Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

AEC Pathfinder Drum Corps

Liberty Church Organizes March and Rally

Story by LaTasha Hewitt

As antiracist protests continue throughout the nation and worldwide, the Liberty church in Windsor Mill, Md., organized a peaceful demonstration supporting black lives.

Led by Pastor Mark McCleary, Liberty church and community members spilled into the streets of Windsor Mill on July 4. Maurice Taylor, Baltimore area ministerial leader for the Allegheny East Conference (AEC), also joined the marchers.

Demonstrators chanted, “No justice, no peace,” and, “I am my brother’s keeper,” as they marched from the Liberty church grounds, around neighboring roads and back to the church grounds. Neighbors stood in their yards and shouted in solidarity with the marchers, while others honked their car horns as they drove past the demonstration.

The Baltimore County Police Department provided security and directed traffic, while church leadership arranged for trash pick-up and supplied additional safety measures as the masses moved along. The Liberty and AEC Pathfinder drum corps played a major role in leading the procession, garnering the attention of curious bystanders.

Participants expressed the importance of standing up against racism and encouraging a spirit of love as they exemplified what it meant to forge a path of peace and equality for future generations. “Christ’s mission was to stand up for the oppressed and poor and bear their hurt and sorrows. I am redeemed to walk, talk, and, like Christ, stand for justice. That is why I’m marching,” says Michelle Cox, a black church member and mother of two boys.

High school student Marcus Charles, who was part of the drum corps, also shared why marching was important to him: “As people of faith, our reason for actively taking this stand is perhaps best stated by member Edwin Juma, who helped lead the chants, ‘If not us, who? If not now, when?’”

A rally followed the march and featured church affiliates, the Baltimore County police and community civic members. Social distancing and masks were required. Attendees had the opportunity to register to vote and sign a petition for change. Members staffed health information stations at the rally to answer questions and provide the latest information on staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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