June 29, 2022
By CBF Communications
DALLAS — The Pan African Koinonia Fellowship (PAK), a group formed to cultivate the presence of Black individuals and churches throughout CBF life, hosted its Emmanuel McCall Racial Justice Trailblazer Award Luncheon on Wednesday as a part of the CBF General Assembly in Dallas, Texas.
Rev. Cassandra Henderson, Interim Executive Director of the Interfaith Children’s Movement, who co-hosted the event alongside Rev. Dr. J. Livingston, pastor of Atlanta-area Remnant Fellowship, expressed her gratitude for being able to re-gather after the COVID-19 pandemic caused CBF gatherings to be held virtually for the last two years.
“It is so good to see you after everything that has happened in these past two years, after everything we’ve moved through, and after everything we’ve witnessed,” Henderson said.
“This kind of occasion is bittersweet,” she continued. “It’s sweet in that we celebrate those who are committed to stirring up good trouble. But it’s bitter because the whole premise of us coming together is that we must call to conscience the reality of the injustice of racism and white supremacy that has continued for centuries and even now pervades our society.”
Rev. Dr. Livingston announced the six recipients of the 2021 CBF Pan African Koinonia (PAK) Engagement Scholarships: Angelique Carney, Kamilah Jones, Sunny Ikojoh, Jewel Cannon, Alfred Appiah, and Deirdre Jones
“Those chosen for the scholarship are the best of the best,” Livingston said. The PAK Engagement Scholarship exists as a part of the McCall Racial Equity Fund which was created, in part, to support Black seminarians and college students.
The luncheon also recognized the recipients of the Emmanuel McCall Racial Justice Trailblazer Award. The award recognizes CBF individuals and ministries who charter through unequal and unjust areas of life, and initiate proactive resolutions for communities in the form of policies or practices resulting in greater equity, opportunity, impact, and outcomes for all.
The award winners, Henderson shared, have “accepted the clarion call to challenge overt, systemic, and micro-aggressive forms of racism wherever they exist.”
The 2022 recipients were Reverend Dr. Michael Cheuk, an organizer with the Charlottesville Clergy Collective in Charlottesville, Va., and Friendship-West Baptist Church and Wilshire Baptist Church, two churches in Dallas, Texas.
Cheuk serves as a founding member and secretary for the Charlottesville Clergy Collective, an interfaith group of clergy and laypersons working to address racial justice in Charlottesville and the Albemarle region of Virginia. Cheuk was on the ground with other clergy members as a peaceful presence and witness against the Unite the Right rally in 2017, when white supremacist and neo-nationalist groups descended upon Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.
“I am so humbled to receive this award but this is not an individual thing,” Cheuk said. “I don’t do this alone and I am grateful for you all who are a part of this movement that sees and prioritizes racial justice.”
Forging a partnership over nine years ago through the New Baptist Covenant, Friendship-West Baptist Church and Wilshire Baptist Church have worked together to address racial injustice through education, advocacy, and partnership. Friendship-West, on Dallas’ southside, is a predominantly Black congregation, and Wilshire, on Dallas’ northside, is a predominantly white congregation.
“It has been a joy over the past nine years working so closely with Wilshire,” said Rev. Danielle Ayers, Pastor of Justice at Friendship-West. “We really want to deepen the bonds of fellowship and do the deep work of learning how to undo all the systemic injustices that we face.”
Organizers also took the opportunity to honor the 2021 award winners since they were not able to be recognized in-person due to the ongoing pandemic. The 2021 award winners were:
- Rev. Cheryl Adamson, pastor of Palmetto Missionary Baptist Church in Conway, S.C. and executive director of Palmetto Works Community Development Corporation
- Rev. Dr. Preston Clegg, senior pastor of Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark.
- Rev. Rosalio Sosa, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Tierra de Oro in El Paso, Texas
The Emmanuel McCall Racial Justice Trailblazer Award was established to honor the Reverend Dr. Emmanuel McCall, the first African-American to serve as CBF moderator who devoted his life as a student, pastor, denominational leader, author, and scholar to the pursuit of racial justice.
Rev. Dr. Frederick Haynes III, senior pastor of Friendship-West, was the featured preacher of the luncheon, delivering a sermon entitled “Jesus and Justice: An open letter to John MacAurthur” in which he castigated the California megachurch pastor for trying to divorce Jesus from the work of justice, declaring, “You can’t read Jesus unless you see Jesus ministering to those on the margins.”
Read coverage of Haynes’ rousing sermon via Word & Way.
Learn more about the work of CBF’s Pan African Koinonia at www.cbf.net/pak.
Learn more about the work of CBF’s Dr. Emmanuel McCall Racial Justice & Leadership Initiative at www.cbf.net/mccall-initiative.
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.