polo t shirts Lane College president wash feet at MLK service
There were wet eyes Sunday morning at Northside Assembly of God, but not because of a divine song or a sanctified man’s testimony.
It came instead from two men, Lane College President Logan Hampton, a former pastor, and Northside Pastor Randy Carter washing and drying each other’s feet on the platform of the church.
Both men, one black and one white, sat on chairs, untied their shoes and slipped off their socks before putting them in a bowl while the other poured water over them.
The act, originally performed by Jesus for his disciples the night before he was killed, was to show each man being a servant, and it occurred on Reconciliation Sunday as Northside pauses every year to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s life.
As Carter poured water over Hampton’s feet, he apologized for generations of mistreatment due to the differences in the color of their skin.
“That passage, if there’s’ one biblical passage that I want to mark my life, it hasn’t always marked my life, but it’s what I want, it’s that passage,” he said to The Jackson Sun. “Jesus is hours away from death and what’s his final act? To wash peoples’ feet. And that is a servant’s heart.”
Both Hampton and Carter were adamant that Jesus’ lesson wasn’t something that should be read and forgotten. It must influence our daily lives in Jackson,
There are plenty of issues in Jackson that need to be fixed, including races issues, and it is the church’s job to address them, Carter said.
“We can do like the disciples and not say anything,” he said in his sermon. “We can act like the situation doesn’t exist. Or we can do like Jesus and get up and take a towel.”
Hampton said that taking up the towel in Jackson would look like offering opportunity to strangers, particularly those who participate in illegal acts across the city.
He said it could also be applied to the churches across the city and them not having a distinction between “black churches” and “white churches.”
“You’ve got to be willing to do what the others aren’t, that’s what Jesus did,” Carter said. “You’ve just got to start. It takes an action.
“It’s turning good intentions into actions,” he continued. “I think many of us want to do something, but we’re overwhelmed by the complexity of the problem so we don’t do anything. That was a simple act for Jesus, but it’s still speaking 2,000 years later.”
Both men encouraged understanding between people they don’t understand.
As the service ended, Carter invited all guests to partake in communion, but to take it with someone that had different color of skin than themselves.
Calvin Walker is a Lane College student and he sang in Lane’s choir that performed Sunday morning.
Walker said that race is still an issue in Jackson, but services like Sundays show what the city is capable of.
“I think this is where we’re going,” Walker said. “In today’s society and generation we’re not moving backward, we’re moving forward. And in order for us to move forward we’ve all got to come together as one.