Time to take a stand


Members of the praise team sing during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Worship Service presented Sunday morning by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church.

STEVEN H. KEYS/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 3:33 p.m.

The time is now for churches to step outside of their four walls and meet the spiritual and physical needs of the neediest of people in the community and members of Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church were put on notice by their pastor that she is going to lead the way in doing so.

Facts

MOUNT PLEASANT UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Pastor: Rev. Geraldine McClellan.

Location: 630 NW 2nd St.

Services: Sunday morning worship begins at 9 a.m., followed by Sunday school, noonday Bible study is at noon Tuesday and Bible study is at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Phone: 352-372-4872.

"I am going to lead this congregation outside the walls of this church in 2012," said the Rev. Geraldine McClellan near the end of an emotional and inspiring sermon Sunday at the church in northwest Gainesville.

The service celebrated the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which was Sunday, and members of the Nu Eta Lambda and Theta Sigma chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. participated in the service. King, who would have turned 83 on Sunday, was a member of the fraternity.

McClellan preached from Ephesians 6:10-14. The title of her sermon was "It's Time To Stand, We've Been Dreaming Too Long."

She said King left a "mighty footprint" when he was assassinated and the community should be further along than it is since his death.

"God is calling on us to stand up," she said. "The scripture says put on the whole armor of God. It didn't say some! It said the whole armor of God."

She said the black community has fallen for some things it shouldn't have over the years and it is time for the community, especially churches, to stop being complacent. She said it is time for the church to stand for things outside of the church. She said it is OK to speak the truth to people even if they don't like it, adding that "some people need to be insulted."

She said the community is in a war against powers and principalities and the church is the only entity equipped with the tools to win the war. She said if King could speak today, he would ask, "Where is the church?"

McClellan said it is time to stop "playing church" and time to start being prepared and determined to move forward and make a difference in the lives of those in need.

"If we keep dreaming, we are going to end up right where we started from," McClellan said. "Our preparation must only be exceeded by our determination. Our preparation and determination will lead us to our destination, but it has to be done God's way."

She said it is important to be dedicated when standing against the devil and to stand for what is right even if it is not popular to do so.

As Mount Pleasant member Rudy Porter led the male choir in singing "Stand," McClellan ended her sermon by emphasizing that she is going to take a stand. Alpha member Marlon Ivey, program chairman of the King birthday celebration at Mount Pleasant, said the fraternity was glad it chose to worship with Mount Pleasant. He said McClellan is like a big sister to him who does what big sisters often do — make little brothers look good.

He told the Mount Pleasant congregation that McClellan is special and they are lucky to have her.

"Mount Pleasant, if you didn't know it, I'm telling you. You have a jewel," Ivey said. "A diamond in the rough."

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