By Perry A. Smith Sr.
Creation does not occupy a great deal of space in the Bible. The Bible clearly teaches that the universe, and all matter had a beginning and came into existence through the will of the Eternal God. The Bible gives no information as to how long the original creation of matter occurred or the first day of creation began, or the sixth day ended. As far as the Bible tells us the cessation of God’s creative activity still continues.
On the sixth day of creation, God created a man in His own image- male and female. He created them God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over everything that moves upon the earth.
Throughout ageless centuries men and women have gone forth to meet the challenge in obedience to the command of the Munificent Creator. In their quest to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth, it is inevitable that men and women must be confronted by trials and tribulations.
Obviously, recorded history is silent as to the genealogy of the families of the Smiths and the Andersons from creation to this moment. As we look around us, it is also obvious that our progenitors have done their part to meet the challenge of the Creator.
Through the progress of time, our roots have extended through generations of trials, tribulations, and persecutions. Today, we stand victorious over adversity, bearing the scars of battle, but we are undaunted as we proudly display the badges of victory. We maintain the faith of our fathers as we seek to reach higher goals and to perpetuate the legacy of determination that was demonstrated so vividly in the lives of the Smiths and Andersons who have gathered for their eternal reunion and immortality.
Perhaps the greatest threat to the survival and success of the black children of God was the more than two and a half centuries of unrequited toil the hardships endured by our fore parents as human shackles and beasts of burden. In spite of the fact that the great Creator made man in His own image and that He is no respecter of persons, regardless to race, color or creed, three million black children of God were enslaved and denied their heritage of freedom and happiness. The cruel institution of slavery had no regard for the family ties or the sacredness of marriage of black men and women. Or, for the Divine edict that those whom God had joined together, were beyond man’s authority to put asunder.
We are here today to give vent to our innermost feelings in observing another milestone, in the lives and achievements of the Smiths and the Andersons, whose beginnings are unrecorded in written history. But there is no doubt that their beginning bore the blessing of Almighty God as evidenced by the fact that throughout the subsequent generations, we have brought forth fruit and we have multiplied in spite of the howling gales of adversity.
Let us begin our story shortly after the end of the Civil War, which ushered in the beginning of a new era for a downtrodden people who still bore the unhealed scars inflicted by a insensitive society. The new era also brought an end to more than 250 years of human suffering for our fore parents and assured them of their entitlement to an equal share of justice and equality, which is the heritage of all God’s children.