Kappas celebrate Founder’s Day at Bartley Temple

Pastor Alan Jackson of Bartley Temple United Methodist Church delivers the word during the Founder’s Day celebration of the Gainesville alumni and Zeta Phi chapters of Kappa Alpha Psi Fratenity Inc. Jackson also is a member of the fraternity.

BRAD McCLENNY/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 7:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 7:17 p.m.

Members of the Gainesville alumni and Zeta Phi chapters of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the organization at a northeast Gainesville church pastored by one of its own.

The Rev. Alan Jackson, a Kappa member, is the pastor at Bartley Temple United Methodist Church, 1936 NE 8th Ave., and he delivered a message last Sunday honoring the courageous efforts of the 10 young black men who founded the fraternity on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., Jan. 5, 1911, while also telling parishioners that it is what they do for those who can't help themselves that impresses God the most.

The service began with a prelude that included Kappa members walking into the church in a processional before the acolytes lit candles. After the congregation sang "Marching to Zion," Kappa member Ire Bethea said the opening prayer before Jackson encouraged parishioners to greet one another.

The service also included Kappa members Shaumond Scott and Steven Duncan giving the welcome and occasion, with the affirmation of faith led by Kappa and Bartley Temple member Marion Chisholm.

Kappa member Rodney McNealy presided over the service, and after Scott and Duncan gave the welcome and occasion, he said he was proud to be a member of the fraternity.

"One hundred years of service and achievement," McNealy said. "I am eternally grateful for the men who came before me and the men who are here with me today." Kappa member Ramoth Andrews read scripture from Isaiah 42:1-9, and later in the service, Kappa member Denefield Player read scripture from Matthew 3:13-17.

Bartley Temple member Ron McNeal and the church choir helped to set the atmosphere for the sermon by Jackson. McNeal sang "Because of Who You Are," and the choir sang several songs, including "I am Redeemed."

After being introduced by Kappa member Osborne Hall, Jackson confessed that it was "awkward being introduced at my own church."

He then quickly moved to the text of his sermon, taken from Proverbs 3:1-13. The title of his sermon was "Jewels for the Journey." He talked about how a diamond is one of the most precious jewels known to mankind.

He said unions between men and women are not complete until a man gives a woman a diamond ring. He said 75th wedding anniversaries are referred to as "diamond anniversaries." Jackson said because diamonds are held in such high regard, it is no coincidence that the beloved jewel is the symbol used by his fraternity.

Jackson said a lot of wisdom is found in Proverbs, and he said the instructions giving in Proverbs can help people avoid certain situations in life. He said the wisdom found in Proverbs can serve as a "road map or personal GPS" to living a holy life.

"Sometimes, we suffer trials and tribulations because we are on the wrong road headed in the wrong direction," said Jackson, adding that the wisdom in Proverbs deals with all aspects of life.

He reminded parishioners that the text said "let not mercy and truth escape us," and that if they live as the word of God instructs them to live, they will "find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man."

Jackson said life is too complicated for people to try to handle by themselves, and he said God wants people to help one another.

"Our service to God can only be realized through our service to others," Jackson said. "God is impressed by what we do for those who can't do for themselves."

He ended his sermon by saying Jesus Christ is more than a friend.

"He is the great I am. The king of kings," Jackson said. "Get up and celebrate with the Lord."

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