Strong church community is a strength for Selma

Published 8:28 pm Thursday, February 27, 2014

I wish I could remember who said it. I’d love to give them credit because in its humor was a whole lot of truth.

During the discussion of an approval of a liquor license for a Selma establishment quite some time ago, a member of the Selma City Council — or a member of the audience – said how could be the license be approved since it was the establishment was so close to a church. Someone in the area then jokingly said, “you can’t fall down in Selma without hitting a church.”

Based on the number of churches that call Selma home, there is a whole lot of truth in that shot at humor.

Selma and Dallas County are beyond blessed to have the strong church families that call this area home. There are not many streets — or street corners for that matter — that don’t have a church within view.

In February 1999, when the Times-Journal unveiled a redesigned appearance of the newspaper, editors at the time paid homage to the number of churches within the city limits by incorporating a number of the iconic church steeples in the newspaper’s flag.

All of this goes to say that the city of Selma has at its disposal a force unlike many cities of similar size.

When we face a problem as a community, a challenge that needs to be overcome, we often fall back on our foundation of faith.

A few years ago, Selma Mayor George Evans attempted to unite many of the area churches into a committee of action that could address many of the ills facing our city.

That effort met with limited success, but it was an effort that should be applauded and encouraged.

Recently, the church families at First Baptist Church and Elkdale Baptist Church met to discuss how they could come together and help Selma. A just last weekend, Mt. Ararat Missionary Baptist Church hosted a community meeting with Evans, District Attorney Michael Jackson and other community leaders to begin a discussion on how to make positive changes within Selma.

In one way or another, we all have stories about the power of prayer, the peace that comes through faith, and it’s important that we come together — regardless of denomination or religion — to commit to making Selma better.

We all know Selma has its issues, its problems, some of which we feel are far bigger than we can ever solve ourselves. But, the last time we checked, there wasn’t anything beyond the reach of God and nothing that cannot be helped through prayer.

It’s time we call on our churches — all of them — to make a difference in Selma and Dallas County. You never know what we can accomplish until we try to accomplish it together.