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Brown Chapel to mark Founder’s Day

Brown Chapel AME Rev. Leodis Strong stands outside of Brown Chapel Friday afternoon. The historic church will be having it's Founder's Day celebration Feb. 16 at 10:30 a.m. (Sarah Robinson | Times-Journal)

Brown Chapel AME Rev. Leodis Strong stands outside of Brown Chapel Friday afternoon. The historic church will be having it’s Founder’s Day celebration Feb. 16 at 10:30 a.m. (Sarah Robinson | Times-Journal)

A historic Selma church is hoping to spread wisdom on the bridge between civic and spiritual responsibility at their upcoming founders day service.

Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church will host a Founders Day Celebration Feb. 16 starting at 10:30 a.m. Built in 1908, Brown Chapel AME of Selma played a vital role in the civil rights movement in Selma that lead to the passage of the 1965 voting rights act.

“The service is a part of connection between the historical roots of our denomination, African Methodist Episcopal, and its origins,” Rev. Leodis Strong said. “It will capture the historical involvement in every significant struggle for full freedom citizenship on behave of African-Americans.”

The observance day will include empowerment spiritual services with former Brown Chapel pastor Jerome Harris leading a spiritual speech at 10:30 a.m. and Pastor Farrell Duncombe of St. Paul AME Church of Montgomery leading a inspirational speech at 3 p.m.

During the morning service, three of the oldest families in the iconic church, the Marshalls, Maxeys and Perry family will be honored. Strong said Harris would discuss the triumph moments that happened during his time as pastor of the Brown Chapel AME, such as the church being added to the National Register of Historic Places. He said Harris’ ability to connect civic duties with those that are spiritual helped to better the congregation over the years.

“He did some things in the life of this congregation that brought all that together in a meaningful type of way,” Strong said. “How best to reflect upon that message, that connection, than to bring back the person who seemingly did it, and did it well?”

At the afternoon service, the church will honor local government leaders and first responders Selma Mayor George Evans, Dallas County Probate Judge Kim Ballard, Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman, Selma Chief of Police William Riley and Selma Fire Chief Michael Stokes.

Strong said Duncombe’s life embodies the message of the day.

“His personal life reflects that odyssey, that journey,” Strong said. “Having come from Selma, he has a personal perspective that is meaningful, especially as it bears upon this particular congregation.”

For information, call 874-7897.