Service marks freedom decree

YOUNGSTOWN – The Rev. Dr. Robin Woodberry stressed the importance of honoring the good work of the people who laid the foundations, by making a positive change in the present, and continuing to make a difference in the future.

Woodberry, an assistant pastor at New Bethel Baptist Church and first vice president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance Youngstown and Vicinity, led the libation portion of the Emancipation Proclamation and Installation Service Tuesday morning.

The service, “The Gracious Favor of Almighty God,” was held at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Arlington Street in Youngstown in observance of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln by executive order proclaimed all those enslaved in Confederate territory to be forever free.

The Tuesday morning service was sponsored by IMA. The Rev. Dr. Lewis W. Macklin II, IMA president, presided over the service, which attracted about 200 people. The event featured prayer, Scripture readings, music, an emancipation dramatization and a message by Ohio Sen. Nina Turner.

Macklin said that it’s important to remember that true freedom comes from God.

“Let us not forget that, as we observe this great day in our history,” he said.