Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth, named Isabella by her master, escaped from slavery to freedom in 1826 and worked for several years as a domestic in New York City. But when she heard a call to travel, going “up and down the land, showing the -people their sins and being a sign unto them,” Isabella changed her name and became an itinerant evangelist for the causes of abolition and women’s rights. In 1864, she traveled to Washington, D.C., to encourage Abraham Lincoln in his struggle against the Confederacy, staying on to minister to the ex-slaves who had gathered in refugee camps. She was still there on December 12, 1865, when Congress ratified its thirteenth amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States.

Common Book of Prayer for Ordinary Radicals, p.532

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was a no-nonsense woman who spoke to God in a no-nonsense way. Given her context, state of life, and the society she lived in, along with her work, it is no wonder she prayed prayers like this. The one I share with us today is short, simple, and to the point. It is almost as if she prayed as she worked with only a few seconds to spare. If you’ve ever read the Hebrew prophets you will notice a similar no-nonsense tone of confidence and desperation. Sojourner Truth believed what they believed: if she was to do God’s work on earth midst all the evil, hatred and opposition, then Divine Providence should follow her each step of the way. Here’s her prayer:

Oh, God, you know I have no money, but you can make the people do for me, and you must make the people do for me. I will never give you peace till you do, God.

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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