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Pastor's Blog

Publish Date: January 30, 2013  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

In the Groove

In the Groove

Many of you may not be aware that my undergraduate degree is in Music Education. After graduating from the best school in Savannah, Savannah High, I found myself at Columbus College, now Columbus State University, on a full music scholarship to play Bassoon in the Wind Ensemble and the College Orchestra. However, it was my piano skills and church experiences that allowed me to serve as pianist for the Jazz Band and Musical Theatre Department.

It was this encounter that I was first introduced to the term "In the Groove." The heart of the Jazz Ensemble is the rhythm section (the drummer, bass player and pianist) and we were often reminded of our task to keep the band moving. Our director would constantly remind us that we must find the groove and stay there. The drummer was to rush a little, the bass player was to lay back and my job on keyboards was to hang out in the middle and keep it all together. That is what we were taught as being "in the groove." I must confess, there were times when it seems as though we entered a higher state of musical consciousness and the three man rhythm section played as one.  Our ability to find the groove made the horn sections, soloists and vocals just that much better. Everyone benefited when we found the groove and stayed there.

I don't get the opportunity to do much playing outside of church anymore, but I try to find my groove and stay there. Let me explain, I surround myself with positive people that have something to bring to the table. People that love God and are willing to work with me to be all that God has ordained me to be. In my inner circle, you will find my drummer that has the job to rush a little bit. These people keep me challenged and motivated to work. I must have my bass player that drags just a little. These are those that keep me grounded so I won't forget what I am to do.  It is this mixture of the right positive people that helps me find my groove. Remember, when I am in the groove the whole band, church, family and community can and will benefit.

Surround yourself with the right people and you too can find your groove. The danger of this, you may have to let some people (dead weight) go!

C. MeGill Brown

 


 



Publish Date: January 24, 2013  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

N-Word

N-Word

Before I begin, I am well aware of what the scripture dictates about the power of the tongue and how words can sometimes cut deeper than the sharpest knife.  However, I am troubled by the fact that we have allowed the N-word to hold us hostage.  This word that is laced with so much hatred, anger and demoralizing context has somehow become more than a word.

I too am offended when I hear individuals use this word, however it is nothing more than a word.  I am equally saddened when I hear the F-bomb and my beautiful black women referred to as "hoes" and "witches".  What angers me even more is when I hear politicians use words like welfare, entitlements and government handouts in a dehumanizing way, when referring to those in need.  This makes me mad, not the  juvenile lyrics of a rap song.

So what am I saying, black folks need to get over it.  Nigger is just a word and it has no magical power, nor does it define who I am, or whose I am.   If anything, I pray we can educate our young brothers to use their creative juices in more productive ways than succumbing to the stereotypes of modern media.  We don't need to have a funeral for this word, and we need to stop getting up in arms when it is used.  It is just a word.  Let us change how we see ourselves, and it will not matter what people call you.  A great man once told me, "It doesn't matter what people call you, all that matters is what you answer to."  It is just a word, let it go and it will go away.

C. MeGill Brown

 


 



Publish Date: January 14, 2013  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

The King is Dead!

The King is Dead

Not too long ago I watched part of a documentary on ABC Television which traced the history of the Royal Family - the House of Windsor.  In that program they recounted the passing away of King George VI. In 1952, the sad word went forth from London . . . “THE KING IS DEAD”.

King George VI had died in his sleep at the age of 56. He was somewhat of a private man, in comparison with others who’ve held the throne, but he was greatly respected and admired. His reign had carried him through the rigors of World War 2, the election of a socialist government, and the dissolution of much of the British Empire. His tired heart gave way. All across Britain, people flocked to churches to worship, to pray, and to seek comfort and hope.

In 1963, another shocking word was sent out across the world: “The President is dead”.

It was unbelievable. JOHN F. KENNEDY, young, vibrant and dynamic, was cut down by an assassin’s bullet - a nation was plunged into grief. People flocked into churches in the greatest numbers since the announcement of the end of World War 2. Ministers changed their sermon texts and preached messages of healing and hope to the people of America.


And still on April 4, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated by a sniper as he stood on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, TN. News of his death was greeted with an outpouring of grief and rage. Riots erupted all over the country, primarily in black urban areas.

At least 110 cities experienced violence and destruction in the next few days, resulting in roughly $50 million in damage. Of the 39 people who died, 34 were black. The worst riots were in Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Over 22,000 federal troops and 34,000 national guard were sent to aid local police -- the largest ever called to deal with domestic civil disturbance.

In many cities the devastation was so great that it left a permanent scar, which is still evident decades later. But even in the midst of all the violence, most African Americans found themselves in God's House praying for peace and the slain leader.


We shall never forget, Happy Birthday, Dr. King!

C.MeGill Brown

 


 



Publish Date: January 13, 2013  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

New Year’s Resolution

 

New Year’s Resolution
 
Many of us will be making promises for the New Year that we have probably already broken.  Yet and still we continue to make these useless resolutions as if this great change has taken place between December 31st and January 1st .  We do realize the same distance of time can be found between any two days of the year. 
 
So let me suggest the following, your New Year’s Resolution should be, not to make a New Year’s Resolution.  Instead, you should try to systematically improve the quality of life for yourself, your family, and your community.  You should live each day with a simple goal of “paying it forward”.  Some of you may not be familiar with the concept of “paying it forward”, but it is really simple and very effective.  God uses individuals to bless you, and therefore it stands to reason that he would use you to bless others.  When someone buys you a cup of coffee, the concept of paying it forward, tells you to buy lunch for a friend.  It is an even greater blessing if you buy a meal for someone in need. 
 
It is a much more achievable resolution if you would only spend each new day considering others and not always concerned with your personal needs or agenda only.  Your time will be better spent feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, or visiting the sick rather than trying to lose twenty pounds.  Mission work is the latest craze in exercise.  Remember this, the more you give the better you feel, and in your time of need God will plant someone ready to “pay it forward”.
 
