February 9, 2001
"You are going to make this thing work. My generation couldn't make it work. We only got people to tolerate each other, not love anybody," said Gwen Williams, during Oklahoma Baptist University's African American Heritage chapel, Feb. 7.
Williams, founder of From the Heart Ministries, Inc., in New Orleans, acknowledged that healing racial relationships is still a daunting task but assured the students that they "just have to be Jesus," and love others.
"Be who you say you are," she said. "College students are the greatest mission task force that we have. I can't reach all the children in the world by myself. It's not a black thing, a white thing or a Baptist thing. It's a God thing."
African Americans are told that February is "Be kind to you month, but what about the other months?" Williams said.
Addressing the students, Williams said, "You are going to change that. You are going to say to each other, 'I love you no matter what day it is.'"
Jesus is what makes February, and every other month unique and because he came, we can love each other every day of the year, she said.
Williams described the importance of story telling in the African tradition. She shared how important the Bible story of Philip and the eunuch from Ethiopia was to the first African Americans captured in slavery.
"They passed this story on, 'If you ever get in trouble, you can call on this person named Jesus," she said.
In a time of physical and spiritual captivity, the slaves sang, "Come by Here, My Lord, Come by Here."
Williams then led the audience in singing the old Negro spiritual.
"You are not just filling a space here," Williams said. "There is hope because of the students at OBU."