Richard Swanson, a senior pastor lived a very shady life. He schemed and stole funds from the church for his own greed and even committed murder to save his own reputation. He was put out of the church and asked to seek counseling. After a few years, he returned to Cedar Springs very determined to again be the senior pastor, no matter what it took. He had murdered once and was not above doing it again. He soon found out that he could fool man, but he could not fool God.
David Frye, on the other hand, was a dedicated senior pastor who learned from his past mistakes. He has had his share of demons in his lifetime. Even though he was a minister, David almost lost his wife to a divorce. He had many nights of crying to God many times for help before he understood just how God was working in his life.
God heard David's cry, but it took him a long time to answer. God was only holding out until David knew in his heart that God had truly forgiven him. David had a lot to repent for in his past, but he does eventually repent through spiritual growth. As David gained more and more knowledge of what God wanted him to do, he grew and he continued to be blessed. David had many regrets in his life and had done many wrong things, but he vowed not to look back.
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How Long Shall I Cry
"Oh, Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou will not hear! And cry out unto them of violence and thou will not save." Habakkuk 1:2
By Vina B. McEachern
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2013 Vina B. McEachern
All rights reserved.
History of the Church
Shortly before the end of slavery at a time when slaves were allowed more freedom to worship, a small group of about 20 dedicated worshippers were given permission to hold service in a farm building previously used to house farm animals. This group was given permission to use this building by Jeremiah Quincey, who owned the building. Unfortunately, there is no official record of the exact year they started worshipping there but it is believed to be sometime around 1862. The land was owned and donated by Jeremiah and Abigail Quincey while they were yet slaves.
Jeremiah was an offspring of Elijah Quincey and one of the house slaves. His mother died from complications during childbirth so he never had a chance to know her. Jeremiah came into this world screaming and kicking, full of life. He was a very healthy baby with very light colored skin and hazel colored eyes of a brown green mixture and straight black hair. He looked nothing like his mother but a lot like Elijah, his biological father. It was obvious that there was a mixture of something other than black in his blood and his outward appearance. His last name was Quincey because slaves would take on the last name of their master's family. Elijah and his family took in Jeremiah, who was raised by one of the other house servants because Elijah wanted Jeremiah to remain in his house. By the time Jeremiah was 16, he was shadowing Elijah almost every where he went. He had a special fondness for Elijah even though he did did not know at that time that Elijah was his biological father. Jeremiah worked as a servant to Elijah by doing chores around the house. When he was not busy with chores, Jeremiah had to stand in the presence of the master's family all the day and part of the night, ready to do anything that the family needed or commanded him to do. Thus, he got little sleep but Jeremiah did not mind, as the family treated him quite well and he was willing to do anything that they wanted him to. The fact that he was Elijah's biological son, made him special to Elijah; therefore, Elijah insisted that everyone treat him well. However, at this point, no one other than Elijah knew for sure that Jeremiah was his son, as that is something that was not talked about publicly even though everyone suspected it, as he looked to be more white than black and he looked a lot like Elijah, from the color of his eyes to the texture of his black hair.
House slaves often had easier lives than the field slaves, as they usually lived in the house with the master, either in the basement or the attic of the big house or in smaller one-room cottages near the plantation mansion, which they called the "big house." The house slaves worked in the big house as cooks, maids, mammies, butlers or other servants. Their children were friends or playmates for the master's children, as there were no other children close by other than the children of the slaves. The house slaves, for the most part, were better fed and they usually got the hand-me-downs; thus they were dressed better than the field slaves. They had to be neat and clean because they were always around the master and his family and their visitors. Mammies and their children usally stayed in the big house, mostly for convenience, but mostly to be nearby if the master's family needed them. For this reason, house slaves thought they were better than the field slaves.
The field slaves worked in the fields planting, caring for and cultivating the crops. The cooks made all meals and ordered all the food and supplies they needed for the meals. The masters' wives did not have chores to do and had little to say about what food was ordered or any say in the preparation of the meals, it was all left to the cook. In fact, the wives had little to say about anything that their husbands' did.
