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 www.ontherisechurch.com.)
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.