02/05/09 — Interfaith bread-breaking at annual breakfast meeting

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Interfaith bread-breaking at annual breakfast meeting

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on February 5, 2009 1:46 PM


Bishop Alton Smith speaks at the annual Interfaith Breakfast today. The event is sponsored by Wayne County and the Goldsboro Community Affairs Commission.

About 50 people braved the cold this morning for bacon, eggs and blessings at Herman Park Center.

The Goldsboro Community Affairs Commission and Wayne County-sponsored second annual Interfaith Breakfast focused on the same basic principle it did last year -- unity.

"When I was asked to talk about unity, I looked at the word and thought about the word," Bishop Alton Smith of St. Mark Church of Christ said.

After looking in a few dictionaries to find the meaning of the word unity, he came to a conclusion.

"This is one of those words that never change," he said. "It still means being one, being unified."

He said he saw the country unified just a few days ago, on Jan. 20, when President Barack Obama was inaugurated, and it made him happy. But it wasn't just because Obama was America's first black president. It was because of the unity he encouraged among people of every race.

"I was excited to see people from everywhere ... come together in one place saying, 'I want to be a part of this history,'" Smith said.

That was a day that he was proud of the country, and hopes that people remember how to be unified as they continue their lives.

"Remember, above all else, that we need to represent each other, support each other, encourage each other," he said.

And as he looked around the room to county, city and community leaders, he said to them that they needed "to unite and do whatever we can for our citizens."

The Rev. William Painter of First Assembly of God talked about how people who have brought unity have an agenda to do so.

"Agendas aren't a bad thing," he said, but people need to use their agenda for good.

John Hope Franklin, a famous historian that pushed for unity, had an agenda, Painter said.

"John Hope Franklin helped bring unity," he said.

Painter went on to talk about President Obama, and how he heard many people say the recent presidential contest was about black versus white.

"Well, I don't think it was because of race because there is only one human race. We all come in all shapes, sizes and shades, but we are all a part of one race," Painter said.

And he said he hoped that all races would continue to work together to make Goldsboro and Wayne County a better place.