A celebration of black history will take place at Hope Tabernacle this Sunday, Feb. 28 at 10:30 a.m. Featured will be music by the Hope Praise Team, a performance by the Black History Praise Dancers and a message by the congregation’s pastor, Rev. Bill Teague.

If the sermon delivered by Minister Roger Sanders on Feb. 21 is any indication of the tone of the service this coming Sunday, it will focus on what the African American community needs to do by and for itself in order to move forward. With a lot of humor mixed in with his message, Sanders said that it’s messed-up thinking to ask God to get us out of the mess we got ourselves into, especially if we keep doing the same destructive things. It’s “messed up,” he said, to ask God to get your diabetes under control while you continue to eat candy.

Following food for the soul will be a soul food potluck. The buffet is expected to include corn bread, green beans, macaroni and cheese, ham hocks, red beans and rice, and sweet potatoes. After the meal, there will be games like a Black History Family Feud and paper-and-pencil activities like a word-find with terms like abolitionist, boycott, Jim Crow, sharecropper and Tubman.

All the activities are being designed to educate and inspire. 

“Because we are a predominately black congregation,” Pastor Teague explained, “it is important for us to remember and pay tribute to those who paved the way for our culture. We are proud of the roles many African Americans have played in the history of this country, and we owe it to them to keep their accomplishments alive.”

“We are not the dominant culture,” Teague’s daughter, Lattise said. “When we look at images of black people in the media, unfortunately many of them are negative. We easily forget about the people who did so much good. It’s a reminder to us and to the world that we have to look beyond negative images. We’re going to focus on the positive.”

Hope Tabernacle shares the building, located at 7416 Dixon in Forest Park, with St. Paul Thai Lutheran Church.