By Jackie Hampton,
Jackson State University (JSU) President William B. Bynum served as guest speaker for the worship service at College Hill Church (CHC) which honored the connection between JSU and CHC. It was in 1907 that then Jackson College deeded a tract of land west of its’ campus to the people of West Jackson for the building of a church. This church became known as College Hill Baptist Church and Sunday the legacy continued as College Hill celebrated “JSU Day.”
It was standing room only at the service which included a host of JSU students, faculty and staff. First Lady Deborah Bynum was also present. Miss JSU, Naysa Lynch, and Mister JSU, Grant Broadway, brought greetings during the service. Music was provided by the JSU Gospel Choir and MADDRAMA Performance Troupe delivered a dramatic presentation.
When CHC Pastor Michael T. Williams introduced Bynum as the illustrious president of “Thee I Love” there was a standing ovation and thunderous applause from the congregation. It was obvious that the congregation included a lot of JSU graduates and current students.
Bynum proudly described himself as God-loving, Godfearing, blessed and highly favored. Before getting into the meat of his message he spoke of his humble background, having been reared by a single mother who raised 8 children, after his parents divorced when he was very young. He grew up in a Christian background and was therefore very comfortable serving in the church. He shared with much delight how highly ranked JSU is in various areas, including being ranked #1 in the nation as the producer of students receiving more doctorate degrees.
Bynum’s message of hope for the future was taken from Jerimiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Sounding like an ordained minister Bynum told the congregation, “it is not by accident that you are where you are today.” Just as it was not an accident, he ended up in the state of Mississippi, known to be the most religious state in the country. Bynum said God is responsible for students being lead to JSU, members being lead to JSU and all stops before and in between. Each stop-off point he said leads to one’s hope and future. “God needs champions not just on Sunday morning or Wednesday night, but they are needed to uplift God everyday,” he said.
Bynum said even though he has been critiqued in the past for uplifting God in his role of promoting education, he will always speak of how great God is and how He has blessed us as a people. He told the congregation they should uplift God at home, at work, in organizations such as sororities and fraternities.
Throughout his message there was applauding as Bynum continued to confess his love of God. He thanked College Hill for continuing to promote the legacy of the school and church and reminded the worshippers to always thank God for all the many blessings He has provided them.
Though not a minister of the gospel, there was one worshipper who gave his life to Christ after Bynum ended his message.
Other students participating in the service from JSU included Jordon Jefferson, JSU Student Government Associaation president who lead the responsive reading; Indiah Stinson-Jordon extended the welcome; John Higgins II was in charge of collecting tithes and offerings,with Kayla Day giving the offertory prayer.
Church members and visitors extended congratulations to Williams and Bynum for such an inspirational service.
See photos page 16.