C. MeGill Brown
 


 



Publish Date: January 13, 2013  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Black Friday

Black Friday

Someone said to me, "Loan me some money, I want to go shopping on Black Friday." Giving to a friend or family member in need has never been a problem, but why would you want to be indebted to me for something that is not a need, but a want. Then I realized, this is what most people do with their credit cards. They create a debt that can be avoided simply because they have fallen victim to the hype of a commercialized holiday season.

Thanksgiving has nothing to do with the spirit of gratitude and thanks for all that God has provided. I have never been a fan of the Pilgrims and that whole eat, drink and be merry with the Native Americans. The true American history tells a story of a people that killed, enslaved and abused other races to get what they wanted. So I don't find it surprising that this holiday of Thanksgiving is nothing more than another opportunity to feed the greed of corporations and people alike.

What is even more disappointing, is the fact that we are willing to harm our fellow man just because advertisers dangled shiny objects before us. Two people were shot in Florida, a handgun was brandished in Texas, and a Target store in Colorado was used for some high-risk target practice on Black Friday. This mayhem began on Friday afternoon in Tallahassee, Florida when local news reported that two people, a black male and a black female, were shot in a Wal-Mart parking lot in an apparent dispute over a parking space.

There are those who would say, "Brown that's not fair, what's wrong with shopping and getting good deals?" To that I say, "Nothing if you are being a good steward over what God has entrusted you with."  That also means feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and visiting the sick........ "You know the rest!"

Black Friday was truly a black eye on the spirit of all humanity and I pray we take a good look at what we have accepted as the new normal behavior. If you got money that's just burning a whole in your pocket, let me suggest making a donation to the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum.


C. MeGill Brown
 


 



Publish Date: November 10, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

The Brother in the White House

" The “Brother” in the White House

Congratulations to the 44th President of these United States, Barack Obama on your re-election for a second term.  Great job Mr. President!

Now that we have the brother back in the White House are we ready to live up to our end of the bargain? I pray black folk would not spend the next four years the same way we spent the last.  I too celebrated on Tuesday night, but come Wednesday morning, I realized quickly the celebration had to end and it’s time to get back to work.  As I have stated on several occasions, the accomplishments of this president, will be viewed by historians as some of the greatest in the modern era.  And I truly believe I can look forward to more of the same during his second term. 

Here is the problem, during his first term President Obama gave us the Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare”, but making sure that all Americans are able to receive affordable healthcare, does no good if we don’t live more responsibly.  Just because we have Obamacare, that does not mean you can keep smoking, practice poor eating habits and drink gin as fast as they make it.  By the way, when did black folks start drinking vodka?

All of the possibilities that sit on the desk of the president, means nothing if we don’t take control of the reality of our streets.  The president’s pen can’t stop our people from shooting one another at the fair.  He cannot legislate the stoppage of young brothers and sisters peddling recreational drugs throughout our community.  The Secret Service cannot stop that young brother from breaking into your house and stealing the stuff you work hard to obtain. 

I can’t even blame Chief Lovett, Al Scott, Commission Chair, nor Edna Jackson, Mayor for what ails our city.  Yes, they can put more police on the street, but until we get control our own people, nothing will change.  I am glad the Brother is back for 4 more, I just pray those he is trying to lead will follow.

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: October 29, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Empowered Faith

Empowered Faith

James 2.14-17 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  
 
This has been a very long and trying campaign season.  I like most of you, have seen my fair share of political ads, commentaries, and polls.  November 6th is less than a week away, and I have just one additional piece of advice.  I truly believe that a second Obama term is not only needed, but will go a long way in advancing equality for all Americans.  The accomplishments of his first term are nothing short of miraculous, considering the open and blatant oppositions from the other political party.  It amazes me that individuals have publicly stated that they have worked against anything this President proposed, and yet these same individuals are quick to suggest there is lack of leadership with his Presidency.  Could you imagine an individual starting a fire and then blame the fire department for the burn? 
 
 So this is what I need you to do, starting today we need to take charge of our future.  Faith without works is dead, and I need us to become a working people.  My faith in God has led me to believe that this President will do even greater things in his second term, but if I don’t get to work and meet him half way, it’s for not.  I cannot sit back and celebrate his re-election, but I must work to ensure that we take full advantage of every opportunity that will be presented in the next four years. 
 
Lives can be changed, the poor can be uplifted and the disenfranchised can now have a seat at the table, but it is going to take more than an election to make this happen. 
 
When you get off your knees from prayer, get to work and change a life! My faith is now empowered!

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: October 22, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Chess Not Checkers

Chess Not Checkers

We are two weeks away, from what I truly believe is one of the most important elections in my lifetime. Not just on a national scale, but the stakes are very high here in Chatham County.

I do not believe that it is a secret to anyone, that I am supporting President Obama’s reelection efforts. When I ride through the streets of Savannah I do not see the political signs supporting our President but that does not concern me. What I do find troubling, is the fact that we are looking at this election as a game of checkers and not chess.

Let me explain, in checkers all the pieces are of equal value unless they are crowned. All the pieces move the same way and they are subject to the same limitations. Chess, on the other hand, the pieces are not equal and each piece moves under a different set of restrictions.

The goal in checkers is to capture all your opponents’ pieces however; the goal in chess is to capture your opponents King and protect yours. In your quest to protect the King all pieces are subject to be sacrificed and the “Pawn” is often the first to be offered. The pawn is the most numerous and the weakest piece in the chess game and therefore, anyone trying to protect their King will freely sacrifice their pawns.

In this election, people of color and the poor are nothing more than pawns in this political game. Politicians bragging about wanting to appeal programs that are designed to help those in need for no other reason than to stir up their base. They do not hide the fact that there is a segment of our population that they do not care about. Understand, to them we are just pawns and their goal is to protect their King and win back the White House. 

