With the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday recently passing, many reminisce on his infamous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and his desire to let freedom ring around the world, meanwhile, during Black History Month people from all over the country will have the chance to let freedom ring, all day, everyday by ringing a new and repaired historical bell.
By Williamsburg First Baptist Church’s bell being silenced since the mid 50’s, Reverend Reginald Davis and the National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches, has put together the ‘Let Freedom Ring’ challenge as a symbol that they will finish the work of liberty, justice, and equality for all people.
Williamsburg Virginia First Baptist Church was founded in 1776 and is one of the oldest standing African American churches.
The Let Freedom Ring Campaign is asking people from all over the country to come to Williamsburg Virginia First Baptist Church to Ring the bell that has now been repaired through partnership of colonial Williamsburg foundation.
“Because Martin Luther King said ‘let freedom ring’, we thought we needed to get everybody across the country to come and ring this bell to commit themselves to the struggle of freedom, dignity and justice for all,” said Pastor of Williamsburg First Baptist Church Reginald Davis.
The project was started nine months ago between members of First Baptist Church and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. With the structure of the bell being repaired by local engineers, the process was expedited so the bell could be ready for Black History Month.
“Since this is a black congregation of slaves, our beginning started here and we feel like since it started here with this bell, we feel like we can give a fresh start and a new meaning of hope in this nation,” said Reverend Davis. “This is a black community that has thrived and survived since the same year of our Declaration of Independence so those ringing the bell will not only be connected to those from the past but also to themselves for a more perfect union.”
Reverend Davis said the Let Freedom Ring Campaign has had lots of support and participation from countless celebrities, politicians and well-known people who have agreed that the condition of our country can be better if they all come together to heal the nation.
“There definitely needs to be a change and transformation because of all the hatred and bitterness that’s going on,” he explained. “And we really want our youth to connect because we can see what’s happening to them but if they know where they’ve come from, they’ll know where they’re going.”
People can go and sign up to be a part of the Let Freedom Ring Challenge online to bring themselves, schools and other organizations to participate in this significant event.
“This campaign has even gone international so I think not only people in America but people all over the world are feeling that we need to come together to be part of the healing of our nation and we cannot continue the way that we are going,” said Reverend Davis.
This is an opportunity of all freedom loving people to come together and help change the trajectory of this country and to understand that the bell will be rung everyday by somebody across this nation every day for the month of February giving people an opportunity to learn about Colonial Williamsburg, First Baptist Church and the history of this nation.