Congregations celebrate Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation service

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Congregations from across Youngstown came together Thursday at New Bethel Baptist Church on Hillman Street to mark the Emancipation Proclamation.

Every year, members of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Youngstown & Vicinity remember the Civil War proclamation that freed the slaves. The ministers said the annual event serves as a reminder that not everyone is free.

The service on Thursday included prayers for a healing of the land. The ministers said that message is particularly important now as racial tensions are increasing.

“We all have the same significance and every person in this community needs to be respected. We need to share in the same rights and privileges,” New Bethel pastor Rev. Kenneth Simon said.

Also at the ceremony, the Reverend James “Jim” Ray was given the Rev. Elizabeth Powell Heritage Award for his work in social justice advocacy.

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