July 18, 2013
LAWT News Service
Nashville, TN – July 14, 2013 -- This morning, Pastors around the country were compelled to shift the atmosphere of anger, disbelief and shock over the Trayvon Martin verdict. Leaders of faith were faced with the bold task of maintaining peace and unity amidst obvious angst.
Great guidance and wisdom came from Bishop Joseph Walker, the recent Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Presiding Bishop Elect, who also pastors the 28,000 member Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville, TN.
Walker delivered an impassioned statement to help focus the congregation’s obvious dismay regarding last evening's 'not guilty' verdict.
"The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:26, ‘Be angry, but do not sin and do not let the sun go down on your wrath.’ No matter what side you are on, we cannot skirt over real anger. There are people who stereotype and make assumptions about African Americans. This cynicism still exists today and is a blatant wake up call. Race is a real issue, and we cannot ignore it, especially in the church. It's more important now than ever to know our history! Learn about Medgar Evers, Emmitt Till and the many others in our historic legacy. It could've been you walking home from the store.”
Walker, who is an advocate for community involvement and effecting positive change, challenged his congregation and an international viewing audience to, “Take the anger you might be feeling and connect it to advocacy. Get involved in the community! Teach your children about civil rights and the Civil Rights Movement.”
“And please, don't let the sun go down on your wrath. Everybody who doesn’t have your skin color is not your enemy, and everyone that does have your skin color is not your friend. This is not the time to look at people in distain. We are all brothers and sisters. Let's rise up as the Kingdom of God - get involved and pray. At the end of the day, whatever side you fall on you cannot always trust the judgment of man, but there is a Judge who will have the last say. My thoughts and prayers are certainly with Trayvon Martin's parents and family."
About Bishop Joseph Walker, III: Noted as one of the most educated and influential leaders in the ministerial community, Bishop Walker, born in Shreveport, LA, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern University, a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He is the author of eight books, including the current top selling title, Becoming A Couple of Destiny. Bishop Walker also serves as the Bishop of Senior Pastors within the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International. Walker is married to the former Dr. Stephaine Hale. She is the Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neonatology at Vanderbilt University and they have one beautiful daughter, Jovanni Willow Walker.