Black History Month Event

William and Brenda spoke at a Black History Month service at a Niles church February 28, with the theme, “Looking Back to Move Ahead.” One purpose of the meeting was to bring both Black and white Niles communities together.

Bill spoke first about the work of Quakers and the Underground Railroad in Cass County in the 1850s and ‘60s and told a first-person account from Perry Sanford about the Kentucky Raid in Cassopolis and Vandalia. Brenda presented next on the 1950s and ‘60s, where the Quakers contributed to the success of the civil rights movement through the work of her father, Charlie Walker. She featured his work with Dr. King though recruiting , organizing and training and writing of training materials for the nonviolence aspects of the movement. Bill stressed how the Quakers believed slavery to be a sin against God and man and they fought actively against it, believing God’s laws superseded manmade laws. Brenda told how Martin Luther King echoed this in his message, “An unjust law is no law at all,” and that her father and the Quakers believed we are all one race and we are all brothers and sisters, with God as Our Father. Using the Christian principles of nonviolence, she explained how the civil rights movement was positive, loving and successful, telling her story of hearing the “I Have a Dream” speech in person. In front of a sizable audience of 150-200 people, the Beadenkopfs were both enthusiastically received, selling and distributing reading and study materials and raising $85 for the URSCC. Pastor Jeff is on fire to get this message elsewhere locally! The Way will open from this experience, and God will use it to “water the seeds.”