Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA --
Gazing into the past of battles fought and wars won, Marine Corps Base Quantico reflected back on African Americans in times of war during the 18th annual Black History Month Prayer Breakfast.
The annual prayer breakfast hosted by the Virginia Black History Month Association was held Feb. 1 at The Clubs at Quantico bringing the community together to honor the proud men and women who sacrificed their lives for equality and opportunity.
Senior Pastor Paul Graham of the Restoration Praise Center in Bowie, Maryland, was the keynote speaker.
“African Americans have always been at war, in war and are still at war,” Graham said. “And African Americans are still looking for the few and the proud that will recognize, if this nation doesn’t acknowledge where it’s going, then it will never arrive where it’s meant to be.”
Graham took the room on a vivid journey of sacrifice as he explained the current environment surrounding the war on civil rights and the battles left to fight in the name of freedom, equality and opportunity.
He reminded guests about racist organizations creating further division and oppression, brutality among immoral police officers, stricter sentencing of minorities and overpopulated prisons and the increase of drug addiction resulting from opioid trafficking.
Preaching out of Exodus, the pastor explained that all authority in heaven and earth has been placed in the hands of men and women to truly become characters of change.
“God has never let anybody be enslaved without the opportunity to be free,” Graham said. “God has planted people around the world with gifts meant to help others.”
Explaining the power behind the staff God placed in Moses’ hands–the staff provided confidence to a stuttering coward who had no will to create change among a captive nation filled with oppression.
“If you can’t change your character, change your name,” Graham said. “If you are going to be on the battlefield, you must know what [authority] is in your hands and their mustn’t be any excuse to drop your weapon in the battlefield.”
According to Graham, battles are tough because they are meant to be tough and nothing in this life is truly achieved without sacrifice.
Graham explained true sacrifice isn’t the 75 percent of water sweated away in an attempt to create change, but the 25 percent blood they are unwilling to sacrifice in the name of change.
Graham reminded the guests in attendance that God never said every battle would be won, but did promise the war has already been won.
“If God is giving you opportunity you don’t run from it.” Graham said. “Because when God is asking you to fight there are no excuses.”
Graham prayed over the base asking God to bless all people with the authority to live purposeful lives in the fight to create freedom, equality and opportunity for all people.