If we don’t remember history, it is lost to oblivion. To prevent this, it is important from time to time to say a word, for example, about Rev. Dr. Wilbur Washington and his wife, Mrs. Marie Washington. Both are dear members of our church but are more or less homebound now.
Did you know that Rev. Washington was the first African-American professor of Central College? Central College is an institution of our denomination and located in Pella, Iowa. Wilbur also served as professor at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. From 1988 to 1989, he was the first African-American president of our General Synod. In between these high offices, Wilbur and Marie served several churches, most notably the Pembroke Congregation in St. Ann, Illinois, and First Reformed Church in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
Visiting with Wilbur and Marie brings a breath of fresh air. It makes the particular challenges of the day appear small, allowing me to leave refreshed and encouraged. We live such sheltered lives! The presence of Wilbur and Marie in our midst reminds me how important it is to be involved, to lend our voice to those who are not heard, and, built on the presence of Christ in this world, to try to make a difference wherever our ministry may reach.