I would love to tell you that we are all on equal footing and our voices are heard no matter what social, political, or economic station we find ourselves; however if we do not vote you are truly nothing more than an expendable pawn in these United States.  Let me spell it out, you don’t matter.  They are more concerned with a growing deficit than whether or not you have food on your table.  Early voting has already begun, general election November 6th.

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: October 15, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

The Impossible Dream

“The Impossible Dream”

One of my favorite musical is the “Man of la Mancha” which features the principal song, "The Impossible Dream.” Jailed during the Spanish Inquisition for offending the church, author Miguel de Cervantes is forced to act out one of his manuscripts for the entertainment of fellow inmates. There he tells the story of Don Quixote, the chivalrous knight whose choice to see life as it should be, not as it is, takes him into battles with an imaginary foe. Don Quixote, in his insanity, was able to see beauty in the mist of a chaotic world.

I too, choose to see the world as it should be rather than the reality that hits me in the face on a daily basis. I watch the neighborhood kids around the church walk to school and in my mind I imagine the great things they will accomplish. I imagine them coming from loving homes, where both parents are there and engaged in their children’s lives. I imagine them going into a classroom where their teacher is excited about educating all children and ensuring they have the fundamentals that are needed to succeed in society.

I see a world where the churches, on every corner, are concerned about the welfare of humanity as a whole and not building little individual kingdoms. I see a place where the hungry is fed, the naked is clothed and the sick is visited.

Just like Don Quixote, I am awaken with a heavy dose of crime, violence, hate, selfishness and irresponsibility. These are the words that fueled his insanity to see this world as it should be, not as it is:

“To dream the impossible dream. To fight the unbeatable foe. To bear with unbearable sorrow. To run where the brave dare not go. To right the unrightable wrong. To love pure and chaste from afar. To try when your arms are too weary. To reach the unreachable star.

This is my quest, to follow that star. No matter how hopeless, no matter how far. To fight for the right, without question or pause. To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause.

And the world will be better for this: That one man, scorned and covered with scars, Still strove, with his last ounce of courage, To reach the unreachable star ...”


C. MeGill Brown

 


 



Publish Date: October 5, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Generation Next


Generation Next

I just celebrated my 43rd birthday and I had a heavy dose of reality.  For so long, I have been known as a good, energetic, young preacher.  For years, I have had older ministers speak of the days full of promise that lies ahead and encourage me to enjoy this moment, for one day it will all be a distant memory.  Anyone who knows me will tell you I have never been a fan of birthdays, and getting old has always been an issue for me.

As I witness more rising and settings of the sun I have grown to understand, as I age my role in life has to change.   No longer can I wear the emblem of “Boy Wonder” and try to do everything myself.  For time has taught me that it is ok to ask others for help. 

Please don’t laugh at the revelation that I am about to confess, I truly just realized that there is a generation coming behind me to pick up the mantle, and take us to the next level.  Don’t misunderstand me, at 43, I am not ready to be placed in a home, or in somebody’s grave.  What excites me is the promise that there is a younger, faster, smarter, energetic young preacher out there just waiting to build on the foundation that I have laid.  I realized that anything that I may have accomplished at Second Baptist is only because I was building on what Rev. Edgar Perry Quarterman and James Cantrell left me. 

Even in my home life I watch my son grow everyday, along with the accomplishments of my nieces and nephews and the only thing I can do is smile for I know that the next generation of the Brown family is ready to take us to a new level.   My oldest niece Atricia is a Florida State Graduate working on her MBA.  Her younger sister Alexis is an Alabama University graduate now interning with the Atlanta Hawks.  And my twin, my nephew James, is a Morehouse graduate pursuing a hostile takeover of Bank of America.  Really, I don’t mind getting old because I know that Generation Next is ready to take over. The task left for me is to make sure they have a strong foundation to build on.
 
C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: September 25, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Down Ballot

“Down Ballot”

As we work our way towards November 6, there are a few things I need to bring to your remembrance. First, the voter registration deadline is October 9 and early voting begins October 15. Furthermore, please make sure you are up to date on Georgia Voter Identification requirements. To have your questions answered you may call 1-877-725-9797 or visit www.GaPhotoID.com.

If you are a fan of MSNBC or any of the other cable news networks, over the past several weeks you have heard them refer to voting down ballot. Down ballot is not a new term in the political arena, however it is so important that we bring it to light here in Chatham County. We are so excited, as we should be, about the re-election of President Obama for a second term, but too many of us go to the polls and vote for the top of the ticket only. It is important that we vote for the entire ticket, remembering that the state and local elections effect us just as much as who is sitting in the White House.

We need to be concerned about who is sitting at the chair of the Chatham County Commission. I need you to be concerned about who is occupying the District Attorney’s office and who is wearing the badge of Chatham County Sheriff. I live in the sixth district and I am concerned about who will be my Chatham County Commissioner. I would love to talk about the Congressional Races but as an old man once told me, “son we don’t have a dog in that fight.”

When I go to the polls on November 6 this is what I’m going to do, I will first cast my vote for President Obama. Then I will vote down ballot and cast my vote for the Public Service Commissioner and Lesli Messinger for the 1st Congressional District. I must cast a vote for State Senator Lester Jackson (he is running unopposed) and then Larry Chisholm for District Attorney.  At this point I will just be getting started, I will cast my vote for Tawana Garrett for Clerk of Superior Court and McArthur Holmes for Sheriff. Almost there, just a little more, I need to vote for Al Scott, County Commission Chair and then Willie E. Brown for County Commissioner District 6. Finally, before I get to the polls I will have read through all of the proposed amendments so I won’t be stuck with the task of trying to figure out what they’re saying and hold up the next voter.

So there you have it, this is what I am doing on November 6. I am voting “Down Ballot.” Email me your thoughts at pastorbrown@secondafrican.org. I would love to see your “Down Ballot.”

