DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Displaying the Brookhaven Mission Mississippi group's cross this week are (from left) James Minter, cross designer and artist, and Laura Ann Walker, who will be playing a supervisory role at the statewide Mission Mississippi event coming up in Jackson Sunday, Oct. 27.
DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Displaying the Brookhaven Mission Mississippi group's cross this week are (from left) James Minter, cross designer and artist, and Laura Ann Walker, who will be playing a supervisory role at the statewide Mission Mississippi event coming up in Jackson Sunday, Oct. 27.

Sunday event: Area group taking cross to Jackson

Published 11:40am Friday, October 25, 2013

Owner of B&O Machine and Welding in Brookhaven, James Minter finished fabrication work on the cross earlier this week that will be carried by local delegates to the upcoming Mission Mississippi event.

Now, members of First Baptist Church and Outreach Ministry, among other area church and community groups involved in the local Mission Mississippi organization, are all set to take part in the mission “to encourage and demonstrate unity across racial and denominational lines” in Jackson this Sunday, Oct. 27.

“We are expecting to see a real appreciation of what God is doing in Mississippi,” said Betty Harrington, co-member of the communication arm of the Brookhaven group of Mission Mississippi.

Organizers of Sunday’s Mission Mississippi event anticipate close to 15,000 participants to take part in the program, which will be held at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson from 5-7 p.m. Sunday.

A “parade of counties” will kick off the night, and introduce participants and worshippers from all 82 counties in the state. Line-up for the parade of counties starts at 4 p.m. at Gate A.

Youth Director of Southway Baptist Church in Brookhaven, Laura Ann Walker, will be leading children and young adults from the church who will be carrying Minter’s cross across the stadium grass.

The cross, contributed by Minter for the mission, stands roughly five feet tall. It is painted white with a gold-lettered “Lincoln” welded across the horizontal axis to represent Lincoln County.

At the Mission Mississippi event, hundreds of Fellowship of Christian Athletes students from across the state will present a lighted cross that has traveled 2,489 miles across every county in the state of Mississippi, to pastors and state officials. FCA has partnered with Mission Mississippi in celebration of Mission Mississippi’s 20 years of ministry.

Sunday’s ceremony and worship session at Veterans Memorial Stadium is the culmination of “celebration services” from every county in the state.

The primary purpose of Mission Mississippi has remained consistent over the last 20 years. The goal is to find common ground to build strong relationships and communities for the betterment of all Mississippians, regardless of race. The hope of the mission is to attain racial healing and reconciliation through faith and unconditional love.

“Race relations can always be improved. Those that are going Sunday really have positive opinions on race and reconciliation. We need to expand even more, to do even greater in Brookhaven,” Harrington explained.

Dolphus Weary will be one of the guest speakers at the event. Weary, born in rural Mississippi, was once determined to leave the state, concerned about race relations and a lack of economic equality. After a brief absence, Weary returned to Mississippi and has been working with the REAL Christian Foundation, among other church groups, for more than 30 years to help improve race relations and combat poverty.

During Mississippi Day Services at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., Weary said, “I believe that God has given me two passions; a passion for racial unity in the Body of Christ and to minister to those who are poor in Mississippi.”

Pat Morley and Barbara Skinner will be quest speakers as well.

In September, local mission members elected the Rev. Warren Coile and Rev. A.C. Herring as co-leaders of the Brookhaven gathering of Mission Mississippi.

Dorothy Quinn and Betty Harrington were elected for the communication arms of the gathering, while Burnell Robinson was elected as the treasurer. Phyllis Spearman and Dr. Neddie Winters organized the Brookhaven gathering of Mission Mississippi, which was held earlier this year.

While the total number of participants from Lincoln County is difficult to determine, according to Harrington, worshippers from at least five churches will be represented at the Sunday event including Mount Wade Baptist Church, United Methodist Church, Saint James Baptist Church, Faith Presbyterian Church and others.