By Jim Wallis
Preaching — and honestly just being there — at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, is always a great honor and blessing for me. As pastor Raphael Warnock said in his opening introduction, “When you want to take faith into justice, as Jim Wallis always has, Ebenezer is the right place.” Ebenezer is the right place indeed.
I remember my first time preaching at Ebenezer many years ago for their first “Peace and Justice Service” in honor of the inaugural year that the nation officially celebrated the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was 1986 and I was a young man feeling honored to speak — but overwhelmed to be in such a historic pulpit that had literally changed the world and where a host of movement leaders had preached.
Being so intimidated by the place and the pulpit, I was quite tepid at first, saying something like, “Well, ah … Martin Luther King Jr., well …. he was for peace and justice, and ppppprobably … ah … we should be too.” It was powerful!
All of a sudden, a big booming voice down on the left side of the congregation spoke directly back at me, “Oh come on son, you’re supposed to preach!”
Startled, I started to preach — a little bit.