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: September 15, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

I Told You So!

I Told You So!

“But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12.48

During my formative years, I always hated when someone said, I told you so whenever I was not able to complete a task or a challenge.  Growing up on the streets of Savannah, my peers and I would challenge one another as amateur daredevils.  Whenever we attempted an idiotic task, such as jumping over the front of a car, there is always that one person who would stand over your bruise and bloody exterior, and recite these four famous words, “I told you so!”  Unfortunately, as I grew up, I realized there are people in my personal and professional life that are just waiting for my demise that they too might declare, “I told you so!” 

Keeping this in mind, I am disappointed when people of color are given the opportunity to excel and then do not take full advantage of their positions.  In this country, that I love, we have come a long way, but there are still folks who have not gotten the stench of Jim Crow out of their hearts.  Whenever an African American achieves corporate or political success, there are those waiting for you to mess up so they can be the first to say, “I told you so!”

How can we be so careless, don’t we realize that everyone is watching every move we make? We must make sure we cross every T and dot every I, understanding our actions will be judged on a higher standard. It is not fair, but it is our reality.  We must also realize that there are individuals, who stuck their necks out that you might have the opportunity that you now possess.  Furthermore, your success or failure dictates whether or not another person of color will be given the same opportunity that was given to you.  You may say, why should the fate of my people rest on my success or failure?  Again, I say this is our reality, live with it.  

Remember the words of Luke, “to whom much is given, much is required.”

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: September 11, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

I Am Better Off

I Am Better Off

I have committed the past two weeks of my life fully engaged in the conventions of both political parties.  I have watched the RNC in Tampa, Florida tell me how bad I have it here in America.  I listened as they painted a picture of doom and gloom with no end or relief in sight, I said to my wife Adrienne, “I was not aware we had it so bad.” 

The very next week, as if I am living in a parallel universe, I watched the DNC in Charlotte, North Carolina express all the accomplishments that have been made in the past few years. Both parties presented their arguments to the question, “Are we better off four years later?”  It would be impossible for me to answer this question effectively. 

Every individual in this country has a story to tell, and every story is different.  Your accomplishments, your successes, your failures, your shortcomings and your overall wellbeing, hinge on more than who is sitting in the White House.  It is so easy to point the finger of blame when I have not been a good steward of that in which I have been entrusted. 

I will be the first to admit the government does play a role in the wellbeing of a citizen, however President Obama is not responsible for getting you out of bed, making your kids do their homework, and controlling how you spend your money.  There has to be a point in the African American community where we are willing to take responsibility for our actions.  Before we begin to blame this, or any administration for the troubles in the black community, I challenge us to take a hard look at that reality tool called a mirror. 

We elected an African American in 2008, but we did not stop being ghetto.  We are still playing the games of hustling, getting by, trying to beat the system, or whatever you may call it.  The facts still remain our conditions will never change until we change them.  So to the original question, “Are we better off four years later?”  My response is a resounding yes.

Thank you Mr. President, but all glory goes to God who has given me the strength not to settle.

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: September 4, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Think on These Things

Think on These Things

Philippians 4.8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Last week I spoke about my belief, that God anoints people to get on my last nerve for the sole purpose, of keeping me focused and honest.  It is so important to remember that trials come to make me strong, but I cannot be consumed with the negativity of the world.  I am often amazed that Christians, those who trust and believe in God, allow the insignificant things to get us down. 

If you have never taken my advise before, please take it now; “Get Over It.”  Stop asking the question of “Lord, why me?”  And face the reality of why not you?  We must learn to distinguish the difference between “drama and trauma.”  Drama can best be defined as those things that we face on a daily basis that have nothing to do with my spiritual, mental, social, psychological and financial well-being.  Put it this way, some people just like it messy, that’s drama.  On the other hand, trauma is those events that change our lives forever.  In 1998, I lost my forty-year-old sister in an automobile accident.  My family has pressed forward, but we will never be the same, that’s trauma. 

So look at the scripture and take it to heart, “if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: August 27, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Walking in Your Anointing

Walking in Your Anointing

I am convinced that God has anointed people to get on my last nerve. Please understand, this is not my attempt to be cute but I truly believe that there are those anointed to bring grief and strife in my life.

Let me explain, in biblical times when God told Israel to press forward the Bible teaches that He also hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Let me put it another way, God told Israel to move forward, and at the same time He told Pharaoh to go get them. This may appear to be a bit strange, but God knew that if Pharaoh was not chasing them, Israel would be stuck someplace between Egypt and the Red Sea. Not only did God have to get them out of Egypt, but He also had to get Egypt out of them. “Pharaoh go get them, so that they will have to press and trust Me!”

In your life, that coworker that starts something every morning, that family member that only calls when they need money but other than that, you don’t hear from them, or that person that’s trying to take your husband or your wife, these folks are anointed. Pastors, that Deacon that has a problem with everything, he’s anointed. I don’t have time to list all of the anointed folks in your life, but you know who they are. Remember, God has put them in your life to make you work, to make you pray and to make you trust Him.

So I say to all the haters out there, keep on hating and walk in your anointing!

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: August 10, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

The Baby and the Bath Water

The Baby and the Bath Water

Before I begin this week, I want to take a moment to let the Tribune readers know how much I enjoy your feedback.  Many of the comments I received I find to be very enlightening because my only agenda is to create dialogue.  It is good to know that there are a great number of you that are concerned with the issues that face our community, both local and national.  

In last week’s entry, I expressed my concern with the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Community and their fight with Chik fil-A.  I mentioned President Obama’s endorsement of same sex marriages, and a number of individuals suggested I was being hypocritical.  One writer wrote, “you endorsed the President, but yet you questioned his support of same sex marriages.”  

