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Southeastern California Conference

(Left) Barry Black, U.S. Senate Chaplain (left) and Jeffrey Miller (right), a member of the Kansas Ave. church Armed Forces committee, present J.C. Alexander, 97, with the Appreciation Award for his service during World War II, on May 25 at Kansas Ave. church. (Above) William Howe, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, remembers “fallen comrades,” men and women who have given their lives while serving in the military, during an Armed Forces Day service.

U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black Challenges Listeners to “Endure Suffering Like A Fighter” By Clarence Brown


gainst a colorful backdrop of military flags and pageantry, the Riverside Kansas Avenue church staged its 26th annual Armed Forces Day on Sabbath, May 25. Military veterans and local dignitaries were among the hundreds of worshipers, including a contingent of Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military pilots in the segregated U.S. Army Air Corps, who fought in World War II. In addition to special recognitions and patriotic music, the crowd was most anxious to listen to Barry Black, U.S. Senate chaplain, who commended the church and William Howe, Armed Forces Committee Chairman USAF LTC (ret.), for presenting “the best Armed Forces Day celebration anywhere.” Elected in 2003, Black is the Senate’s 62nd chaplain—the first African-American and first Adventist to hold this position. As a prelude to his sermon, titled “Endure Suffering Like a Fighter,” Black paid personal homage to the Tuskegee Airmen, thanking them for their



distinguished service despite having to endure the inequities and hardships of a segregated military. In his sermon, Black challenged worshipers to heed Jeremiah’s warning to prepare now for more troubling times ahead: “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5, NIV). In preparation for the end times, Black urged everyone, as “chosen soldiers of Christ,” to allow God’s Spirit to “train you in righteousness and obedience, in laying aside anything that weighs you down, and in doing all to the glory of our Commanding Officer.” One of the highlights of the service was the recognition of civilian and military honorees, including: Barry Black, Speaker Award; Eddie Jackson, Community Service Award; Ronald Stephens, retired Purple Heart Army

Barry Black, U.S. Senate Chaplain, encourages listeners to “endure suffering like a fighter” during his sermon at Kansas Ave. church on Sabbath, May 25.

veteran, Military Award; J.C. Alexander, 97, Army MSgt., Appreciation Award; and Clarice Sykes, Army Specialist, Military Award. Sykes survived a devastating accident last year that resulted in both of her legs being amputated. With prosthetics, she walked to the pulpit to accept the award from her father, Ben. “It is a privilege for us to host Armed Forces Day at Kansas Avenue,” said Ainsworth K. Morris, senior pastor. “This is our opportunity to celebrate and express our profound appreciation to both veterans and active-duty personnel for their loyalty, bravery, and sacrifice to protect our country and our freedoms.”

Pacific Union Recorder—July 2019  

A Hymn to God the Father Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun, Which was my sin, though it were done before? Wilt thou forgive that sin...

Pacific Union Recorder—July 2019  

A Hymn to God the Father Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun, Which was my sin, though it were done before? Wilt thou forgive that sin...