Learn about history from the source

Union Missionary Baptist Church in Columbiana is celebrating Black History Month in February by bringing a man who’s lived history for more than a century to Shelby County.

Bishop Otis Clark, who will be 108 when he visits Columbiana Feb. 27, is bringing his message of faith and his lessons on history.

Clark has a unique vantage point to preach from — according to his official website, he went on his first mission trip to Africa at age 103 and his second at age 104.

He also went to the West Indies on a mission trip at age 107.

Clark also has stories he could tell about America’s racial divide and the work done to overcome the divide.

He is a survivor of the 1921 race riot in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Okla.

To put it all into perspective, Clark, born in 1903, is older than the state of Oklahoma, which was incorporated in 1907.

We encourage all Shelby County residents interested in black history, as well as those who may have never thought much about it before, to attend the program at 3 p.m. Feb. 27 at Union Missionary Baptist.

The McIntosh County Shouters, who perform historical praise chants and shouts, will be part of the program as well.

No doubt you’ll learn a few things you never knew before, and you’ll get a deeper insight into our nation’s history — even the parts you may have known about already.

Clark’s got something to say, and we hope plenty of our county’s residents will be there to hear it.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.