Sarah Quincey, Elijah's wife, and Ruth, his daughter, often thought of Jeremiah as part of their family. There was a bit of jealousy on Sarah's part at first, as she knew that her husband was sleeping with his house servant, Jeremiah's mother, but the jealousy did not last long. He was such a joyful child and she came to really love Jeremiah as if he were her own son. The house slaves would sometimes leave the plantations and go on delivery runs with their masters. The house slaves were exposed to more and knew more than the field slaves on Elijah's plantation. Elijah would often take Jeremiah on runs into town with him as he conducted business and he was exposed to a lot as a child and became very business savvy. Jeremiah learned how to read because Sarah and Ruth taught him to read in the privacy of their home. During that time, it was against the law to teach a slave to read or write. No matter how much you were liked, no slave could possibly escape being punished no matter how hard they worked, as it was a way of keeping the slaves in line. But Elijah and Sarah were kind-hearted people and they treated all of their slaves well and kept the punishment to a minimum. If word got around to the other plantation owners that he never punished his slaves, the others would not have liked that. While working for Elijah, Jeremiah met and fell in love with Abigail, the daughter of the maid servant who also worked in the big house, whose last name was Quincey because they belonged to Elijah. Abigail was mostly responsible for raising Elijah's daughter, Ruth, and being there for her. Abigail became very important to the family and had a lot of power around the plantation. Jeremiah married Abigail when he was 20 years old and she was 19 years old. They courted for a short period of time before he asked her to marry him. It did not take him long to realize that she was the apple of his eye and the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Everyone was so happy for them, as both were well liked by the entire Quincey family. They were also well-liked by the other slaves on the plantation. Because Jeremiah was blood kin and Abigail was like kin, as a wedding gift, Elijah allowed them to live in a building normally used as his visitor quarters, an upgrade to the one-room living quarters where the slaves lived. Elijah did as much as he could for Jeremiah without calling attention to the fact that he was Jeremiah's biological father. So basically, everyone just thought that he was a slave in which Elijah was partial to. Although they were married, Jeremiah continued to take care of Elijah's immediate needs. He learned how to drive and drove Elijah everywhere he went. Abigail continued to care for Ruth as if she was her own daughter, who by this time was in her late teens.
A couple of years after Jeremiah and Abigail's marriage, Abigail became pregnant with their first child. When they went to see Elijah to share their news, they found out that Elijah had become very sick and he knew that he was dying. But Elijah wanted his son, Jeremiah, to know that he was his father; but somehow, Jeremiah already sensed it, as he looked very much like Elijah.
Jeremiah knocked on the door to Elijah's room. Elijah motioned for them to come into his room. Both entered the room and stood by Elijah's bed.
"Mr. Quincey, sir," Jeremiah said as he knelt down by Elijah's bed. Abigail and I came by to tell you that we're going to have a baby." Jeremiah repeated very excitedly, "We're going to have a baby."
Elijah's eyes lit up and he tried to smile. "Oh really now. That is good news. When will this child be born?" Elijah asked with a large smile on his face.
Jeremiah looked at Abigail as if to ask her permission to tell Elijah. Then he said, "I would say in about two months or so."
Smiling, Elijah looked at Jeremiah and then at Abigail and said, "Finally, I will have a grandchild. I just wish I will be around to see the child. You know I am a very sick man and do not know how long I will be around, but I pray that I be around long enough to see my grandchild."
Jeremiah was very surprise to hear Elijah admit that this would be his grandchild, as he has never mentioned anything about being Jeremiah's father before. "Your grandchild," Jeremiah asked him, wondering if he was delirious and did not know what he was saying.
"Yes, my grandchild. I have been meaning to tell you son," he said a wee bit hestitantly. "I was waiting for the right time. But, being that I am dying and you are about to make me a grandfather, there is no better time than now to tell you that you are my son, my one and only true son. You just don't know how long I have wanted to tell you but could never find the right words or the right time to tell you. But now that I am dying, I feel that I must tell you." He was a bit weak and saddened, near to tears. "I love you son. That is why I tried to keep you in my house, close by and watch you grow up. Yes, you are my son, my flesh and blood." He laid back a little relieved that he finally got it out. "Boy, I have wanted to call you that to your face for such a long time. I often said it out loud when I was alone, but never had the courage to say it to you or to anyone else out loud, but I tried to show it in my actions and feelings towards you."
Jeremiah looked at Elijah, acknowledging him openly as his father for the first time, while gently holding his hands. "I knew that you were my father, or at least I suspected it. I felt it in here." Jeremiah pounded on his chest and pointed to his heart. "Even if you had never told me, I would have known." They embraced as father and son. What a happy occasion it would have been if Elijah was not so sick.
