Sunday, April 15, 2007

Remembering Jackie Robinson

All across America, people today are celebrating the fact that Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier 60 years ago.
Six decades later, Robinson’s legend lives on. Not only did he open the door in Major League Baseball, he also paved the way for people throughout our great land to achieve their goals regardless of race.
There are Jackie Robinson’s in every corner the United States. Even in your neighborhood, I’m sure there are people making a difference in race relations.
One of the more impressive stories in San Diego County is happening in the mountain-like community of Alpine. Two years ago, Coyvell "C.J." Jackson began making an impact by becoming the first African-American church pastor in the community of about 18,000 people.
Jackson started a church called On The RISE, an acronym for Relationships, Intentionality, Servanthood and Empowerment. Since beginning the church in the predominantly-white community, Jackson’s congregation has more than quadrupled in size. (More information on his congregation is available at
According to the 2000 census, only 0.83% of Alpine residents were African-American at the turn of the millennium. The racial makeup then was 90.78% White, 0.83% African-American, 1.17% Native American, 1.98% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 2.86% from other races, and 2.18% from two or more races.
Jackson’s congregation is primarily white, but it also includes Hispanics and African-Americans. The non-denominational church furthers its diversity by having worshippers from such backgrounds as Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Church of Christ and charismatic.
Jackie Robinson would have been proud of those continuing his fight for equality in America. Count C.J. Jackson among those continuing to pave the way for blacks to make a difference in their community.


MarceOfTheRock said...

It's wonderful to see that Pastor C.J.'s love and commitment to God is being recognized by SO many people. God knows our hearts and I am sure He smiles each time He looks into C.J.'s. Great article on a GREAT person!

Denis Rees, Alpine said...

Jackie Robinson made a positive impact on America by making tremendous inroads in sports. His legacy continues, however, because of strong character traits that came to empitomize all that we, regardless of the color of our skin, admire.
When I first went to hear C.J. Jackson, I had no idea what his skin color was, and after hearing him, it made no difference. His message made the difference, and his color, like that of Jackie Robinson, may be a barrier for some but an invisible window for those fortunate enough to see and hear how he uses the myriad of gifts God has provided.
May those of us with blander skin tones look to the Robinsons and Jacksons to be more colorful, more creative, more caring, and more concerned about what really matters!

Patrick Diaz said...

Pastor C.J. is a leader in the community. His exstensive vision spans further than just the community of Alpine and East County, but all throughout San Diego. If this is the first time you have heard of Pastor C.J. Jackson, it will not be the last. You must come join in his congregation to feel the power that flows through his messages.

Anonymous said...

Hearing Pastor C.J. speak is almost like dying and going to Heaven. I do not live in Alpine, but it is well worth the ride from San Diego to hear such a great man and his messages. I wish him the best in the future, and am grateful to hear him when I can.