Former Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson Jr. will be the featured speaker at a special community-wide program celebrating the Black Church and Frederick Douglass at 4 p.m., on Sunday, Dec. 2 at Aenon Missionary Baptist Church, 175 Genesee Street in Rochester.
“The general emphasis will be to highlight the connection between Frederick Douglass and the Black Church and to inspire the Black Church to continue to persevere and lead the struggle for social justice in the greater Rochester community,” said Aenon’s pastor Dr. Jonathan J. H. McReynolds, explaining why his church is sponsoring the event.
“During these times of political disenfranchisement, poverty and educational failure, it is imperative that we recapture the spirit of Frederick Douglass toward social advancement,” McReynolds said. The theme is “The Unabating Legacy of Frederick Douglass and the Black Church.” Noting the many local events that have already occurred during Rochester’s year-long celebration of the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s birth, McReynolds added.
“It is appropriate for an aggregate of the Black Church of our community to pause and celebrate the contributions of Douglass.” In addition to Johnson, other notable community leaders and organizations will be participating in the program which will include selections by Aenon’s Mass Choir.