Sam Bam and the Bear

What a wonderful evening we shared together last night!  The 159th Annual session of the Nelson Baptist Association met last night at Cedar Grove Baptist Church.  What was so remarkable was that we welcomed into the Association an African-American congregation for the first time in 159 years.  To celebrate the occasion, Dr. Kevin Cosby (pastor of St. Stephens Baptist Church in Louisville) preached a most excellent message for all Christians—of all colors—to be one in Christ.  He told the story of Bear Bryant (Legendary Coach of Alabama, not Auburn).  Bear Bryant was beaten once in the Rose Bowl by USC largely because of the efforts of Sam “Bam” Cunningham, a black running back who ran back 3 kickoffs for touchdowns.  The next year, Bear Bryant introduced black players to the University of Alabama football team.  Noting the incredible impact of integrating blacks with whites on the football field, Dr. Cosby fired a shot directly into heart of “puffed up” Christianity, stating that it is a shameful and scandalous thing that God had to use a football player to speed integration in the South, when Southerners had the gospel of Jesus Christ which was supposed to have the power to break down the barriers and dividing walls.  The point is obvious for its application.  We have the gospel power of God to cancel sin and destroy the barriers it constructs to rob us of full joy in Christ.

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