Soon after singing at the Greene County Courthouse last night, I received several FUs as I left the scene. It was then the severity of my call to live for the Gospel really hit home. May blind eyes soon see. And may the saints awake from their slumber to proclaim God's dream of peace and abundant life to all people's.
I'm disheartened at the latest proposal Commissioner Randolph has submitted in regard to raising the Confederate flag above the Greene County Courthouse. Greene County was such a progressive place back in the early and mid 1800s. This lunacy now posits us as a laughing stock. Who would have thought that the abolitionist efforts of Elihu Embree and Benjamin Lundy would have decayed to such a degree that anyone would consider hoisting a symbol of slavery above their homesteads? I wonder how the conveners of the East Tennessee Convention of 1861 might chime in on this ludicrous political narcissism? Do you honestly think that Andrew Johnson would be pleased to see the Confederate Flag flying outside the window of his tailor shop? Please honor the legacy of our local heroes, Thomas D. Arnold, William G. Brownlow, William B. Carter, Andrew Johnson, Horace Maynard, Thomas A.R. Nelson, and Connolly F. Trigg and prevent a counterhistorical narrative from beginning. Not only is this proposed gesture misrepresentative of our local history, it is a slap in the face of civil decency. Raising this controversial flag only serves the purpose of prolonging the errant ideology of white supremacy under the guise of Southern pride, and as a member of the clergy, I unashamedly say, "Enough is enough!" Please stop this political sidetrack and start working to promote peace! I challenge you and all our commissioners to take your political jobs seriously by working for the common good of all people. Please refrain from superfluous distractions and focus on resolving domestic violence, poverty, illiteracy, and drug abuse. Please responsibly steward the power entrusted to you by focusing on the least among us and by becoming a servant to all. I implore you to vote against this measure and championing a revival of the principles that were truly a part of our historic heritage -- principles that stood up and spoke truth to power.
Mark E. Wills
The same logic goes for religion. As a theologian, I acknowledge my religious heritage; it is littered with its own atrocities However, it is still in existence, and it has the capacity to transform and be renewed. I do not revel in the mistakes of my Christian ancestors. I study them and do my best to grow from them. Likewise, I do not revel in my own personal mistakes. The song "America" has a refrain that I think is very applicable to us as a nation at this and every point of our existence which says:
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
May we heed the wisdom of Paul who said, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."
God Bless America!
- Vanderbilt Divinity SchoolMDiv, 2008 - 2011
- Southeastern UniversityChurch Ministries, 1991 - 1993
- Greeneville High School1984 - 1988
- Holmes College of the Bible
- Walters State Community College
- Greeneville High School1984 - 1988
- Vanderbilt University Divinity School2008 - 2011
The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the United Methodist Church or Walters State Community College, and they may not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.
- Walters State Community CollegeCoordinator of Instructional Support & Student Success, 2013 - presentLocal Pastor
- Carter's Valley Circuit UMCMinister, 2000 - presentLocal Pastor
- Walters State Community CollegeInstructional Support Specialist, 2011 - 2013
- Walters State Community CollegeAdjunct Professor, 2011 - 2011Developmental WritingTeacher
- Excalibur Data SolutionsPartner, 1992 - 2008Small Business Owner
'Local Support For Union Was Strong In Civil War Era'
'Local Support For Union Was Strong In Civil War Era' Dear Sir: I would like to thank Mr. James Randolph for submitting a resolution to disp
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