“This is evangelism, pure and simple,” declared the Rev. Dr. Keith I Jones. “Invite your neighbors and friends – your enemies, too! Invite your fraternities and sororities”
The pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, 745 Park Ave., was rallying his congregation to reach out to make Sunday’s annual “University Spirit Day” a stellar Christian undertaking.
“Who knows,” he added, “if we sing with conviction, if the Word goes forth and if we all show Shiloh hospitality, maybe some soul will be won for Christ.”
The yearly observance, which has evolved from “Norfolk State Day” and “College Day,” is a time to “Represent.” Individuals – students, graduates, and faithful supporters – are encouraged to celebrate their institution by sporting their school colors.
Attendees will get to shout out their allegiance during the traditional roll call of colleges and universities.
Sunday’s service begins at 10 a.m. and includes a “Black History Moment.”
In keeping with the national Black History Month theme “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African-American Memories,” two sites will be spotlighted: the Emancipation Oak at Hampton University that was the site of the first Southern reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863; and Fort Monroe, which played a strategic Union defense role during the Civil War and was the site of a “contraband of war” decision that allowed hundreds of slaves to reach freedom behind Union lines.
“University Spirit Day” will conclude with the always much-anticipated “Soul Food Tasting.” Attendees will get to sample Shiloh’s favorite mouth-watering delights, including pig feet, fried chicken wings, chili, jambalaya, cabbage, and sweet potato pie.