Rev. J. Loren Russell

Genesis 35:11

“Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body.’”

As Black History Month ends for 2022, I thought about the vast and profound contributions made to this nation and the world by those of African descent. I met one such person this week.

Let me say that it’s not often one is in the company of someone of great scholastic achievement, artistically gifted, spiritually empowered, and internationally influential. I met someone who graduated from Tuskegee Institute (University), one of the leading HBCU (historically Black colleges and universities) with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She sang with their choir at Constitution Hall in Washington DC. She attended the University of California, Berkley, studied Chinese in New York, taught children of Chinese descent in the public school system in San Francisco, and spoke Mandarin. She taught in the Hempstead, NY school system for 23 years before joining the Hospitality Committee at the United Nations. There, she taught at the English learning school for 9 years, served in the General Assembly Building as a volunteer, an officer, and later, a member of the Board of Directors and its Executive Board. She also helped her husband pastor the first integrated Presbyterian church in America. There is more, but I would have to write another article.

This very accomplished woman, Teressa Hawkins Hawes was born in 1921, not long after the abolition of slavery and in the reality of Jim Crow and segregation. She also witnessed the birthing of systemic racism and its growth from decade to decade.

This woman was fruitful and multiplied. While she was impacted by Jim Crow and segregation, the Lord’s plan for her prevailed in her education, her marriage, her family, her career, and her influence in the lives of people worldwide.

I met her because I had the honor of officiating her homegoing service this week. The Lord had a plan for this descendant of slaves who faced the vitriol of a racist society.

My takeaway was that the Lord’s plan for your life supersedes any circumstance and every situation. Jacob was in the Lord’s plan, and so are you.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company and The J. Loren R Consulting, LLC for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting, an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at Smashwords).

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