By Amelia Rawlins
“Hallelujah! Yes Lord! Thank you Jesus! This is amazing!”
That was the collective response of an emotion-charged audience as they joined together during a watch night service at the historic Bethany Baptist Church to witness President Barack Obama win reelection.
“It’s deserving,” said Bed-Stuy native Wanda Dobson. “It’s God and it is all in his plan and we as a people, we made this.”
Dobson’s reaction and sentiments to Obama’s historic win was shared by many others as they cheered and applauded in awe for the remainder of the watch night service.
The service was also a food and donation drive for those affected by Hurricane Sandy and was organized by the church, the National Action Network, Central Club of the Working Families Party and the NYPS Brooklyn Clergy to continue the momentous tradition where folks would sit around all night to watch the making of history.
“It was important to have this service tonight, one because we needed to end this campaign where it began and I don’t mean in 2008,” said Kirsten John Foy, President of the Brooklyn Chapter, National Action Network. “All of our liberation struggles in this country began in the church, per say, and this is no different when we are talking about the Abolitionist Movement or Civil Rights Movement, the church has always been the center and the driving point.”
Foy, who is also running for City Council next year to succeed the term-limited Al Vann, said it was fitting to host the service at Bethany Baptist Church because of the church’s historic significance to the community, and the pastors, who have all been social justice-oriented in their ministries.
“This was also an opportunity for building community and going beyond just the normal everyday barbershop talk. We needed to just come together and fellowship, especially with Hurricane Sandy, he said.”