Remembering Moss Hill
On a beautiful Saturday morning, September 26, approximately 75 persons came together to “Remember Moss Hill,” an event sponsored by Mount Hood M. B. Church, Northside Baptist Church, and Pleasant Green M. B. Church. Motivated both by the 140th anniversary of the Clinton Riot of 1875 and a desire to enhance the practice of racial reconciliation in our community, a planning committee composed of members of the three congregations planned and implemented this day-long observance. The Planning Committee adopted and was guided by three principles: to explore together the truth of our shared past; to practice reconciliation and community in the present; and to transform the future to honor God.
Participants were led in a welcome, devotional, and prayer by the pastors of the churches. Following special music offered by Janice McQuirter, James Robinson (Pleasant Green) and Missy Jones (Northside) offered historical research and personal recollections regarding the riot and subsequent massacre which occurred in Clinton during Reconstruction. City government officials have recently recognized these events with the placement of two historical markers. After a short break, Otis Pickett (Mississippi College) and Jemar Tisby (Reformed Theological Seminary) lectured on the Reconstruction Period and the Civil Rights Movement.
Sharing our historical stories led the participants to a shared meal, prepared by Norma Baker and the Northside Kitchen Committee. After lunch and a reconfiguration of the chairs in the Fellowship Hall to form a large circle, staffers from the William Winter Institute of Racial Reconciliation in Oxford led the group in a “Welcome Table” conversation. Both tears and laughter punctuated this time of sharing.
For Northside, the event was also a memorial to the ministry of Richard Brogan, long-time church member, advocate, and leader in racial reconciliation efforts among Baptist churches. Dick’s commitment to this work was recognized by Louis Ruckes, Jr., a co-worker, who spoke early in the program.
Numbers of the participants expressed an interest in continuing to dialogue, share stories, and grow into a beloved community, transformed to honor God.