Committee prays for Selma, Dallas County

Published 8:53 pm Monday, April 9, 2018

Adam Dodson | The Selma Times-Journal

Family and friends alike gathered inside the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church to commence prayers for different facets of the city, and also took time to remember the legacy left behind by civil rights giant, F.D. Reese.

The annual Nehemiah Builders Breakfast is hosted by the Selma-Dallas County Emancipation Proclamation Committee, an organization committed to keeping the ideals of the Emancipation Proclamation alive through the advancement of African-American society.

This program not only promotes community bonding time, but also works to raise money toward a scholarship going to one of the three colleges located in Selma-Dallas County: Selma University, Wallace Community College Selma and Concordia College Alabama.

“We need to make sure we do all we can to help the young people in this community,” committee member Maggie Lee Peterson said. “Not everyone can make it, but they still send checks to support our local colleges. It is vital in this community because education is the key.

The event is filled with multiple guest speakers, including pastors, public officials and community icons. The prayers were delegated for each individual speaker to present about a specific topic.

Topics the leaders prayed over included a prayer for Dallas County, economic expansion, educational advancement, children, homes and social justice.

However, with the passing of F.D. Reese Thursday, the program adapted to some last-minutes changes to remember and honor the man who had given back to Selma his entire life.

“His life speaks for itself. He was his own man,” pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, James Perkins, said. “We are struggling this morning, but we will see him again.”

The Emancipation Proclamation Committee has existed for generations, dating back to when R.B. Hudson served as the first president over the group.

Decades later, the committee is still dedicated to bringing people together for good causes. While helping out young adults and enjoying a large breakfast are very appealing, former committee president Dr. Verdell Lett-Dawson says that there are other benefits the committee and the breakfast provides to society.

“We are trying to connect our history with the present, while preparing for the future. It is important to know your history, because if you don’t, then you don’t know where you can go,” Lett-Dawson said. “All of us are built on the shoulders of somebody else. Our parents, our great-grandparents, they might not all have been formally educated. But, they always believed and valued education. So, we definitely want to keep that going and push that forward.”

In order to raise money for the event, the group sold tickets and also took donations.

The attendees for the breakfast were treated to eggs, bacon, grits, juice and more, which Peterson called “the best in the city.”

It is not known if the group has anything special planned to benefit Concordia College Alabama, which is permanently closing its doors at the end of the semester.

However, Peterson says she wants to find a way to show their support.