Saturday morning sun and the distinct sounds of birds chirping set the atmosphere for a parade to remember.The Miracle Temple Church of God in Christ of Ruston hosted their 13th Annual African American Heritage Parade last Saturday.
On-lookers were entertained by numerous departments in the church, from the Mother’s board to the Sunshine band.
Community participants who contributed to make the parade a success also played a vital part in making the parade a success.
Miracle Temple began the African American Heritage parade as a beacon of light for African Americans in the Ruston and surrounding communities.
“We (as a people) are here and we are making a statement,” commented LaKeitha Richards.
She added that the church feels that the parade serves as a way for them to reach out to the community and actually have the community get involved.
“Community involvement is very important,” shared Elder Thomas Kennedy, Pastor of the Miracle Temple C.O.G.I.C.
“It (parade) is for them,” he commented, stressing the importance of the connection between school, community and church.
Aiding in getting the school involved was Alniece Andrews, freshman at Ruston High School and member of Miracle Temple.
Andrews reached out to Lieutenant Colonel Dan Simonsen of the Ruston High School JROTC and asked for participation.
Elated, he gladly accepted the offer.
“[In the community] there is no ‘They’ should do this,” shared Simonsen as he commented on the pleasure to participate in such an event.
“‘We’ should do this,” Simonsen protested.
Also representing from the community were the Southern Roadrunners of Ruston.
Blazing the parade path with their shiny cycles, the Southern Roadrunners have been zooming through area towns for almost four years.
They could not pass up the opportunity to lend their participation in such an event.
“We were excited,” exclaimed president of the Southern Roadrunners Neomia Rhodes.
Rhodes shared how the organization was always looking for ways to give back to the community.
Parade coordinator, Sylvester Lewis, was ecstatic at the amount of community on-lookers that came out to show their support for the parade.
“This is our heritage,” Lewis shared.
It’s the church’s intent to have the parade continue to grow and become bigger and better with time.
For those interested in becoming a part of this historic event, contact the newly elected African American Heritage parade coordinator, Shalena Johnson at 318-278-7796. Interested people can also call Miracle Temple C.O.G.I.C at 318-255-2112.