By Cheryl Brown
Bishop John H. Bryant left the congregation with something to think about when he spoke at a unity meeting for the African Methodist Episcopal churches in the Inland Empire.
The meeting was the brainchild of Rev. Shermella Garrett-Egson, pastor of Allen Chapel AME in Riverside and Inland Empire Ministerial Alliance President. "I feel our area has so much to offer and many times our churches don't have an opportunity to come together in worship because everyone has their own program. The Bishops message was an opportunity for him to see us as the Inland Empire and for us to get close to him as our leader," said Egson.
The church was full and Bishop Bryant remarked that it had the feel of an Annual Conference. "For years Inland Empire residents have had to travel to other places for Annual Conference and there is a move to have one come to the area, especially since the Inland Empire is one of the fastest growing places in California," said Egson.
Bishop Bryant came to preach to his people. He wants Christians to "Take Care Of Business." He said that we shouldn't continue to use racism as crutch.
"Racism is not a car that just hits you, it hits you and backs up and hits you again and again but you need to take care of your business and make an adjustment. If you don't know what your business is pick up the Word (Bible). Look in Genesis 2 find out you are wonderfully made. Just a little lower than the angels. God expects you to become a producer, produce excellence, and produce life and wealth, that is your business. I know about racism but Black men must come back home and take care of their business. Don't suck your teeth or wag your tongue when you see a young girl with 2 and 3 babies: where are her parents? We have allowed ourselves to be bound. When strong men are bound, smart women are handicapped. Women are making an adjustment," he told the very responsive congregation.
Bishop Bryant said that when his daughter tried to walk out of the house scantly dressed he said no one attached to John Bryant was leaving the house like that. "She should be stopped. And don't tell me it is the style. Daughters don't know how to be ladies and sons don't know how to be men," he said in an indictment of lax parents. "You need to go to PTA, drop Oprah like a hot potato, and take care of your business," said Bishop Bryant.
He spoke of Jairus in the Bible as an example of a man who took care of business. When the daughter of Jairus became ill it was the father, not the mother, who went out to get her help. " And who did Jairus go to, who did he seek out? It was Jesus. His back was against the wall. He stopped and took charge. We will take care of business when we learn to call on the Lord," Bishop concluded.
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