To create a place where groups can meet, plan, address, and communicate specific strategies to develop economic, social and health initiatives within our community. The Legacy Community Action Center will provide a place to create a continuous historical archive of Shrine 9’s memorabilia. This mission will embrace members, both past and present that have contributed to the legacy of Black Theology and its positive frameworks for building strong communities.
Why a Legacy Center:
During the 1960’s many religious leaders sharply criticized the methods and advances claimed by the Civil Rights Movement. By far, the most vocal Christian minister advocating a more radical approach toward obtaining civil rights was Rev. Albert Cleage, Jr.
In 1967, Cleage unveiled an 18-foot Black Madonna and renamed Central Congregational to the Shrine of the Black Madonna. In 1968, following a year of radical unrest in Detroit, Cleage publishe, “The Black Messiah”, which detailed his vision of Jesus as a Black revolutionary leader. In 1972, he published “Black Christian Nationalism” and inaugurated the Black Christian Nationalist Movement as a separate denomination. The name was later changed to the Pan-African Orthodox Christian Church (PAOCC) and Cleage changed his own name to Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman, meaning, “liberator, holy man, savior of the nation” in Swahili.
LEST WE FORGET
The Legacy Community Action Center was born out of the efforts of Support Group 5, members of Shrine 9. According to founding member, Brother Tacuma Hill, the project grew out of the group’s commitment to the restoration of Shrine 9’s former youth center. He says, “While we were simply cleaning out the debris from what was once the youth center, we discovered tons of valuable information. We found pictures, audio and video tapes and other documents of our history. This transformed our mission from restoration to maintaining the legacy of all those who have ever walked down the aisles of the Shrines of the Black Madonna.
Support Group 5 has also documented the restoration process which began with two rooms filled with “junk” or seemingly unsalvageable materials which were first sorted through and then cleared out. Walls and floors were cleaned, repaired and refurbished. Furniture was purchased with donations from church members. What you see now, in the new Legacy Community Action Center is a two-year effort of not only restoring the former youth center, but also of identifying, sorting, saving and creating historical documentation of Shrine 9. While we still have more to do, we are now functional and excited to honor the various legacies of the church. The first one being the Legacy of The Holy Order of The Maccabees.
The Legacy Center is more than a trip down memory lane. The goal is for the center to serve as a research hub for both students of theology and community activism. If you desire insight into what it takes to define, build and maintain effective leadership for the black community and its religious organizations, this will be the place. The impact of Black Christian Nationalism on the lives of its past and current members over the years will now be accessible to future generations, inside and outside of our church community. This preservation effort gives value to our story. Honoring the ideas, concepts, brilliance, commitment, sacrifices and love of those who have paved the way before us, simply enforces that their contributions did and still does matter.
Usage: A prime objective of The Legacy Community Action Center is to “pass the baton”. We plan to provide a place for our Young Adult Group to launch their Community Action Agenda. A new generation of Black Christian Nationalists will now have meeting and planning space to attack the negatives and create some positives for the Black Community. Eventually, the center will be opened to neighborhood groups and associations seeking an inspiring space to meet and come closer together to define and defend our quality of life.
Restoration Reality: As the facilities restoration projects continue, we are in prayer that our success will motivate other groups to take on a similar project. We acknowledge the great renovation of the SRO, the back fence clean up and re-stripping of the parking lot by the Maccabees. We challenge other groups to do the same. The restoration of this space also presents an alternate space for adult support groups and ministries to meet, plan, and grow.
Changing Themes: In order to pay tribute to the importance of our various church ministries, the center will feature memorabilia of those groups. These featured ministries will rotate throughout the year. Themed legacies you will see may include our Alkebulan Youth Academy, A Tribute to our Founder, The BCN Nationnaires, Shrine 9 Ministerial Group, Beulah Land, Communal Gatherings, etc.
What You Will Find Here:
Audio Tapes of Sermons: We have recovered a little over 1,000 sermon cassette tapes spanning from the early 1970‘s through the mid 2000’s from all the Shrine regions. These sermons are being verified and labeled and will eventually be digitized for easy access and longevity.
VHS Tapes of Sermons: Approximately 50 VHS sermon tapes have been recovered. To date, about half of them have been transferred to DVD’s. These range from the mid 1980’s to present day.
Pictures of Church Life: Crates of pictures have been salvaged. Some have been framed and mounted throughout the center. Others will also be featured in upcoming legacy themed displays.
Documents: Boxes of printed material have also been collected, sorted and preserved. These papers, letters, rituals, checklists and memos give vivid insight into the challenges of the early days of the Pan-African Liberation Corp in Atlanta. They highlight the recognized need to establish structures in order to provide live-work-teach space for the early members. Thus, creating a foundational platform from which they introduced a Black Theology into the hearts of the Southern Bible Belt.
Reel to Reel Audio Tapes. When we first arrived in Atlanta, Creative Worship Service was captured on reel to reel tapes. We have collected 50 plus tapes containing early sermons, bible classes, orientation, and history classes. These tapes will be digitized.
VHS Class Tapes: KUA/Catechumen educational tapes total about 100. These will also be digitized for easy viewing and access.
Support the Legacy Community Action Center
You can support preserving the Shrine’s great legacy for future generations in the following ways:
- Send in copies of pictures and other memorabilia to the center or Walinziwamotto@gmail.com.
- Sign-up and get involved with the on-going restoration.
- Spread the word of the Legacy Community Action Center.
- Financial donations are welcome make checks payable to: Pan African Orthodox Christian Church or use the red Donate button.
Please send comments and/or Information to Walinziwamotto@gmail.com.
The following historical CD/DVD’s are available for your education and enjoyment. These purchases will help support the ministry of the Legacy Community Action Center.
Historical CD/DVD’s on Sale – $5.00
Black Christian Nationalism, The Black Messiah & other BCN Material on CD. (Search .PDF electronically)
A Legacy Remembered – BCN Sermon Excerpts (1980 – 2015)
A Legacy Remembered Choir on Fire 2015 (60 minutes of community favorites performed by The BCN Nationnaires)
Shrine 9 Documentary 2013 (Personal testimonies by early members of Shrine 9)
We Offer A Special “Thank You” to the following
Bishop Mwenda Brown
Brother Chunga Grant
Fundi Asha Hill
Oladeinde Jeter (Founding Member) – Videography Support
Members of Support Group 5, Walinzi Wa Motto
All members of Shrine 9 for your Support & Contributions
S-5 and the Legacy Action Committee would like to give special recognition for the vision, leadership, and endless work hours contributed by our brother and Founding Member, Tacuma Hill.