Selma must unite to solve its issuesPublished 5:12pm Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Selma needs to build a wall, but not a physical wall. Instead, Selma residents need to build a unifying wall that keeps out corruption in our community.
The wall concept isn’t my own idea, but rather the centerpiece of Rev. Otis Dion Culliver’s sermon at Tabernacle Baptist Church Tuesday night.
My visit to Tabernacle Baptist Church was entirely different than any church service I’ve attended. Raised Catholic, I’m used to a steady routine of standing, sitting and kneeling.
Tabernacle Baptist Church’s service was enjoyable. I experienced something completely foreign.
Culliver is a charismatic man and a fantastic speaker. He delivered his message well.
One point in his “wall” sermon is particularly relevant in Selma, “government officials can only do so much.” He said for a real change to occur, the community needs to unite.
It’s not just African Americans and it’s not just whites, Culliver said. Religious affliation is also irrelevant. The community means everyone — black, white, brown, blue, green, Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist and Scientologist.
Culliver invoked the Selma to Montgomery marches as proof a united community can accomplish great things. But instead of making a difference, some Selma residents are jobless and not taking adequate care of his or her child, he said.
“Our babies are having babies,” Culliver said. “How are they supposed to take care of another human being when they can’t even take care of themselves?”
Culliver is certainly not the only minister telling his congregation to be better human beings, but hopefully his message sticks.
Selma, like any other city, has problems. Some roads could be maintained better, downtown Selma isn’t yet a bustling hub of entertainment and nearly 20 percent of our population lives below the poverty line, but our elected leaders cannot take on these massive challenges alone.
Government officials need the help of residents.
There are more than 130 churches in Dallas County. Perhaps churches can, and should, be a unifying institution in our community.
Regardless of how Selma residents organize themselves, Selma could use some improvement and government can’t do it all.
Find something you’re passionate about. Join a civic organization. Attend a public meeting.
Being involved and informed is the first step in helping make a change in the world around you.