You probably had never heard of Sanford, Fla., before the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, a young black man, one year ago today. On Tuesday all the major media are in Sanford covering the “anniversary,” and I attended a meeting of mostly pastors with city officials and law enforcement including the U.S. Justice Department. Reason: They are concerned about protest rallies not only this week but when this goes to trial soon.
You may remember that we did a documentary called Sanford: The Untold Story, which we are re-airing this week showing how pastors and other Christians tried to bring healing through the love of Jesus after this tragedy. It was a story not told by the secular press.
Because it’s the anniversary, we’re airing it again in the Orlando area on SuperChannel 55 Tuesday night at 9:30 and Wednesday at 9 p.m. In addition we bought time on the LeSea network and it will air Tuesday night on WHMB Indianapolis at 9:30 and Wednesday on WHME South Bend at 10. (All these times are Eastern time zone). It will air Wednesday on KWHB Tulsa at 12:30 p.m. CST and in Honolulu on KWHE at 2 p.m. (Hawaiian time).It will also be on on Saturday on WHT/FETV DirecTV, ATT Uverse at 1 p.m. EST; Sunday on WHNO in New Orleans at 1:30pm CST and at 11:30 a.m. Mountain time on KWHS in Denver/Colorado Springs.
The easiest way to watch if you don’t live in these areas is on YouTube by going to sanforddocumentary.com. It’s only 30 minutes and I believe you’ll find it’s gripping. And it’s a call for those who love Jesus to take a lead to end racism in our country.
Martin's death happened only 2.3 miles from my office. I heard about it on the local news. It seemed like so many tragic deaths that are reported almost daily. But because some believed his death was the result of racism, it exploded a few weeks later in the national news when Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton held huge rallies calling for justice.
Because I’ve lived in this area for more than 30 years I knew racism is just below the surface in Sanford. So when Bishop Harry Jackson of High Impact Ministries and Raleigh Washington of PromiseKeepers were in town last spring and wanted to help, we called a meeting of local pastors to see what could be done.
There’s a lot more I can say about what I’ve done to try to bring healing. We’ve gotten pastors involved in an effort to help the poor called “Love Sanford.” We brought in Alveda King, the niece of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., to speak at our annual prayer breakfast earlier this month. She brought a message of love and reconciliation as she told her own story and that of her famous father, the Rev. A.D. King, and her uncle.
We also had a public showing of this documentary attended by many of the local leaders. We wanted them to see that concerned Christians are trying to make a difference. And I’ve attended with friends most of the leading African-American churches in our area. Again, just to show an interest and form relationships.
If you’re interested I’ve written about this numerous times and you can click on these links to read those columns. As you’re able help us send out these articles on social media.