Habitat for Humanity is propelled by a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. We devote ourselves to creating that world because we believe everyone -- every single one of us, regardless of who we are or where we come from -- deserves a decent life and deserves the opportunity for a better future.
Believing is not enough. And so we build.
We build houses -- and through those houses, the strength, stability and self-reliance that families need in order to achieve a better life. That better life is our primary goal. And so when we build houses, we also build bridges between people of diverse backgrounds, we build paths to more connected communities, we build ways for all people to come together and share in the creation of a new world.
That new world allows access, equality and opportunity for all. That new world represents what
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called "The Beloved Community is fair".
The Beloved Community is just. And the Beloved Community is built on love. Not just any love, but as Dr. King said "the love of God operating in the human heart." That's a practical love that requires participation. When that love is truly and fully present, it compels us to act.
It's a part of Habitat's birthright. We began at Koinonia Farm, an interracial community farm outside Americus, Georgia, founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Clarence and his fellow Koinonia residents were fiercely committed to equality of all people and utterly devoted to creating the opportunity for all.
Born from that vision, we have grown into a global organization that has worked hard to live out that kind of love for more than 40 years. It fuels our belief that making homeownership accessible and affordable for low-income families is a critical component to creating the kind of future that Dr. King envisioned.
We have to care about the needs of those among us who need our help. We have to take on the struggles of others as our own and want for them the exact things that we want for ourselves. We have to live each day in the knowledge that we are bound together, that each of us must do out part, that we thrive together or we will wither alone.
During a brief correspondence in the 1950s, Dr. King wrote to Clarence, noting the struggles that Koinonia faced from hostile and unwelcoming neighbors. "I hope that you will gain some consolation from the fact that in your struggle for freedom and a true Christian community you have cosmic companionship. God grant that this tragic midnight of man's inhumanity to man will soon pass and the bright daybreak of freedom and brotherhood will come into being."
We still await that daybreak. While much has been done, so much more work remains. This will never be a world of equality, of fairness, of human decency that leaves no room for poverty or prejudice or violence, unless we build it. Bold actions speak louder than words. Working together, side by side, is what will continue to move us from tragic midnight to glorious morning. For as Dr. King so powerfully stated: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." With his emphasis on the Beloved Community, Dr. King gave us the blueprint. Folks of faith and perseverance like Clarence have stewarded it and advanced it. Now it's up to all of us to make it a reality.
This statement, initially released by Habitat for Humanity International, will serves as the Opening Reading for the kick-off worship service for Baptist Build 2020 read by Rev. Paul Anderson and Gary Cyrus. This years’ service is on Sunday, January 19 at 3 p.m. It will be held at Hayes Barton Baptist Church located at 1800 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh and is open to the public. The Baptist Build annually brings churches together from the Wake Missionary Baptist Association and the Raleigh Baptist Association to build bridges, community and hope while serving families in need of affordable housing. On the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Monday, January 20, 2020, the Baptist Build Coalition will build and raise the walls on two homes with a celebration ceremony on the construction site at 3 p.m at 5808 Forest Point Road in the Abington Ridge subdivision in Raleigh. Rev. Paul Anderson: Pastor of the Fountain of Raleigh, Habitat Wake Board member, and longtime admirer of Martin Luther King, Jr. Gary Cyrus: Baptist Build Coalition Coordinator, member of Tabernacle Baptist Church and longtime admirer of Clarence Jordan.
Rev. Paul Anderson: Pastor of the Fountain of Raleigh, Habitat Wake Board member, and
longtime admirer of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Gary Cyrus: Baptist Build Coalition Coordinator, member of Tabernacle Baptist Church and
longtime admirer of Clarence Jordan.