There are a couple of things we need to remember:  1.) President Obama is the President of the United States and I commend him for his willingness to take a stand of equality for all people.  Remember, he knew that a large part of what is known as “his base” includes African American church folk that do not agree with same sex marriages.  The Commander in Chief did not take a religious stance, but a constitutional one.  All men are created equal, or at least that’s what it says.

2.) Just because I am a fan of this President, does not mean I will abandon my faith and my God.  There is no question that the Bible teaches God constituted marriage between one man and one woman.  I love what President Obama has done with the Affordable Care Act, the change of immigration when it comes to my brothers and sisters from Haiti, and the numerous legislative programs instituted under his presidency.  I truly believe history will tell a story of a great president.  

So my stand is not hypocritical, it only reflects the complexity of life.  I remember hearing my elders say, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” and for me to alienate this President because we disagree on this issue, would be doing just that.  I trust that we will come together in November and not let individual differences separate us from our goal. Second Baptist doesn’t agree with everything I say or do and yet they did not throw me out with the baptism water.

C. MeGill Brown 


 



Publish Date: August 3, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Emotional Break

Emotional Break
 
For the past seven days, I have been in the middle of an emotional whirlwind trying to deal with the reality we live in.  There were two events this past week that made me angry, confused, upset, proud and disappointed all at the same time.  At one point, I was so bad, that a good friend of mine suggested that I ask my doctor to give me a pill so I can calm down.  I assure you I am not on any medication, but I do need your help coming to terms with the following.
 
Apparently, I missed something when it comes to the LGBT community and their fight with Chick-fil-A. I know with the President’s endorsement of same sex marriages, the LGBT community is on high alert to ensure that their agenda is heard.  S. Truett Cathy, founder and chairman of Chick-fil-A was quoted as saying, “I see no conflict between biblical principles and good business practice. Corporate America needs faith in something more than the bottom line.” This is the same man that closes his restaurants on Sunday because he believes that we ought to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exodus 20.8)” Do you realize how much profit is being forfeited because he is committed to his belief? I can remember many days after service I wanted a chicken sandwich with Polynesian sauce, don’t act like it’s just me.
 
Please explain why we are upset that his faith, as do mine, teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman only.  After much research, I could not find anything discriminatory in his statements or actions.  Mr. Cathy simply stated his belief that he does not agree with gay marriages.  I am not surprised that gay activists would respond, but I don’t understand why local mayors and government agencies would attack a corporation because of the owner’s faith.  To the church community I ask, are we next?

The second event that really contributed to my emotional demise was the gold medal of Gabriel “Gabby” Douglas.  Not since the rise of Dominique Dawes have I been so engaged in women gymnastics, and then to have this sixteen year old win the team and individual gold medals, my heart exploded with pride and joy.  It wasn’t until I read the story about the sacrifices this family made that Gabby might reach this status as best in the world, that I truly appreciated her accomplishment.  I was proud to be an American and even prouder to be an African American. You go girl! 
 
Before the ink was dry on Friday morning’s USA Today, black people began to publicly criticize Miss Douglas about her hair.  REALLY! Have we lost our last mind?  Is this what we’ve come to?  I get mad just thinking about it.  On behalf of Miss Gabriel Douglas and all the overachievers everywhere, maybe if you spent less time on your hair and more time developing your craft, somebody other than Keisha would know your name.  Now talk about that the next time you are in the beauty salon under the dryer!
 C. MeGill Brown  
 


 



Publish Date: July 30, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage occurs when innocent targets are damaged during a larger attack.  My last two entries, narrated the constant battle we have in our community with the new structure of the family.  We have talked about baby daddies and mamas and their constant struggle to make non-traditional relationships work.  I could not end this conversation without addressing the true victims in this battle, the children.

Children do not have the luxury of picking and choosing what families, what race, or the economic or social status of which they are born.  Some may say they are true victims of a random game of human roulette when it comes to their parents.  I, on the other hand, believe that God will hold us all accountable for those that he put under our care, especially our children.  They are born into this world as empty pitchers waiting to be filled with all the love, knowledge and support mommy and daddy can give.  We need to remember the greatest asset that we have, are our children, and we must invest all of our time, efforts and energy to ensure that they can take advantage of every opportunity that’s presented to them.  Even those opportunities that were not presented to us; a good parent will ensure their children’s generation can climb higher mountains and reach loftier goals.

So my final chastisement is this, I don’t care how mad you get at your baby’s father, neither am I concerned with how your children’s mother works your last nerve, its not about you.  Using the words of Yolanda Adams, “What about the children?”  So remember, when you do mean, malicious, and evil things to your child’s mother or father it’s the collateral damage, the innocent victims, that suffers the most.

C. MeGill Brown

 


 



Publish Date: July 20, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

A Letter to My Brothers

A Letter to My Brothers
 
My last entry entitled, “A Bad Copy” chronicles my attempt to explain the phenomenon known as baby daddies.  I was not surprised when a number of individuals expressed their anger and pure hostility towards the content in the article. Let me remind you, I speak in general terms, and in no way am I addressing circumstances surrounding a particular individual’s life.  How would I know?  One thing can be said, “The truth hurts!”

Most of the brothers I heard from spoke of an angry and even hostile mother of their children, AKA “baby mamas.”  Overwhelmingly, I heard from men that suggest they want to be involved in their children’s lives, but they just can’t deal with the baby mama drama.  These brothers illustrated a life full of heartache, anger, confusion and in one descriptive narrative, pure evil.  The complaint is not taking care of one’s child, but having to deal with unruly mothers. 

So to my brothers, dealing with baby mama drama let me suggest the following:  whenever we do anything out of the order in which God intended, we are subject to chaos.  For a baby boy that is born, God has a plan and a process for his life.  First he becomes a son, and then he grows up to be a man.  While in manhood he is to become a husband and then, and only then, a father. 

