JSU and College Hill celebrate a ‘binding connection’

By Jackie Hampton


College Hill Baptist Church and Jackson State University have a connection which began in 1907 when the late Dr. B. Baldwin Dansby, president of then Jackson College, deeded a tract of land just west of the campus to build College Hill Baptist Church.

On Sunday, Oct. 28 College Hill celebrated its second annual ‘College Hill JSU Day’ during the 11 a.m. service. The sanctuary was filled to capacity with an audience comprised of JSU students, faculty members and College Hill Church congregations.

JSU’s University Concert Chorale, under the direction of W. Cortez Castilla, provided music.

Judge Carlton Reeves, a College Hill member and a graduate of JSU, in the occasion stated, “Jackson State is one nation under blue, the place where thee I love, the place that taught us that you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

He spoke of the lifelong relationship between Jackson State and College Hill.Reeves said, “If it weren’t for Jackson State, many of us would not be here today. Many College Hill members found the love of their lives at JSU.”

Greetings were extended by JSU President Carolyn Myers. She recalled that in February of 2011 when Dr. Michael T. Williams was installed as the 14th Pastor of the historical College Hill Church, she as the new JSU president brought greetings at his installation. This was held on the campus of JSU.

Myers referenced how College Hill had walked with JSU throughout the years nurturing teachers and students. She recited Psalms 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”

Brian Wilks, president of the JSU Student Government Association, greeted the assembly by quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “If we can’t fly, let’s run; if we can’t  run, let’s walk; if we can’t walk, let’s crawl; the objective being to always keep moving forward.”

Minister Calvin Bogan, JSU Class of 2014, received a standing ovation for his saxophone rendition of “Oh How I Love Jesus.”

Pastor Michael Williams, in his message titled “Empowering and Educating Our Minds,” spoke of a great civilization that goes back to Africa.

Williams said, “We come from a people who have a mind to work, to achieve and succeed.”

JSU Day at College Hill ended with approximately 200 Jackson State students, faculty and staff sharing dinner in the College Hill Family Life Center.