The Freedom Center hosts the Inaugural City- Wide 7 Words of Freedom Service on Good Friday Presented by Legacy Pointe Ministries

CINCINNATI – The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is pleased to host the inaugural city-wide 7 Words of Freedom Good Friday service April 18, presented by Legacy Pointe Ministries. This multi-cultural, multi-denominational service features seven dynamic religious leaders remembering Jesus’ Seven Last Words before his death, along with the words of other inspiring freedom luminaries, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Paul Booth, Jr. will serve as the master of ceremonies for the event, were guests will learn Jesus’ seven words from Cincinnati’s religious leaders featuring: Bishop Michael E. Dantly of Christ Emmanuel, Dr. Elliot Cuff of Lincoln Heights, Dr. Gary G. Hayles of Tabernacle Bible Church, Eric Petree of CityGate Church, Dr. Alphonse Allen, Jr. of Allen Temple A.M.E. and Rev. Dennis Chriszt of the Church of the Resurrection. This diverse group of leaders hopes to inspire the community by banding together across religious, cultural and racial lines, evoking the spirit of the civil rights leaders and Jesus’ universal message.

“The vision behind the Inaugural 7 Words of Freedom is to bring leaders and congregations around Cincinnati together to share in preparation for Resurrection Sunday,” said Paul Booth, Jr, founder of Legacy Pointe Ministries. “We hope to ignite a powerful spirit of unity throughout Cincinnati that will fuel innovative approaches to encourage, foster and educate the community about local and global injustice while spreading the message of the human spirit; while remembering those who were forerunners of change that promoted freedom for all. No matter what cross we have to bear there is a greater power whose transformative presence transcends every barrier we face locally and internationally. Legacy Pointe ministries is humbled to be at the helm of partnering with the Freedom Center on such a monumental moment in the life of our city.”

The event highlights Freedom Center exhibitions, which reveal the important role of the church, both in the abolitionist era and in the civil rights movements of the ’60s and ’70s. In both eras, the church was more than a place of sanctuary, it provided a safe haven where African Americans could worship freely, have access to education and organize collectively–it was there that the idea of freedom and equality took root.

“We are honored to hold this inaugural event,” said Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, president of the Freedom Center. “We hope that this event will have an even greater reach, inspiring folks across the nation to use their voice and their talents to become advocates for freedom for all. No matter your culture or creed, everyone can connect with Jesus’ message of peace, equality, forgiveness and compassion for their fellow man.”

The Seven Last Words of Jesus were gathered from all four gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This collection of verses is deeply rooted in the Christian faith and Lenten (Easter) season, spanning several denominations–from Southern Black Protestants to Catholics to Episcopalians. For the church, this time represents resurrection and rebirth, a time to recommit oneself to Jesus’ message of love and compassion for others. Ultimately, his message transcended religion, providing the universal truth that inspired the civil rights leaders who rallied the people across the north and south to sit in, to march– making political leaders and legislators “make good” on the promise of the founding fathers.

“The power of Jesus’ message has overcome denominational barriers, has united believers and has destroyed racial and cultural barriers throughout history,” said Rev. Eric Petree, pastor of City Gate Church. “It is an incredible honor to join with such trailblazing men of faith in the Harriet Tubman Theater to proclaim this life changing power of our Savior and our shared love for the people and City of Cincinnati. Coming together as one body to remember Christ’s last words from the cross exemplifies unity. Where there is unity, God commands His blessing.”

7 Words of Freedom is presented by Legacy Pointe Ministries and is a free event, open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m. followed by service at 6:30 p.m. Special performances include musical selections from CityGate Worship, Jillian, Speak Life and Carl Behanan. Limited seating. For more information call 513.333.7737. #7WordsofFreedom