Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sharpton Speaks Sharply In Louisville

By: Angela Lee Price

Pictures courtesy of George Williams

The Lord certainly knew what He was doing when he gave civil rights activist and 2004 presidential candidate Rev. Al Sharpton the last name “Sharpton.” On Thursday, August 3rd, he was sharper than a two-edged sword...again! Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the keynote address, Believing An Evil Report on Simmons' Night at the General Association of Baptist in Kentucky’s 138 Joint Session. The event, held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Louisville, Kentucky drew an audience estimated at 400.

Preaching from Numbers Chapter 14:36, Sharpton said too many people in the church are believing an evil report. “We’ve built mega churches with miniature missions….We’ve built a generation of people with titles and no function, ministers that don’t minister to nobody, and trustees that can’t be trusted."

Left to Right: Rev. K. L. Moore, Barnetta Cosby, Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Rev. Dr. A. Russell Awkard

The church is believing an evil report, he chimed repeatedly. He told the audience of mostly pastors, preachers, and church leaders that many of our people don’t work, but run from church to church looking for the next fix. “When you don’t work, you become Holy thrill freaks, he said.” We’ve got bigger houses, but we are not speaking to each other; new cars and nowhere to go,” Sharpton said.

Speaking on the final night of the four-day convention, the 52-year-old Sharpton sharply criticized African Americans for believing false stereotypes and not trying hard enough to advance themselves. “Even if you are not responsible for being down, you are responsible for getting up,” he said. Black men who abuse their women believe an evil report. “Ain’t nothing hip about degrading your mama, calling your sister and girlfriend out of her name,” said Sharpton.

Simmons College of Kentucky President and St. Stephen Church Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby gave a glowing report on the state of Simmons, Kentucky’s oldest historically black college, just one and a half years into his presidency.

Cosby told conferees his role as president is to acquire “bucks, buildings, bodies, and brains.” Cosby helped raise $2 million dollars for the school since becoming the 13th president in January 2005; helped Simmons re-acquired its former campus at Eighth and Kentucky; completed major renovations at the Seventh Street campus; hired new staff and professors; and established ties with Campbellsville and Kentucky State Universities. The school expects to enroll more than 200 students this school year, and is in the process of becoming accredited.

Cosby introduced head coach Stan Hughes and unveiled the school’s new basketball team, the Simmons Panthers. The St. Stephen Voices of Praiz performed contemporary and hip hop gospel music. Simmons raised an additional $75,000 for scholarships.

Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!


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