When the American Civil War (1861-1865) began, President Abraham Lincoln carefuly saw the conflict as concerning the preservation of the Union rather than the abolishing of slavery, although he found the practice of slavery abhorrent, it was not his first desire to abolish slavery. On September 22, 1862, soon after the Union's victory at Antietam, President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary decree stating that as of January 1, 1863, "all slave in the rebellious states shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free." However, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave, but it was an important turning point in the war, changing the fight to preserve the nation into a fight for human freedom. Then on January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln presented the Emancipation Proclamation declaring, "all persons held as slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free." The Emancipation Proclamation did not free all slaves in the United States. However, it freed 3.1 million of the nation's 4 millions slaves, as it merely declared that only those slaves living in states not under Union control be freed. William Seward, Lincoln's Secretary of State, at that time, commented, "We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free." However, legally slavery would still exist in the former Confederate states as well as in the Union slave states that had been exempted from the Emancipation Proclamation. So the Democratic party committed itself to a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery, which was the Thirteenth Amendment by the necessary two-third majority on April 8, 1864. But, it was not until January 31, 1865 that there were enough Democrats in the House who voted for the amendment to pass by two-thirds of the votes. Thus, by December 18, 1865, the required three-quarters of the states had ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, which ensured that forever after this, neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States.
Elijah lived for several more months but he was able to see his grandson and claim him as such before he died, knowing that his son and his son's family would be free and not slaves to anyone. With the insistence of Elijah, Jeremiah named his son Isiah. This is a name Elijah had in reserve just in case he had another son or grandson. Since Jeremiah was freed as a slave, his son, Isiah was born a freed person. Some house slaves who had provided good service over a long period of time or those who were special to the master, were promised their freedom in writing when their master's died. However, there are many cases where this promise was not kept. That was not the case with Jeremiah, as he was more than a slave to Elijah, he was Elijah's son. Elijah, sensing his impending death and not wanting Jeremiah to have any problems with his freedom after his death, drew up papers that legally deeded Jeremiah and Abigail a parcel of land, more than ten acres, with several farm buildings already on it (which would have been his rightful inheritance had he been totally white and not born of a slave mother). This property was located on the furthest end of Elijah's plantation. He then gave Jeremiah and Abigail freedom papers, to include Isiah, which were back dated to before Isiah's birth, designating them as free, although Jeremiah had never really been a slave in the truest of sense. Elijah's health continued to fail him. He died the following fall but not before spending a few months of quality time with Jeremiah, his son, and Isaiah, his grandson, as he and Sarah only had one child together, a daughter, Ruth.
After Elijah's death, Jeremiah was able to buy additional farm acreage from Elijah's widow, who only lived a couple of years after Elijah's death. Thus everything was left to their daughter. With slavery being abolished, it was easier for Jeremiah to be a landowner without the hassle from the other whites trying to force him back into slavery, as slavery was not totally abolished in some states and the mentality of the landowners was that every black man was somebody's slave. The whites still did not want to see the blacks amount to anything. But whenever Jeremiah went out to buy land, or anything else for that matter, he was thought to be a white man, which he never objected to, and as long as he had money, he could get it. Jeremiah's accumulation of acreage made him one of the community largest black landowners in Cedar Springs.
As time went on, Jeremiah and Abigail eventually had six children. Some looked like him and some looked like their mother, Abigail. In the truest sense, these were colored children, ranging from really light skinned to really dark skinned. Jeremiah's children lived on the family parcel and they farmed along with their father until they were ready to set out and buy their own land or otherwise move out on their own. Jeremiah's four sons grew up to eventually be landowners, buying land wherever it would be sold to a black man. Jeremiah's two daughters moved away to another state in the northeastern part of the United States to further their education. Both became nurses and returned to Cedar Springs to work with the children in that community. Jeremiah had private homes built on his acreage and designated special parcel of land for each of them.
Excerpted from How Long Shall I Cry by Vina B. McEachern. Copyright © 2013 by Vina B. McEachern. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
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Table of Contents
History of the Church.................... 1
The First Pastor.................... 15
Coming out of Slavery.................... 18
The Church Gets Its Name.................... 30
Education of the Blacks.................... 33
Church Growth Under Different Pastors.................... 36
Jeremiah's Death and Funera.................... l40
Richard Swanson Reigns.................... 58
Selecting Another Man of God.................... 103
Richard Swanson Returns.................... 116
The Appointment of David Frye.................... 120
The Megachurch Continues to Grow.................... 125
Don't Keep Bad Memories Alive.................... 142
The Betrayal.................... 158
Spirituality, Maturity, Power and Growth.................... 164
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