The Tifton Emancipation Proclamation Committee will be hosting their annual observance of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation Jan. 1, 2014.
The event will be held at 11 a.m. at Eagles Wings Judah Worship Center, located at 2915 Southern Ave., formerly known as Southern Avenue Church of God. The pastor is Reather Campbell. The speaker for the 2014 observance will be Isaac Ross, son of the house at Shiloh Baptist Church.
The local committee has been hosting the event for approximately 30 years on New Year’s Day. The current members are Lonza Seadrow, Deacon Roosevelt Russell, Amos Kimbrough, Joan Howard, Ella Pettiford, Pat Robinson, Charleston Carter and Tift County Commissioner Melissa Chevers.
The program will include scripture readings, songs of praise and lighting of the symbolic red, green and black tapers. Some committee members said the public should attend so they can get a full understanding of what the Emancipation Proclamation really means.
Pettiford said they’re especially encouraging the youth to attend because it’s important for them to learn about their history. She noted there will also be some young people participating in the event. The purpose is to celebrate the 151st anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation (effective on Jan. 1, 1863), which was issued by former President Abraham Lincoln and declared freedom for all slaves in states in rebellion against the federal government. Members say issuance of this historical and pivotal document by Lincoln is an event that should forever linger in people’s memories.
“Just as the Israelites were commanded to forever remember their exodus from Egypt and the mighty hand of God which delivered them, we too should always remember our declaration of freedom from slavery...Our charge today is to make sure that we and subsequent generations always remember our freedom from slavery, and the God who has brought us thus far on our way.”
It states on their program, “This service is dedicated to all humble but stalwart souls who never stopped looking forward to the day when they could say and sing words that they longed to say and sing for years, ‘Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.’
To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.