Williams’ remarks were offered during a lecture on the BC campus, February 6, as part of a series of activities scheduled by the school’s Black Student Alliance to celebrate Black History Month.
To a crowd of nearly 300 students attending the lecture, Dr. Williams shared stories of Dr. King, Rosa Parks and other well-known African Americans who made a difference in the Civil Rights Movement in America in the 1950s and ‘60s. She also spoke about the lesser-known characters of the movement who were as equally important to the cause. Even those who seemed less significant, she said, had a purpose and made a difference.
“I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel insignificant,” she told the BC students. “Sometimes I feel like I don’t make a difference, but God says He has something for each of us to do. God says He has a purpose for us all.”
A longtime minister and elder with the United Methodist Church, Dr. Williams encouraged the students to seek God’s guidance in determining their purpose in life. She also encouraged them to “leave behind the things of the past” and to “press forward” against negativity and hardship.
“We live in a world of suffering, hurt, poor, isolation and hopelessness” said Dr. Williams, pastor of John Stewart United Methodist Church in Bluefield, West Virginia, and a commissioned elder in the West Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. “We are constantly bombarded with negativity and discouragement. But, I challenge you to press on, to keep your eye on the prize, to press toward your goals. Nothing rewarding comes easy.”
In addition to Dr. Williams’ lecture on February 6, Bluefield College students celebrated Black History Month with a series of movies paying tribute to African Americans, including the Civil War drama “Glory” on February 1 and “Selma, Lord Selma,” a recreation of the civil rights activities in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, on February 8.
The students also took part in a TV sitcom night, February 7, and a “Soul Food” dinner, February 13. They visited Mount Zion Baptist Church in Bluefield, joining that congregation in worship, February 10, and will join, the FaithCenter Church in Bluefield for worship on February 24.
The students will also celebrate African Americans’ contributions to music and literature with a 1990s throwback dance, Friday, February 15 from 9 p.m. to midnight in the SAC, and a jazz show and poetry reading, Thursday, February 28 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the SAC.
Other activities scheduled for the remainder of the month to commemorate the history and culture of African Americans include a lecture with local attorney James Palmer, Wednesday, February 20 at 10 a.m. in Harman Chapel; a black history trivia contest during halftime of the men’s basketball game, Thursday, February 21 at 8 p.m. in the Dome Gymnasium; a Family Feud game show contest, Friday, February 22 at 8 p.m. in the SAC; and a lecture with pastor Milton Johnson, Wednesday, February 27 at 10 a.m. in Harman Chapel.
A BC STUDENT PRAISE GROUP OFFERS MUSIC FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH.