Black History Month

By Charles Stevens, Jr.
Pastor of Transformation Church
Sacramento, California

February has been designated as Black History Month in the United States and in Canada. Some may wonder, why have a Black History Month at all? Understanding the value of Black History Month requires understanding why it was created in the first place.

The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States, but still firmly in the era of segregation. Historian Carter G. Woodson and prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent. This organization was founded to close the gap in identifying achievements made by Black Americans. ASNLH initially sponsored a national Negro History Week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

The path to Black History Month in Canada began with the city of Toronto, Ontario, issuing a proclamation in 1979, which was followed by the provinces of Nova Scotia in 1988 and Ontario as a whole in 1993. However, it wasn’t until 2008 that February was recognized as Black History Month by the full Parliament of Canada.

This month emphasizes the resilience and impact Black people of African descent have made on American and Canadian culture as a whole. . . .

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It can difficult at times to accept change. Change causes uncertainty, distress, even fear. Some say change is the only certainty in the world. As believers in Jesus Christ, however, we are convinced that is, at best, only half the story. While change may be a constant, Christ’s presence in the midst of that change is an even more significant constant. He has promised to never leave; his presence is always with us even in the midst of significant change. As we anticipate significant change in our NAB field in Japan, it is important we cling to this promise.

At the end of 2023, Paul and Melissa Ewing ended their time with the NAB as missionaries in Japan. In addition to this, Shan Reed notified the vice president of International Missions for the NAB that she will be ending her missionary employment with the NAB sometime in 2025 or the beginning of 2026, after her last home assignment that will begin in March of 2025. With these changes in the Japan field, the NAB no longer has critical mass to maintain the legal entity of our mission in Japan. . . .

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Have you ever asked yourself what it is that makes sharing our faith seem like an unwieldy activity?

Why is it that so many people in our congregations are reluctant, and perhaps why you are, too?

Does it seem that evangelism is harder than it used to be? More complicated? Less enjoyable?

In this webinar, we will explore the forces at work that have brought great tectonic shifts in the foundations upon which evangelism was first framed. Those shifts require us to think afresh about evangelism. This webinar will help us think through these changes and consider ways in which we might respond. We will not be looking at solutions as much as understanding the issues. This is a first step in exploring the changes required to evangelize in the 21st century.

Register for the Webinar

These are the days of high technology, self-actualization, and manifesting, a culture focused on the execution of individual human desire, human will based on human wisdom. Even in the church, we can take what we believe to be Godly ends but domesticate them to become our purposes done our way. I could see that in me. I still see it in me.

But the peace that comes from God does not come from us straining to make our plans happen. This doesn’t mean we don’t plan or dream, but we do so open-handedly, trusting the Father the way small children trust their parents.


When we choose this path, our trust in him, his will, his timing, and his purposes are enhanced. When we live this way, we can relax; we don’t need to strive. And people before us become ends, not means. And we get to see others – and ourselves – the way Jesus does.

The above comes today’s devotional for Lent, written by Wayne Stapleton as part of this year’s devotional series examining what biblical peace means for us today – peace between us and God, among individuals, within ourselves, and in our interactions with creation. Not only will we look at what Scripture says about peace, every Saturday will feature a story or profile of peace in action: people of God who are acting as shalom-bearers in a world increasingly in need of God’s peace.

This is sure to be an excellent primer for the upcoming Triennial conference in July. But more importantly, these devotionals will help guide your thoughts toward the Prince of Peace and challenge you to be a shalom-maker for God.

It is not too late to join in the journey with us. You can sign up at the link below.

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