I need my young brothers to understand you cannot skip the step of husband and expect the relationship to be in order.  This is why your children’s mother appears to be angry.  She needs a father for her children, but she also needs a man (husband) in her life.  I am often complimented on the amount of time I spend with my son, however that is not enough to bring joy to my wife.   It is when we spend time together as a family, and when we spend time alone that completes our relationship. 

I understand you may not be in a relationship with your children’s mother, but it truly bothers her that you are romancing your new lady while she is taking care of your children.  There is another problem with this kind of relationship; brothers are so quick to get territorial when another guy is hanging around your children and their mother.  Remember fellas you can’t have it both ways, I would be angry too.

One final thought, you have to be man enough to take care of your children and strong enough to let somebody else take care of her.  Lesson learned!

C. MeGill Brown
 


 



Publish Date: July 9, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

A Bad Copy

A Bad Copy

Anyone who has ever used a copier machine understands, that their copy is never as good as the original.  To compound the problem, if you have a bad original, your copy is going to be even worse.  We have made great technological advancements over the years, but a copy is still a copy.

I am convinced this is what has happened in our community over the past twenty years, we have made copies of bad behavior.  Before you get to upset with me, hear me out.  Back in the day granddaddy had two families, the one he lived with and the one he visited.  Grandma as well as the whole community knew that granddaddy had another family on the other side of town.  We never really publicly accepted this behavior, however the fact that we allow it to continue is an even greater form of acceptance.  Grandma would always say, “Baby, a man will be a man!”

So here we are years later living with a generation who has copied this bad behavior.  As I stated earlier, a copy is never as good as the original and a bad original makes a worse copy.  So instead of granddaddy having two families, he is somewhat supporting, we now have baby daddies.  I speak of the men who drop babies all over town and never live up to their responsibilities as men and fathers.   Just like granddaddy, we have never publicly accepted this behavior, but our silence speaks volumes. 

So to all my baby daddies out there, I am sick of filling in the gap for you.  The mere fact that you don’t care, love and nurture your children as a father should, the rest of us are left to take up the slack.  That’s right, it’s the pastors, the church, community leaders, civic organizations, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the list goes on and on, of individuals raising the children you truly don’t love.  For I believe, if you truly love your children you would give them your all, and then some.  To the brothers that are holding it down, I’m not talking to you. There is nothing worse than a bad copy!

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: June 29, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Summertime

Summertime
 
“Summertime, an the livin' is easy, Fish are jumpin' an the cotton is high”; that is the first line from one of my favorite songs. Whenever we think of summer, food, fun and relaxation comes to mind. The kids are out of school and those that can afford it, take vacations. Have you tried to get three people into Disney World lately?

Here is an alternative for your summer activities that will extend past the three hottest months of the year: Reinvest in your children! Often times our children spend most of their days in a summer camp, or at the local youth center that have very little long-term benefits. The time spent with their peers can be a good thing; however, spending quality time with mom and dad is even better. I understand in most cases both parents work, but I hope we all realize that our children are our greatest assists.

Not only do we need to foster that bond that can never be broken, but also spending this time with your children gives you the opportunity to work on those skills needed to succeed. If your child had trouble with math this past academic year then that would be a wonderful summer project you can do together. Most schools have summer reading requirements, here’s another activity the family can do! The public library is still free and open to the public.

So I pray that your child’s crowning achievement this summer, is not a new high score on their X-Box or Wii, but that my parents improved my reading skills and spent the summer with me.

“One of these morn-in’s  You're goin’ to rise up sing-in’  Then you'll spread yo wings  an you'll take the sky  But till that morn-in’  There's a noth-in’ can harm you With Daddy an’ Mammy stand-in by.” (Summertime - George Gershwin)

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: June 29, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Ignore the Man Behind the Curtain

Ignore the Man Behind the Curtain

On last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act better known as Obamacare.  The chief justice of the court in his opinion, stated, that this piece of legislation “is” in fact constitutional.  But really, the constitutionality of health care reform was never in question.  This was simply a case of Ignore the Man behind the Curtain

Let me explain, in the original Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and Toto was promised that if they found the “Great Wizard” all of their problems would be solved.  When they finally reached the wizard they entered into a place with great pageantry and deception, but it wasn’t until Toto pulled the curtain and revealed the man behind, pulling strings.  In one last act of desperation, he tells them to ignore the man behind the curtain and only see what I want you to see. 

Well my brothers and sisters, this is what the Republican Party has been doing to us for the past 3 ½ years.  They have been trying to paint a picture full of doom and gloom, smoking mirrors and a lot of misinformation hoping we will “ignore the man behind the curtain”.  There are some that have “drank the Kool-Aid” and believe that this President is the worst thing that has ever happened to America.

So come November our choice is very clear.  It is not Republican or Democrat, it is not black or white, neither is it Conservative or Liberal.  What we face in November is a choice of whether we care about our fellow man, or not.  One candidate presented programs designed to help the least, the lost, the left out and the disenfranchised.  On the other hand, his opponent made a vow to repeal said programs despite the millions of Americans that have been struggling with the rising cost and corruption of the Healthcare System. 

I wouldn’t dare try to tell you who to vote for, but if you ever plan to go see a doctor or, God forbid, get sick; I hope that you are smart enough to vote your best interest.  You may be one who doesn’t mind your insurance company dropping you due to a pre-existing condition, or having a cap put on your coverage because of a lifelong illness, then your choice is simple as well.  Just remember, don’t be fooled by the man behind the curtain.  I am Pastor C. MeGill Brown and I approve this message.

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: June 18, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Vote Black

Vote Black

Recently, I read a commentary in a local newspaper, that shall remain nameless, questioning the integrity of the “black vote.”  This individual questioned whether or not people of color would support a candidate just because of their skin tone.  He went on to suggest not only do we make uninformed decisions, but individuals are elected because they are on the same ballot as a popular black candidate.  In layman’s terms, this individual had the “audacity” to convict us for voting black.   

