GREAT FALLS — On Sunday after the Super Bowl, we showed you how some African-American community leaders in Great Falls hope that this Black History Month can spark meaningful conversations not just in February, but throughout the year. But a lot of organizations in Great Falls aren’t just celebrating Black History through their words – but also with their actions.
“We haven’t done a lot in the past because there have been other churches that have taken up the mantle,” said Living Grace Church Pastor Andre Murphy, who admitted things would be noticeably different this year due to COVID-19. “I think of Mount Olive, I think of, well, Providence used to always have something and we just kind of partnered with them and did things. I think of the (Air Force) Base, and so not trying to reinvent the wheel, we would just go and partner with them.”
This year, partnering with other local organizations and gathering in large groups will mostly be substituted for individual events, though the partnerships can still be seen, even if they’re virtual. Living Grace is working to partner with local schools to share a presentation titled “At the Table with Dr. King”, an audiovisual presentation that typically would travel all over the country during a normal year. One of the people behind the presentation, Creative Director Dave LeMieux, has given the church a chance to share the presentation with the community, according to Murphy.
“On the 15th of February at 6:30, we’re going to play it here at the church,” he explained. “We’re going to invite some other pastors and some people from the school district to come out and look at it and see if it’s something that they want to incorporate in their curriculum for Black History Month.” The church typically hosts livestream events on its Facebook page at LivingWordMinistriesGreatFalls.
Alexander Temple Church of God in Christ is partnering with Mercy Ships, which provides humanitarian aid like surgeries, mental health assistance, and more to people around the world who otherwise might not be able to afford it. According to their website, this year the organization will launch its newest member of the fleet, the Global Mercy, to join its current ship, the Africa Mercy.
“COVID has actually caused not just the church, but all of the world to kind of step back and rebrand and restructure how we do things,” said Alexander Temple Church of God in Christ Pastor, Marcus Collins. “So, in our efforts to restructure and celebrate Black History Month, what we’re doing is our annual Gospel Explosion Concert, but we’re doing it virtually. In lieu of doing it just simply locally here, since we’re using technology, we’re going to have participants from various parts of the world. From The Philippines, from Jamaica, from Germany, from Africa….”
That event, which will take place on February 21 at 6:00 P.M. via the church’s YouTube live stream, is being billed as a “Global Charity Event” that will raise money for Mercy Ships through CashApp, PayPal, or donations mailed to the church. More information is available at atworshiptemple.com/global-gospel-explosion.
Great Falls College-MSU will also have a Black History Month display in Weaver Library through the end of the month, though the library is still only open to faculty, staff, and students due to COVID.
Is your organization hosting a Black History Month event? Let us know! Send us an email about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.