Church focuses on importance of Black History Month

Leading the Celebration of Soul, senior pastor Julius Harper, center, stands with church members Wendell Keller, left, and Jackie Cooper, right. Ryan Mancini/The Signal
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As a way to reflect Black History Month in the United States, the Santa Clarita Christian Fellowship Church welcomed regular church members and newcomers to the third part of their weekly Celebration of Soul on Sunday.

The third part of the Celebration of Soul featured a monologue and presentation focused on the stories and words from prominent figures in black history, presented by church member Kevin Linell.

“Black History Month, for us, is not an opportunity to separate ourselves but rather to explain how we are a part of the diversity that makes America great,” said senior pastor Julius Harper.

The Celebration of Soul started in February of 2018, and continued to reflect not just diversity within Santa Clarita, but also among African Americans, Harper said.

“Even in the black community, there are people from different ethnicities,” he said. “We have Africans who attend who came from Africa, we have individuals from the West Indies and we have people from the south. It’s all part of black history.”

Each Sunday of the month, activities varied from a luncheon on Feb. 3, Youth Sunday with children from the church’s youth department performing alongside Gospel pianist Kaleya Ervin on Feb. 10 and a potluck luncheon set to be held on Feb. 27.

Jasmine Gatewood, a Santa Clarita resident and attendee of the church, agreed with Harper about the Celebration of Soul’s importance as a way to re-engage people with Black History Month.

“To have a space where people of color can come and celebrate each other in a month that was set aside for us is a blessing,” she said.

Although church goers signed up for who would bring food for the Celebration of Soul’s conclusion, Harper said visitors are still welcome.

“I would like people to feel like no matter who you are, you can come because this is the way the kingdom of God is going to be,” Harper said. “It’s people of all different nations, that’s described in the Book of Revelation.”

The event concluded with a performance by the Christian Fellowship Praise and Worship Band, of which Gatewood is a member of.

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