There is hope in new experiences

Published 8:41 pm Thursday, September 21, 2017

By JERRIA MARTIN | Drug Free Communities of Dallas County executive director 

Melodious voices jubilantly singing and screaming out in tongues and Christians joyfully dancing and rapturously running victory laps around the sanctuary, all under the blissful influence of the Holy Ghost. I remember thinking to myself, “This is definitely a new thing.”

I’ve been to some lively services before, but this was definitely a new, unique experience for me, and it came as a total shock. I was invited to serve as the emcee of the Women’s Union Conference at Freedom Baptist Church, where the guest speaker was Prophetess Nancy Brown.

I admit, going into the service, I had no idea of what to expect. I didn’t even fully understand what a prophetess was. I always thought of the title being borderline Harry Potter-ish, but after experiencing this type of service, I suppose such a title can be fitting.

In religion, a prophet is an individual who has been contacted by a divine being in order to speak on the entity’s behalf, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings from the supernatural source to other people. The message that the prophet conveys is called a prophecy.

During the service, Prophetess Nancy not only delivered an ebullient and impassioned sermon, but she spent personal time with each individual present, blessing them and prophesizing over their lives, one by one.

For some it was prosperity, for others it was a special healing or deliverance or an upcoming supernatural breakthrough in a relationship or job.

As she conducted this part of the service, folk were filled with the spirit to the point where they jumped for joy, danced a praise-filled two-step, and some even passed out right there at the altar.

I’ve seen this on television, but never in person. I had my doubts, but as I embraced this new experience with an open mind, my heart was opened and filled with joy. It was great to see people who came in desolate and struggling walking away with hope; even I was a recipient of that hope.

I guess it is with good reason that American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. believed, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

It was a fun-filled service, it was different for me, but everyone, including myself, left feeling energized and restored.

There’s plenty of new experiences waiting on you right here in Selma: a new church, a new event, a new business, a new organization to support.

Broaden your horizons, open your heart, your mind and sometimes you’ll be surprisingly blessed.

Because there is mysteriously cool, educational, and liberating hope in new experiences.

Martin can be reached at