Jackson preaches in historic Tulsa church on Sunday
BY BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Sounding as much like a gospel preacher as a civil rights activist, the Rev. Jesse Jackson stood in the pulpit of the historic First Baptist Church North Tulsa on Sunday morning, a pulpit shared decades ago by his mentor and co-civil rights worker Martin Luther King, Jr.
It was Jackson’s last appearance in a busy three-day visit to Tulsa in the wake of the Good Friday shootings that killed Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31, and injured David Hall, 46, and Deon Tucker, 44.
Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 33, each were charged Friday with three counts of first degree murder.
Before Jackson spoke, First Baptist pastor the Rev. Anthony Scott, made Jackson an honorary member of the church.
Laughter filled the packed church when Jackson quipped that he was a “non-tithing member.”
Jackson also announced that Scott and Tulsa City Councilor Jack Henderson will anchor an Oklahoma chapter of his Rainbow PUSH coalition.
Keying off the Bible passage that “faith is substance of things hoped for,” Jackson said that he sees a lot of Faith Baptist churches, and Hope Baptist churches, but never sees a “substance” Baptist church.
“What is the substance we hope for?” he asked, listing access to jobs, justice, capital, health care and other needs of the black community.
“We will fight for substance,” he said, as he urged white churches to become involved in the struggle.
“This is a great moment for the white church,” he said.
Jackson drew a parallel between crucifixion of Christ and the Good Friday shootings, as well as the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager.
“There’s power in the blood of innocent,” he said, noting that Martin has become a worldwide cause, which would not have happened if he were still alive.
“In his death he’s touched our conscience. That means he lives on in the resurrection.”
Read more in Monday's Tulsa World.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson preaches at First Baptist Church in North Tulsa on Sunday. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World