Jameshea Moore, a junior social work major from Memphis, Tenn., reflected on her UNCF scholarship.
She talked about arriving at college, learning how much she owed for tuition and thinking how in the world was she going to be able to pay that.
Then she was directed to the financial aid office and learned she was the recipient of a UNCF scholarship.
The financial strain on her and her family was suddenly lifted. It was an unbelievable moment, Moore said, and a tremendous blessing as she continued her education at Rust. She is majoring in social work.
Her example is just one of many, many, many.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness.
UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country.
Its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” was repeated more than once Friday night.
It was an uplifting banquet – one of unity and excitement.