Underneath a red evening sun this past Tuesday, pastors, advocacy groups and community leaders gathered at Seattle’s First African Methodist Episcopal Church, (F.A.M.E.) for what was coined as the “Solidarity March for the Charleston 9”. The heart of the gathering was toboth mourn and cry out as one community against the senseless act of racial violence and hatred in Charleston, but to also impress upon the Seattle area the need to change racial, socioeconomic and cultural maladies in the region.
In a gathering rarely seen, pastors from nearly every major strata of Christendom gathered to rally and march together—these pastors represented Mainline churches, the Catholic Church, African American congregations represented by the United Black Christian Clergy and conservative Evangelical churches from the metro Seattle area. Together with the Washington Christian Leadership Council, the NAACP, SEIU, the pastors marched from Capitol Hill to the Central District’s Martin Luther King Park, shouting “Black Lives Matter”, and “Solidarity With the Charleston 9”.
Pastors preached the Gospel to the mass of over 1,000 participants, exhorting the importance of God’s love in Christ Jesus, and on “what is the purpose of our love?”—if it is not to exercise that love on behalf others. Each pastor impressed upon the crowd that God cares for and will continue to bring about change through His Church, and through the unity of caring citizens in our community.
After the initial rally at First A.M.E. and the second stop at Mt. Calvary Christian Center on 23rd & Union, the march ended at MLK park where the NAACP addressed the crowd, along with the leader of the United Black Christian Clergy, Rev. Lawrence Willis, as he asked all the pastors to gather at the front as a sign of unity in the face of hatred.
At the conclusion of the gathering, the participants were reminded of this Saturday’s town hall discussion on race, hate crimes and economics hosted at First A.M.E. at 9am.
All are invited to continue discussion and support as one Body those who are marginalized in our midst, see the info below:
Saturday, July 11th First A.M.E. (located at 1522 14th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122), 9am.
Click here on the following links to see King 5’s footage of the march, and the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog for further coverage:
– Jason Davison