To my uninformed colleague let me suggest the following, African Americans do not vote against their own best interests.  I was amazed during the 2008 Presidential Election, when an individual on cable television proclaimed that he could never support then Candidate Obama, because Obama supports entitlement programs.  This individual’s statement is not surprising, but what astonished me, is the fact that this same vocal voter is an unemployed person receiving disability benefits.  By the RNC definition, disability is an entitlement program.

Because of our rich history, black folks have graduated from “the institution of common sense”.  I am not suggesting that just because an individual looks like me, he or she share my same values and beliefs.  What I am suggesting, if we continue to vote our best interests, a majority of those candidates happen to be people of color.  

The most insulting thing in the aforementioned article is the suggestion that the black candidates are not qualified.  Such a generalization, about African Americans seeking election or re-election, suggests to me that you would not vote for him or her just because they are black.

So when we go to the polls in November, I encourage you to not only vote your best interest, but vote for the candidate that is best qualified to lead. If your choice happens to be a person of color, so be it. Republicans don’t have a problem voting only Republican; this is true for Democrats also. Don’t be afraid to “Vote Black.”

  C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: May 28, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Hostage, A Meeting of the Minds

Hostage – A Meeting of the Minds

It may be apparent by now that I have the tendency to focus on problems that I feel we hold the key to their solutions.  I have been accused of self-hatred, but be well assured that I am motivated by my love for my people.  Why should I look for someone else to unlock the door when I am in possession of the keys? 

For the past several weeks we have been addressing the issues of drug activity that plagues our community and make our people feel as if they are hostages in their own homes.  You have heard enough from me; now let me hear from you.  We will be having a community meeting on Monday, June 18th, 6 pm at Thankful Missionary Baptist Church, 820 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., where Rev. Paul A. Sheppard is pastor. 

Our goal on the 18th is to create an environment, absent from the media and police, that we may have an open and honest dialogue of the troubles that plague our lives.  I know in the past you may feel as if your one voice doesn’t matter, but let me assure you if we come together as one community it will be impossible for anyone to ignore us.

I am not suggesting that elected officials, or those with the desire to hold an elected office not attend, however this is not designed to be a political rally for anyone’s campaign.  I think we all have learned by now that a candidate will promise you the world, but once elected those promises become just another constituent concern. 

Special thanks to Pastor Sheppard and the Thankful Missionary Baptist Church Family, for hosting this “Meeting of the Minds” on June 18th at 6pm.  An old church mother once told me, “Don’t complain about what’s on the table if you didn’t spend any time in the kitchen!”  See you in the kitchen on the 18th.
 
 C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: May 21, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Hostage, the Power of Fear

Hostage, the Power of Fear
 
On last week I wrote about the ever-growing problem of drug activity invading our neighborhood and holding its residents hostage. I received a number of responses from individuals with unbelievable stories of criminal activities that plague their communities. One would think that this kind of activity could not be ignored but there is a greater problem that allows criminals to roam free, FEAR.
Fear is a powerful tool that is a greater deterrent than any gun. Residents are so fearful of what could happen to them, their families and even their homes; they are forced to look the other way. That is the power of fear.

The slave master used the power of fear to control the slave. One man on a horse with a shotgun controlled hundreds of slaves in one field. It wasn’t the fear of the one man on the horse that kept the slave in line; it was the fear of the institution of slavery and what it represented, that generated that kind of control. A field of slaves could have, and in many cases did, over take the watchman on his horse. It was the stories of lynching and the power of the whip that held my people at bay. Thanks be to God, hostage to a slave master was not our prominent assignment.

What is the lesson here? There is strength in numbers and we can together overcome the spirit of fear. You need to know that there are more black people doing what’s right than those in the game. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1.7)

Keep emailing me your information and we will set up a plan of attack so that we can free the hostages.
 
C. MeGill Brown
 


 



Publish Date: May 11, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Hostage

Hostage
 
Whenever we think about the word “hostage” the first thing that comes to mind is some journalist in a foreign country being held by an evil dictator, or some radical extremist group.  But I want to take a moment and shed the light on a new kind of hostage, right here in our city.  There are seniors that are afraid to leave their homes because of the recreational drug activity that plagues their doorsteps.  Can you imagine being trapped in the one place we have always been taught is safe (home), and now finding yourself a prisoner because of the fear of stray bullets, robberies, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time?
 
This problem is not limited to just our seniors, for there are mothers that can’t allow their children to play outside because drug dealers have opened shop on their block.  Is this a problem for the police department, or is there more we can do as a community of people? 

If you permit me to do so, I recommend the following: it would take a balance of continued support from our local law enforcements, and intense involvement from our church and community.  Drugs are limited to the same retail challenges as everything else, “supply and demand.”  Together we have to make it very uncomfortable for the pusher to work his entrepreneur skills on our corners.
 
Imagine if Metro Police along with five Pastors and their congregations, and the members of an infected neighborhood hit the corners during the major distribution times?  How long would it take for those dealers to realize I need to find a new corner?  The dope man will find a new piece of real estate, and then we will run him from that corner as well. 
 
It is only when we are unified and consistent in our approach, that we can regain control of our streets.  I pray this appeal is not taken as just vain words, but we are committed to bring about change.  Give me a call, or drop me an email so we can identify these trouble areas and free these hostages.  We will not negotiate with terrorists neither foreign, nor domestic.
 
C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: May 6, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Released (Class of 2012)

Released (Class of 2012)

            This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Commencement Exercises of Albany State University with the family of one of my members. Bishop Victor L. Powell of the Rhema Word Cathedral in Albany was programed to do the Invocation and Benediction. The reason I write about Bishop Powell, whom I have never met, is because both of his prayers had a theme of “Released.” He prayed that God would bless those that were about to be released into the world, released into their chosen fields and released to change all humanity. The Bishop continued, “after four years of focused commitment, today is a day of graduation and releasing of all newly obtained skills and abilities.” Even his prayer of Benediction spoke of a releasing of family and friends to support and encourage the new graduates in their life travels.
 
