Church Unity

Church Unity

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TOWN OF DUBLIN IS CELEBRATING THE ANNIVERSARY OF INTEGRATING WITH A BLACK CHURCH IN TOWN. IN 19-70, MOUNT PLEASANT AND DUBLIN METHODIST CHURCHES CAME TOGETHER FOR WHAT THEY CALLED A “BASKET PICNIC” TO COMMEMORATE THE OCCASION. NOW, GIVEN THE OPEN DISPLAY OF RACISM IN CHARLOTTESVILLE AND THIS WEEKEND IN BOSTON, MEMBERS SAY THIS OCCASION IS TAKING ON A BIGGER MEANING. W-S-L-S 10’S “ROB MANCH” VISITED THAT CHURCH TODAY… ROB – HOW ARE MEMBERS REACTING TO WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON AROUND THE COUNTRY? THE MEMBERS I SPOKE WITH AT DUBLIN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH SAY IT’S DIFFICULT TO WATCH THE NEWS COMING OUT OF CHARLOTTESVILLE, WHEN THE ISSUE OF RACISM IS SOMETHING THEY FELT THEY HAD DEALT WITH IN PULASKI MORE THAN 40 YEARS AGO. I SPOKE WITH TO WOMEN WHO ARE MORE THAN 90 YEARS OLD AND WERE MEMBERS OF BOTH CHURCHES THEN TO LEARN HOW TWO VERY DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES CAME TOGETHER. IT WAS OVER A PICNIC TABLE THAT TWO CHURCHES, BLACK AND WHITE, WERE UNITED AS ONE. MATTIE HOLMES, ORIGINAL MEMBER OF MT. PLEASANT: 00:12:17 “IT WAS A CLOSING DAY FOR ALL THE MEMORY OF MT. PLEASANT, BUT AN OPENING DAY FOR THE FUTURE OF METHODISTS IN PULASKI COUNTY.” NATS FORTY SEVEN YEARS LATER, THAT SAME MEAL WAS SHARED AFTER SUNDAY’S SERVICE AT DUBLIN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. 93-YEAR-OLD MATTIE HOLMES SAYS THE CHURCHES MEANT A LOT TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY BACK THEN. MATTIE HOLMES, ORIGINAL MEMBER OF MT. PLEASANT: 00:14:13 “AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME, THE COUNTY STILL HAD NOT OFFERED US ANY FORMAL EDUCATION BEYOND THE NINTH GRADE, AND THAT MEANS THAT THE CHURCHES AND ANY OTHER LOCAL BUSINESSES THAT COULD HIRE A SCHOOL, THAT WAS WHERE WE WENT TO SCHOOL.” BUT WHEN MOUNT PLEASANT CHURCH LOST ITS PASTOR, ORIGINAL MEMBER RUTH HOWE REMEMBERS WHEN HER ALL- WHITE CHURCH, DUBLIN METHODIST, STEPPED IN. RUTH HOWE, ORIGINAL MEMBER OF DUBLIN METHODIST: 00:03:24 “OUR PREACHER AT THAT TIME WOULD GO DOWN AND PREACH FOR THEM, AND THEN COME AND PREACH FOR US, AND HE REALLY WAS THE INSTIGATOR OF THAT.” CURRENT PASTOR DON HANSHAW SAYS IT QUICKLY BECAME CLEAR, THE UNION WOULDN’T BE EASY. REV. DON HANSHEW, PASTOR: 00:28:35 “WE HAD A CROSS THAT WAS BURNT ON THE PASTOR’S FRONT YARD, WHICH WAS JUST BESIDE THE CHURCH. WE HAD PEOPLE LEAVE THIS CHURCH WHEN THAT DECISION WAS MADE.” TODAY, MEMBERS SAY THE VIOLENCE IN CHARLOTTESVILLE BRINGS THEM BACK TO THAT TIME. RUTH HOWE, ORIGINAL MEMBER OF DUBLIN METHODIST: 00:05:44 “I FELT SAD TO EVEN HEAR IT ON THE TV.” BUT HOLMES SAYS, THERE’S A LESSON TO BE TAKEN FROM THIS SMALL COMMUNITY IN DUBLIN, THAT HAS MANAGED ALL THESE YEARS TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. MATTIE HOLMES, ORIGINAL MEMBER OF MT. PLEASANT: 00:22:13 “WE ARE ALL GOD’S CHILDREN, AND WE’RE NO DIFFERENT AND THIS IS WHAT THEY SHOULD REALIZE.” PASTOR HANSHAW SAYS THE CHURCH IS CONTINUING TO WORK TO DISVERSIFY ITS MEMBERSHIP, AND TO BE AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHER COMMUNITIES AROUND THE STATE AND THE COUNTRY OF AN ENDURING SYMBOL OF UNITY. IN STUDIO, ROB MANCH W-S-L-S 10.

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