Valentine’s Day began at Cleveland Street Missionary Baptist Church, 608 Cleveland Street, as they hosted a Prayer Brunch for members, friends and the community.
Just as many other ‘prayer breakfasts’ and brunches, the program consisted of a sequence of song selections, a prayer and speaker. Following opening songs, there was a scripture reading, a welcome and a hearty brunch. The series began as each speaker gave their own perspectives on the theme ‘The Power of Prayer and Love.’
The selected speakers included a minister, a layman and a pastor.
From the book of Luke 22:31-32, Min. Jacqueline Merritt began by explaining the nature of love.
“Love is an action word,” Merritt said.
She was quite clear on the importance of expressing love to those who have great issues such as Peter who had, e.g., “a faith issue, a ‘foot-in-the-mouth issue and a temper.” She noted that Jesus was always dealing with Peter even until the end, but Jesus’ love never failed and in the end Peter’s love never failed either.
From the perspective of a layman, 5th District Councilman Scott Davis shared that “being a babe in Christ, still on milk,” there is a great respect for those that chastise (out of love) and those that pray for others (out of love) and the combination of the two—saying “prayer combined with love gives us forgiveness.” He asked the question, “How do I get them to love me every second Tuesday?”
Davis said that after a while that “when they kick me in my butt, they love me.” Giving a “thank you for the prayers,” Davis said: “I get it why God says to pray for your enemy, because after a while you forgive them. Prayer plus love equals forgiveness.”
‘From the Cradle to the Cross’ was the message wrapped up by the pastor in the triad of speakers. Rev. Charles Howse reminded the audience of the different types of love: ‘storge’ or motherly love; ‘phileo’ or brotherly love; ‘eros’ or the Valentine’s Day kind of love; and ‘agape’ or Godly love.
“Had not Jesus been born in a barn, we may not have been able to identify with him and God’s love for us,” said Howse.
“However, we do have the agape love of Jesus because that love is all about the lover, Jesus—we don’t deserve it. He reminded everyone that pray is not a list of requests and a part of prayer is listening because prayer will change circumstances.
“Anytime you mix prayer and love together…”
Other singers and participants on the program included: Rev. Patrick Sorrell, Charlie McCain, Cassandra Savely, Rev. Morris Lee, Deacon Doyle Brooks, Patty Sorrell, Deacon Robert Mayers, Jacqueline Yokley, Deacon Garfield Nicholson, Mary Thomas, Charles McMillion and Chlora Nicholson.
Cleveland Street Missionary Baptist Church is located at 608 Cleveland Street where the pastor is Rev. Dr. Donald Snead.