In the late ‘60s, John Lewis, a seminary student in Nashville TN, caught the vision for protesting injustice. He was arrested 24 times. In 1965, his skull was fractured during a march in Selma, Alabama–a march to get voting rights for African Americans. Of course, we know suffering for righteous causes is not new. The Apostle Paul is another example. He suffered in many ways for proclaiming the mystery of the Gospel. The mystery was that God accepts Jews and Gentiles on the same basis—faith in Jesus Christ. He taught that God now lives inside of people who accept Him, and with God’s help they can fulfill God’s purposes. For preaching this inclusive message, Paul was rejected and persecuted. He wrote in Colossians CH 1, “I rejoice in what I am suffering for you.” I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness.” “God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim”  “I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” Both John Lewis and the Apostle Paul remind us of what Dr. King once said, “Until a man has found a cause worth dying for, he is not fit to live.”

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More


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