March 9, 2016
For Immediate Release
|The Rev. Bernard Crayton, senior pastor of Little Flock Missionary Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., speaking about not quitting at Campbellsville University chapel. (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)|
By Drew Tucker, marketing and media relations coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “We can’t quit,” was the message the Rev. Bernard Crayton, senior pastor of Little Flock Missionary Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., gave to those in attendance at Campbellsville University’s Black History Month Chapel service on Feb. 24.
Quoting from Jeremiah 20:7-9 in the Holy Bible, Crayton spoke of Jeremiah’s writings to God, saying that Jeremiah had become a laughingstock of the town because he spoke out for what was right. Crayton said even though Jeremiah wanted to quit, he could not.
Crayton spoke of Wilma Rudolph, who was born with polio and had to wear leg braces and go through therapy for several years to straighten out her legs. In 1960, she won three gold medals at the Olympic Games in Rome.
“Why did she do that?” Crayton asked. “She did it because she could not quit.”
Crayton said he thinks about people not quitting when obstacles were put in front of them during this month, Black History Month.
“We stand on the shoulders of many black people who have worked hard, sweated, bled and died [so] that people who are of color could have it better,” he said.
He said he feels we live in a time when so many people feel like quitting, whether it be quitting on your family, job, schoolwork, church or God. He asked if we have gotten to that point.
In today’s world, he said, we still see injustice, racism and prejudice, and that it is quickly becoming the normal way of life once again. Even politicians are saying it’s alright to show injustice, prejudice and racism, he said, and that he find’s it odd that they are saying ‘we need to take this country back.’
“Doesn’t this country belong to all of us?” he said. “No longer can we just sit around and do nothing.”
He said if a section of the country is chanting ‘we are going to take our country back,’ “We need to chant even louder, ‘the country belongs to all of us!’”
During this month, Crayton said he reflects on the contributions made by African-Americans for this country, and that this country would not be where it is today without them.
He said African-Americans were brought to this country against their will, living in slavery. At the end of slavery, he said, they worked hard to making a living and worked for little-to-nothing for payment.
“With little-to-nothing,” he said, “they tried to build schools, so that their children might have an education. With nothing, they tried to build churches, so they might be able to worship a true and living God freely.”
Thanking God, Crayton said his church in Louisville was started in 1867 by recently freed slaves.
He said he stopped by Campbellsville University to say, “We must not quit. None of us. We’ve come too far to quit. We’ve fought long and hard for civil rights during the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, fighting and working and praying for a better life, and there’s still much to do.”
He said we all stand on the shoulders of great African-Americans who have done great things for this country, such as Dorothy Height who was the president of the National Council of Negro Women; Congressman John Lewis, who led over 600 marchers across the bridge in Selma, Ala.; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was a pastor and leader of the Civil Rights Movement; Hosea Williams, who helped King and fed the hungry; A. Philip Randolph, who started the first African-American union; Ray Wilkins, director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and Whitney Young, director of the National Urban League.
During the 1960s is when Crayton grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and he said during that time he felt so much hatred in the air, and so many people were killed because of it.
“We cannot quit,” he said. “Love must prevail.”
He said Jeremiah wanted to quit, but could not, and we cannot either, even when the job is hard. Jeremiah spoke God’s Word boldly and no one wanted to listen to him. He said some people today don’t want to listen to God and want to do it their own way.
“College can be tough, work can be hard, family can be hard, life can be hard sometimes, but God didn’t bring us this far to leave us behind,” Crayton said.
He said we cannot quit even when it seems as thought everyone is against us. He said people wanted to destroy Jeremiah with lies, even his family.
“Sometimes you’ll feel alone when you’re trying to stand for what’s right,” Crayton said, “but you must not quit – you must continue to stand for what the Lord calls you to stand for.”
Crayton said we have to look back at history to understand where we are headed. He said with what’s going on in today’s country he has to call on God and share with everyone that we must pray even harder to God so he will move in this land.
“God said, ‘I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you,’” Crayton said. “We cannot quit, even when it seems like everybody is against you.”
He said we cannot quit even when it seems we have all of the excuses to quit. When everybody all around you is quitting and when everybody is doing better than you – when you feel tired, weary and worn, you cannot quit.
“We must continue to hold up the bloodstained banner of God,” he said.
When a stonecutter tries to break a rock and cannot break it after 100 times, but does so at 101, it wasn’t just the 101st blow that cut the rock, it was all of ones before, Crayton said.
Jerimiah blamed God for sharing His word and all he received back was insults. He wanted to quit, but God’s words were a burning in his bones, and he could not quit.
“We must have that same motivation,” Crayton said, “just as Jeremiah did. If you love God, you must have that same burning desire to go on. You cannot quit.”
He asked those in attendance to tell those around them that they cannot quit.
In 2001, a woman went to work in New York City. In the taxi on the way to work one morning, she noticed blood on her blouse and found out her nose was bleeding. She told her coworkers to go on and she was going home to change. This was on Sept. 11, the day of the World Trade Center attacks, and she and her coworkers worked on one of the floors. The blood had saved her.
“The reason why we cannot quit is because His blood has saved us,” Crayton said. “We cannot quit because He lives today. We cannot quit because we must stand up for what’s right.”
Dr. John Chowning, executive assistant to the president of CU for government, community and constituent relations, introduced Crayton.
Dr. Donna Hedgepath, vice president for academic affairs, gave the invocation.
The Rev. Ed Pavy, campus minister, welcomed everyone and gave out announcements for the week.
Drew O’Neal, a student from Campbellsville, played the special and prelude music.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering over 80 programs of study including 24 master’s degrees, seven postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.