            On my drive home, the words of Bishop Powell accompanied me and caused me to think. Yes, graduation is a releasing of our best and a new beginning full of promises. Releasing of a new generation of talents and skills into a world that needs new ideas. So I say to the Class of 2012, “Go get it!” This is your time so seize the moment. Change the world for the better and leave your mark. Not only am I watching, but also there is a whole generation counting on you to prepare the way for their releasing. Just like Bishop Powell prayed, this is “your time of releasing.” 
 
            In closing, congratulations to Ms. Jasmine Nicole Kirkland, 2012 Graduate of Albany State University, Bachelor’s Degree Social Work, Cum Laude.

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: April 28, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Outraged

Outraged

I must confess that I too was outraged when I learned that a self appointed, vigilante neighborhood watch captain named George Zimmerman shot an unarmed black teenager named Trayvon Martin.  I was even more troubled, when I learned that the Sandford Police Department did not follow their own guidelines in handling this fatal shooting.  I applaud Trayvon’s parents for screaming and shouting and talking to anyone that would listen in their quest to gain justice for their child.  Outraged we all should be. 

This is what I don’t get, we marched, we protested, and we held news conferences when a non-black man shoots and kills a black teenager, but when a black man shoots another black man on a more consistent basis, we say nothing.  Equally surprising, we got up in arms when Geraldo Rivera made an idiotic comment on FOX News about “Hoodies” that sprung a well-organized, spontaneous protest throughout this country.  Preachers and even Congressmen robed themselves in hoodies to dispel a statement that has no bearing on the plight of people of color. We are not even consistent in our outrage towards injustice. Take a moment and read the story of Stephon Watts, a 15 year-old autistic youth, from a community outside of Chicago.

It does not matter to me who pulled the trigger; all I know is there are an extremely large number of black men dying on our streets everyday. One may argue this is a result of the drug activity that plagues our neighborhoods, but that should be just cause for even more outrage. I wish I only had to worry about the George Zimmerman’s of the world, but the fact of the matter is, we are more of a danger to ourselves. If you don’t believe me, ask the family of the two black men, one was 18 and the other 23 that were shot and left to die on our streets last week. There is no doubt that those that look like us committed one of these murders. I ask, where is the outrage?

I don’t expect the cable news stations to cover these types of stories because their bottom line is advertisement dollars. Blacks killing blacks on a daily basis doesn’t generate sponsors, unless Nike figures out a way to spin this to sell more shoes.

So what do we have to look forward to, just another trial that’s going to feed our obsession with reality television?  No different than O.J. , Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson, Chandra Levy, and Casey Anthony.  Now we will just add the Zimmerman trial to the list.  Please be outraged that George shot Trayvon, but I also need you to be equally, if not more, vigilant when Tyrone shoots Darrell or Lil’ Man shoots Mike Mike.

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: April 21, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Remember the Names

Remember the Names

I am convinced that God is constantly intervening in the lives of all humanity.  If we are to truly understand what God is doing in our lives we must first understand what He has already done.  We cannot appreciate the blessings of where He is taking us, if we don’t remember where He has brought us.  We can only appreciate our history when we remember the names of those that have come before.  One of my concerns with the African American community today is that we do not remember the names.  I question whether we know the names of those who paved the way. 

Whenever black folk get together somebody ought to say, “Lets remember the names”: Phyllis Wheatley, Benjamin Banneker, Richard Allen, Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. DuBois, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Ethel Waters, Marcus Garvy, Adam Clayton Powell, and A. Philip Randolph just to name a few.

In Savannah, remember the names; George Liele, Andrew Bryan, Henry Cunningham, Ralph Mark Gilbert, William Daniels, William Franklin Stokes, Willie Gwyn, Benny R. Mitchell, Jr., W. W. Law and Curtis V. Cooper.

It is all right to talk about LeBron James, but don’t forget Wilt Chamberlain, Meadowlark Lemon, and Kareem Abdul Jabar.  Its ok to talk about Barry Bonds, but you must first remember Satchel Paige, Willie Mayes, and Hank Aaron.  Before Beyoncé there was Lena Horne.  Before Venus and Serena Williams there was Althea Gibson.  Before Trayvon Martin there was Emmett Louis Till.  When you sit down for dinner with your family tonight, take a moment and remember the names.

C. MeGill Brown


 



Publish Date: April 16, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor C. MeGill Brown

Solutions (I Want More)

Solutions (I Want More)

For the past several weeks I have been sharing with you my thoughts on various situations I am confronted with as a pastor, a father and a black man. I really enjoy reading your response emails, even if they don’t agree with me; at least I know the dialogue is taking place.  One overwhelming complaint I hear is that people such as myself always are quick to point out problems, but never offer any tangible solutions.  This is a fair criticism for too many times we do that, point the finger of blame but never offer a hand of solution.

So consider this, Romans 8.37 states, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”  I have learned that there is no place for mediocrity in my life. Not only do I expect more from myself, but also from those around me.  In my pastorate, I want more!  More from my leadership, more from my officers, and more from my parishioners. 

In my family, I want more!  More from my wife, more from my son, and more from my extended family.  From my elected officials and the community as a whole, I want more!  We have to be willing to take the bull by the horn and face some of the difficult challenges that plague our community.  We have to stop giving the shiftless a pass, and it does no good when we make excuses for bad behavior.  It is necessary to hold everyone to a higher standard of excellence and accountability.

If I am going to make such demands, it is important that I am willing to give more than what I am asking for.  Simply put, when I come to the table I will bring everything I’ve got, and I expect you to do the same.   This may not be the solution to all of our problems, but it is surely a good place to start.

C. MeGill Brown  



 



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