[Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint that was published online on August 30, 2004.]
The following are the opening words of Reverend T.L. Barrett and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan at The Life Center Church, in Chicago, Illinois on March 18, 2004.
Reverenced T.L. Barrett: God has truly smiled on me. And the reason why God has smiled on me is because I have been a faithful steward of my calling. It is not every minister who can pick up the telephone and call a Reverend Jesse Jackson and he’ll come and preach at your church, as he did on last year. He would have been here this year, but for the fact that he had to lead the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
I count it a blessing that God has blessed me to be able to generate respect from such ministers of the gospel as Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend C.L. Franklin, who was related to my father and had me to come and preach at his church in Detroit, Michigan. He came here and preached at our church before we built a new one. He acknowledged our family relationship.
God has truly smiled on me.
It’s not every minister who can travel the world with the likes of Reverend Moon and have him do something for you that he hasn’t done for anybody else, namely give me his watch off his arm after I gave him my $10 watch, because that’s how I travel.
But out of all of the luminaries and the dynamic personalities that God has blessed me to be in proximity to—both physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally—there is none that I esteem higher than my Brother, who is here with us today, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
[Loud voices of appreciation and warm applause and organ music.]
I want you to know that I’m not just saying that just as a prelude of my presenting him to you, so that you will receive him warmly. He doesn’t need that. His work has already ingratiated him to each one of us. But there is a personal debt that every member of this church owes to Minister Farrakhan, because when I was going through my darkest hour, when I was experiencing my lowest ebb, when the news media and all of the print media seemed to be in an aggregation for my agitation; when they painted a terrible picture of me. …
I’ll never forget how I went to Reverend Lucius Hall’s banquet at that time. He sat me next to a high-ranking politician, who was in the midst of eating his meal. When he saw the cameras coming, he, all of a sudden, had to excuse himself so that he wouldn’t be photographed sitting next to T.L. Barrett.
This is just one of the stories that you haven’t heard; that you don’t know about that caused me great agony and misery; when on a Sunday morning if you threw a football through this church, you wouldn’t hit too many people, if any.
It was during that period that I was sitting in my office, just needing a sign from the Lord. I said, “Lord, you know, I told you last night that, if You were too busy, I’m too much of a man to commit suicide. That’s for cowards. But I’m letting you know, if You’re busy tomorrow and you don’t get by my house, I just want you to know that it’ll be alright with me, because this burden is so heavy. I’m so alone. I feel so lonely.”
And it was at that time when a knock came on my door. And when I buzzed that door, in walked, in house shoes, Minister Louis Farrakhan.
[Louder words of appreciation and warm applause with organ music.]
He said, “I didn’t have an appointment. But you were on my heart. And without notifying anybody, I just got in my car and came over to see you, to let you know that I love you and that I’m with you. And that anything that you need from me or the Nation to get you through this period because,” he said, “Brother, God is not through with you.”
He said, “People may be through with you,”—and then he gave me that smile—”but God is not through with you, Brother, for the world has not heard the last of T.L. Barrett.”
I’ll never forget that day as long as I live. And I want you to love him because he loves me and he loves this church, and because of him I was able to stand.
Minister Louis Farrakhan.
[Even louder words of appreciation and warm applause with organ music.]
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful. We give Him praise and thanks for His goodness and His mercy to the human family. Whenever we stray from His path and lose His favor, He never punishes before He raises up someone from among that errant people, or nation, and gives that one revelation to guide that people back to His path, that they might once again receive His divine favor.
Such a man was Moses. And so we thank God for Moses and the Torah, or The Old Testament. Such a man was Jesus. We thank him for The New Testament. Such a man was Muhammad. We thank him for the Holy Qur’an.
I’m a student of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. And I could never thank Allah enough for His Coming—hearing the moaning and the groaning of a people’s suffering under the oppressive hand of a wicked slave master and his children. He didn’t send somebody. He came Himself.
As the scriptures say, “I have heard your moaning and your groaning on account of your hard task master. I think I will go down now and see whether the cry is all together that that I have heard.” And He did.
He did not forsake us. He gave us someone to lead, teach and guide us back from the wicked path that His enemy and our enemies have put us on, so that we might no longer be the tail, but the head; that the last shall be first and that the bottom rail would come to the top, because this is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our sight.
I greet you all with the greeting words of peace, we say it in the Arabic language—As-Salaam Alaikum. In Hebrew—Shalom Alaikum, and in English, Peace be unto you.
[Even louder yet words of appreciation and warm applause with organ music.]
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