, Staff Writer
ATLANTA–The first stop by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on his week-long visit in celebration of the 12th Anniversary of the Historic Million Man March/Holy Day of Atonement was an ecumenical clergy breakfast hosted by the Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta (CBC), Oct. 12.
Minister Farrakhan took the podium with smiles and thanked the CBC for the invitation to speak. Though some might find it unusual for a Muslim minister to address a group composed primarily of Christian clergy, it should be noted that Minister Farrakhan has a long, stellar history of speaking to clergy of all faiths with a message of guidance and direction. That message is especially needed in this particularly troubling time for religious men and women.
“Peace with our fellow man can never be obtained until we make peace with God. That peace with God allows us to endure the trials and tribulations. No prophet ever came without struggle,” Minister Farrakhan told the group. “How could we be their followers and not endure what God put them through? We have to endure what they endured.”
For the past 24 years, the Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta has served the community as an interfaith organization of clergy and laypersons. Minister Farrakhan encouraged the group, which represented religious leaders from all faith traditions, with these words, “God is making us leaders. No one can tear us down if God is the one building you up. You are very special people. God has called us out for His glory.”
Minister Farrakhan was described by CBC President Darrell Elligan as a man of integrity. “Integrity is what you do when no one is watching,” he said. “He will be remembered as one of the greatest leaders that walked the earth. Ponder the words that Almighty God Allah will give through him.”
Minister Farrakhan eloquently used references from the Holy Qur’an and the Bible as he shared with them the one characteristic that Jesus, Prophet Muhammad and the disciples were imbued with.
“We are too easily carried away with titles and positions of authority,” he said. “The greatest characteristic of Jesus was humility. Without humility there is no virtue. It is easy to get puffed up with pride. Sometimes we preach and we are happy over our preaching.”
“We miss building the character that reflects the master. We are good preachers, but not good people. Jesus said learn of me; Jesus was not boastful, he was exceedingly humble and powerful in his humility; he came to serve. We’ve never been truly taught how to serve.”
That message of humility resonated with Rev. Benford Stillmacher, Associate Social Minister of the Covenant Ministries in Decatur, Ga.
He told The Final Call, “It was a very, very educational message for me. I am one who sometimes comes across as arrogant and not so humble. I have let my aggressiveness get the best of me.”
“I learned today that I would be more effective if I was more humble. I take away from this meeting with Minister Farrakhan the teaching to become more humble.”
Rev. Elligan said those who would try to divide clergymen and other spiritual leaders are not exemplifying God’s will, and that Minister Farrakhan’s words and actions are in harmony with God’s will.
“It was a call for unity among the spiritual leaders to work together for the betterment of our people. If we don’t help ourselves, nobody else will. He is the right person at the right time to bring about world leadership in the crisis that we are in now in terms of the things that disproportionately impact our communities,” remarked Rev. Elligan. “We have to be like God; inclusive and interested in His will being done on earth, which is bringing about goodwill and peace. We don’t have a monopoly on God and whom He chooses to use.”
Ashahed M. Muhammad contributed to this report.