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Article By Rev. Pamela L. Hoard
Article By Rev. Pamela L. Hoard

Photo by Source, Fair use,

AHERN Staff Writer - July 7, 2020

In The Heat of The Night

One day, somewhere around mid-morning, I had the occasion to find myself at home not doing much of anything.  That doesn’t happen often, so I turned on the TV and found myself half watching an episode of “In the Heat of the Night.”  Maybe you remember the show.  I watched it primarily because of Carrol O’Conner who played the character of Chief Gillespie, Chief of the Sparta Police Department.  I mainly watched because I had been a fan of Archie Bunker (O’Conner) in the groundbreaking TV show, All in the Family.  But I digress….

Anyway, as I watched In the Heat of the Night, the episode closed with Chief Gillespie, Bubba, and members of the Sparta Police Department celebrating Christmas at the home of Virgil and Althea Tibbs.  The episode ending with everyone singing “O Come All Ye Faithful” around the Christmas Tree.  

Maybe because this is was stuff that I grew up with, or maybe, I am hopelessly hopeful, I could not help but contrast this orchestrated scene against the current backdrop of humanity and inhumanity.

Fast forward, July 2020.  We do not live in Sparta.  Chief Gillespie is not the chief of police in my town, or yours, and we are not reading our lines from a script.  Our experiences are real.  There is real hate and real racism.  And the powers that be are not always working for the good of all.  Sadly, this is our reality.  While it may be nice to take a trip to Sparta, or Hooterville, or even to visit George and Weezie (The Jeffersons)  in their deluxe apartment in the sky, we must recognize the fact that our world needs every man and woman to get onboard and  to engage in the betterment of our society.  It will take everyone to help turn the tide of this present age.  To push back against the darkness.  Do not forget, Hate can be overcome by Love.  Kindness trumps nastiness every time, and Jesus is still the answer for the world today. 

And by the way, if you are not registered to vote, what are you waiting for?

About The Author:
Presiding Elder Hoard is the pastor of Russell Chapel AME Zion Church, Rogersville, TN; the Presiding Elder of The Johnson City District, AME Zion East TN-VA Conference and serves on AHERN, Inc. Board of Directors as Vice-Chair of AHERN Hall of Legacy.

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