Zion Baptist Church

Recent Articles

Bertha Mae Johnson Smith

February 12, 1920 — April 18, 2014

Bertha Mae Johnson Smith passed away peacefully at the golden age of 94 on Good Friday, April 18, 2014. Bertha was the first African American school teacher in the Minneapolis Public School District. She was a dedicated educator and was active in her community until her health failed her. Sister Bertha Smith was born on February 12, 1920, in Des Moines, Iowa. When she was five years old, her mother died and she and her siblings were left in the temporary care of a White family before moving to North Minneapolis with her grandmother and father. Continue Reading →

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A thank-you letter to the community:

On behalf of the family of the late Richard C. Estes, thank you for all acts of kindness shown following his passing. It’s difficult to put all my thoughts into words, but I very much appreciate your kind words, deeds and gestures at a time when these things mean so much. I thank God for friends and community such as you! To my pastor, Reverend Brian C. Herron, Sr., and the congregation of Zion Baptist Church, thank you for all of the love and support shown through the years. Thank you for your prayers, calls, hospital visits, and the wonderful home-going service and luncheon. Continue Reading →

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Trayvon Martin: this generations’ Emmett Till? — Zimmerman verdict confirms broken judicial system for many Blacks

 

 

 

News Analysis

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

Organizers of Monday’s downtown rally in front of the Hennepin County Government Center estimated the peaceful crowd of all ages and ethnicities at between 3,500 and 4,000 people. “I’m supposed to be here with my people, elbow to elbow and cheek to cheek, side by side,” proclaimed local poet Tish Jones, who was among a host of speakers addressing the crowd before marching down South Sixth Street to Hennepin Avenue and returning to the Center. Another protest is scheduled for Saturday as part of a national day of protest over the Zimmerman verdict. (For more information about Monday’s demonstration, go to the MSR website at www.spokesman-recorder.com.)

Similar marches are being held all across the country. And despite last weekend’s jury verdict, the national NAACP has requested that the U.S. Justice Department resume its investigation in the Trayvon Martin murder case. Continue Reading →

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Zimmerman verdict protest rally

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff writer

 

Demonstrations took place from coast to coast since the Zimmerman acquittal was announced last Saturday. Many Blacks have strongly reacted to the news, and expressed for many, a continued disappointment in the U.S. justice system that seemingly fails for Black people, especially when they are the victims.

“The justice system is unashamedly and unapologetically racist,” believes Rev. Brian Herron, pastor of Zion Baptist Church. He spoke to the MSR before he gave a prayer to start Monday’s rally before an estimated crowd of, according to organizers, between 3,000 and 4,000 people at the Hennepin County Government Center. “When I first heard the verdict, I was very angry. I was very upset and it affected me,” notes Alyia Waddle, Minneapolis. Continue Reading →

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Black Minnesotans lobby at the State Capitol

 
Can the new ‘Black agenda’ move the community forward? 
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

There was nothing new revealed last week during the Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM) Lobby Day at the State Capitol presenting their Black agenda to this year’s Minnesota Legislature. Billed as “Black Minnesotans Helping Move Minnesota Forward,” around 50 people listened on March 19 at the Capitol Rotunda to over 20 scheduled speakers before many of them visited legislators’ offices. “The last two years there was a collective group that sat on this African American lobby day, and this place was filled,” noted Rev. Jerry McAfee, who added that the COBM “didn’t reach out to anybody else. If this is about Black Minnesotans, why are you leaving Black folk out?”

Although McAfee didn’t blame the council’s new executive director, Edward McDonald, for the seemingly solo effort in planning last week’s event, the longtime pastor nonetheless added, “Some of the people around him on the council knew about it, and they should’ve said, ‘We will be stronger if we put everybody in together.’”

McDonald was hired and assumed the COBM executive duties last October. “Whether we like them [organizations that represent Blacks] or don’t like them, every African American group should have been a part of this, and there should have been meetings prior to this so that there could [be] one agenda. Continue Reading →

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Where’s the outrage over local Black unemployment?

melreeves

 
Support HIRE’s campaign against Minnesota’s ‘economic apartheid’
 

The time for talking is past. Last year the Economic Policy Institute reported that the Black unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was as much as three and a half times that of Whites. According to their study, the worst unemployment disparity between Whites and Blacks in the entire United States exists right here in the Twin Cities metro area. The latest Labor Department job statistics reported that White unemployment was less than seven percent while Black unemployment stood at 22 percent. And since these stats are always a bit off and based on those still looking for work, it’s probably safe to assume that the unemployment rate for Black Twin Citians most likely exceeds 25 percent. Continue Reading →

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For churches, Christmas is not about the man in the red suit

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Christmas this year falls on Sunday. We talked with some of our local pastors and church leaders about their plans to celebrate the holiday and how they thought it might affect their Sunday worship. Most anticipate no change: “We’re having regular Sunday service,” says Deacon Lenora Clark of Zion Baptist Church in Minneapolis. They hope people will remember the true meaning of the holiday. “We always have our Christmas presentation every year, whether or not Christmas falls on a Sunday, in the honor of Christmas and the birth of Christ,” says Rev. Runney Patterson, Sr., pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in St. Continue Reading →

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