Farrakhan dedicates church in Tchula

Nation of Islam leader tells crowd they are God’s house
The Clarion-Ledger, Nov. 4, 2002
By Riva Brown

TCHULA — The real church is not a building made of stone and wood, it is within the hearts of those who believe in God, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said Sunday.

“Nothing in here is more valuable than you. Nothing out there is more valuable than you,” Farrakhan told about 1,000 people who attended the three-hour church dedication ceremony in cold, rainy weather. “You are the house of the living God.”

Farrakhan’s longtime friend, Eddie J. Carthan, invited him to dedicate Good Samaritan Ecumenical Church. Carthan and his wife, Shirley, are pastors.

Farrakhan said he did not think he was out of place as a Muslim dedicating a church.

“The scripture teaches he has many that are in his fold that are not necessarily of his flock,” Farrakhan said.

Farrakhan, whose speech often was punctuated by applause and ovations, said the purpose of the house of God, such as churches, mosques and temples, is to heal wounded souls by bringing people out of a Satan-ruled world into a world supposedly ruled by God.

Carthan said some Christians didn’t want to come hear a man they say preaches hate and has different beliefs.

God doesn’t look at Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics or Jehovah’s Witnesses, “he’s looking at the hearts and minds of men,” Carthan said. “Today is a new era. We must erase racism from the minds and hearts of men and women all over the world.”

Farrakhan also spoke at a youth summit and a leadership dinner for elected and church officials from around the state.

Farrakhan told at least 75 youths they are the future and are not meant to bring interference but to bring purpose.

Farrakhan mentioned the six Tchula children who died in a mobile home fire Oct. 19. No adult was home when firefighters responded about 1:30 a.m. Angela Williams, mother of three of the children, was arrested Friday on manslaughter and neglect charges.

“Those six kids had a purpose for living and a purpose for dying that was bigger than their mother and bigger than their circumstances,” Farrakhan said.

“What lesson does the law enforcement learn from prosecuting a woman who can never be prosecuted more than her own conscience?”

State Sen. Johnnie Walls and state Sen. David Jordan served as master of ceremonies in U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson’s absence.

Tchula Mayor Yvonne Brown said the small town’s garnering of such a distinguished guest is good for Tchula. The Delta town has a population of 2,300, according to the 2000 census.

David Danforth of Jackson said after the speech that Farrakhan achieved his message of uniting religions but it was at the expense of the truth.

“It is flat dishonest to use the Bible and use biblical scriptures as he does when Christianity and Islam are so antithetical to each other,” said Danforth, an Anglican who has served as pastor of Methodist churches.

Brittney Jackson, 14, of Greenville, said she enjoyed Farrakhan’s message about youths being the future.

“That really made me feel good about myself as a child,” Jackson said. “I will tell my friends don’t waste their life on nothing that is not with God.”


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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday November 7, 2002.
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