CLIFTON FORGE, Va. (TVR) – First Baptist Church (FBC), Clifton Forge, Va., and Come as You Are Ministries (CAYA), Clifton Forge, celebrated Black history last Sunday.
During Sunday morning service, Ettrula Moore, educator and Sunday school superintendent, gave FBC an oral history of shoebox lunches and provided each congregant with replications of the food boxes used by African Americans while traveling during segregation.
During segregation, African Americans were not allowed to go into dining cars of trains or stop at restaurants to eat while traveling so the shoebox lunch was invented.
“As soon as the train pulled out of the stations we would tear into those boxes,” said Moore of having school box lunches as she made her way back and forth to school during those days. Some of the items often packed inside the boxes were: fried chicken, ham sandwiches, chips, deviled eggs, fruit and pound cake, Moore explained.
Later in the afternoon, CAYA presented a program with the theme, “We’ve Come This Far by Faith”, after praise and worship service.
After Alfred “Mustard” Dearing Sr., bishop, finished his message, Dominique Washington welcomed the guests and gave an overview of the purpose of Black history. Former Clifton Forge Mayor Pamela Marshall gave a presentation on Black history in town, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Representative Kim Lewis spoke on the importance of the NAACP and voting rights.
Mother Jennifer Dearing followed with a presentation on the Female Hidden Figures of Clifton Forge during the 1940s–1960s and highlighted the various businesses these women owned.
Alfred “Mustard Seed” Dearing Jr. recited a poem; Evangelist Kathleen Robinson, Steve Ulmer, Johnny Smith and minister Angelia Spinner provided musical selections; and Charlene and Company provided a musical praise dance performance. Minister Julia Hubbard of Waynesboro, Virginia, brought down the house by reciting the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.
The Rev. Diane Quarles of Taking Care of Each Other Outreach Ministry closed the program with a blessing of the food and the benediction.