The E-News

Friday, February 9, 2023

Steele Hill A.M.E. Zion Church

Rev. Dr. Jerret C. Fite, Pastor

Chorus of the Captains by Amanda Gorman

(Please click "Watch on YouTube")

Amanda Gorman's moving Super Bowl LV poem honors three Americans for their work amid the pandemic. The message rings true today. This wonderful woman continues to impress, the voice of a new generation.

Who Is Amanda Gorman?

Amanda Gorman was named the first National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States in 2017. In 2021, she became the youngest poet to write and read her work at a presidential inauguration. The 22-year-old enthralled the Biden inauguration audience with "The Hill We Climb," which referenced both painful history and hope for the future. Gorman also read a poem at the Super Bowl in 2021, co-hosted 2021's Met Gala and was named an Estée Lauder Global Changemaker. In addition to poetry, Gorman is an activist who advocates for climate issues, equality and education. She's been interested in a presidential run since she was 11, and plans to run in 2036, the first cycle in which she'll be old enough to be elected. Prior to performing, Gorman recites the following mantra: "I'm the daughter of Black writers who are descended from Freedom Fighters who broke their chains and changed the world. They call me."

Meet The Superintendent Today

Super Weekend on The Hill

Super Sunday

9:45 AM Sunday School

10:40 AM Worship

Who Am I?

Recognize "LOVE" In A Special Way

In Case You Missed It: Thanks to our Varick's Children Ministry for their "Who Am I" last Sunday.

James Varick, 1750 - 1827, was the founder and first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
Contact: Tina Johnson

The Week Ahead

Please Note: ZOOM Telephone is an Option

With Special Thanks

We Grow Together

February 12 Jeffrey Johnson

February 14

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians13:13)

History Is Local

Thank everyone who stopped by the Photo Exhibit last Sunday. Sunday, the exhibit will be at First Washington Baptist in Lancaster.

The Friendship Nine

When you are in Rock Hill, please consider visiting the Friendship 9 Exhibit in downtown Rock Hill.

Beginning in 1960, the Rock Hill McCrory’s, along with Woolworth’s and several other downtown establishments, was the site of several lunch counter sit-ins. Protesters (9 young men) from the nearby Friendship Junior College targeted McCrory’s and Woolworth’s on February 12, 1960, resulting in the lunch counters being closed for several days. The most famous of these protests occurred at McCrory’s on January 31, 1961, and resulted in the “Friendship Nine” incident, and garnered national attention because of the “jail, no bail” strategy. This previously untried strategy lessened the huge financial burden civil rights groups were facing as the movement spread across the South, ultimately changing the face of American business by granting equal service to African-Americans.

At about 11:30 AM all ten of the young men sitting at the McCrory’s lunch counter were arrested and taken to the city jail. The young women continued to carry picket signs on the street for about fifteen minutes after the young men were arrested, and then they left. The following day, the ten arrested demonstrators were tried for trespassing. The first man tried was Charles Taylor, the Friendship student from New Jersey. Taylor was tried, found guilty, convicted, and sentenced to $100 fine or 30 days hard labor on the York County Prison Farm. The protesters’ attorney, an African American lawyer from Sumter named Ernest A. Finney, asked the judge to let Taylor’s trial be used as a basis for the other nine, and the judge agreed. The other nine were tried, found guilty, and sentenced to the same punishment. Taylor was concerned about the possibility of losing his athletic scholarship at Friendship, so with the assistance of the NAACP he paid his bail and was released. The NAACP offered to pay the bail for the remaining nine protesters, but they refused, and on February 2, they began serving out their 30-day sentences on the county prison farm.

Members of the Friendship 9 at the counter, which is now the Kounter restaurant in downtown Rock Hill. The exhibit is in the hallway of Kounter.

January 28, 2015

A judge in South Carolina has thrown out the convictions of the Friendship Nine, nine black men who integrated a whites-only lunch counter in 1961, at the peak of the civil rights movement.

"We cannot rewrite history, but we can right history," Judge John C. Hayes III said before signing the order that vacated their trespassing convictions. (Hayes is the nephew of the judge who handed down the original sentence.) The prosecutor apologized to the eight surviving members of the Friendship Nine who were in the courtroom.

These are pictures from our visit to the exhibit. (Fred & Renee)

Making History

This article was written prior to last week's Grammy's

‘Leaning on God’: Charlotte’s rising gospel star credits faith for 2024 Grammy Nomination

Charlotte gospel singer is nominated at 66th Grammy Awards

Melvin Crispell III. (Photo courtesy of W&W Public Relations)

Melvin Crispell III is a rising star in the gospel music industry who credits his faith for his recent success.

The Charlotte native is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Gospel Performance/Song category for his single “God Is.” The song is featured on his second solo album, “No Failure,” which was released in June 2023. The 66th Grammy Awards will air Feb. 4 on CBS.

Crispell’s journey is one of both legacy and healing. It was music and faith that he says helped him cope with losing his parents, gospel singer Tunesha Crispel and gospel singer-songwriter Melvin Crispell Jr., in 2016 and 2014, respectively.

He said he hopes his music does the same for others.

“I really wanted people to walk away with hope and joy, just knowing that God is in control of their situations,” he said.

Your music talks about overcoming pain through faith. Can you talk about your personal experience?

One of the turning points of my life was the loss of both of my parents at a young age. It really affected me, and it took me years to figure out how I would heal from it and how I would move on. It was gospel music and singing that really carried me in those moments.

It was trusting God and leaning on him to carry me through those moments. We all deal with struggles, so if God can do it for me, then he can do it for anybody. (credits:

Best Gospel Performance/Song

This award is given to the artist(s) and songwriter(s) (for new compositions) for the best traditional Christian, roots gospel or contemporary gospel single or track.


God Is Good

Stanley Brown Featuring Hezekiah Walker, Kierra Sheard & Karen Clark Sheard; Stanley Brown, Karen V Clark Sheard, Kaylah Jiavanni Harvey, Rodney Jerkins, Elyse Victoria Johnson, J Drew Sheard II, Kierra Valencia Sheard & Hezekiah Walker, songwriters

Feel Alright (Blessed)

Erica Campbell; Erica Campbell, Warryn Campbell, Juan Winans & Marvin L. Winans, songwriters

Lord Do It For Me (Live)

Zacardi Cortez; Marcus Calyen, Zacardi Cortez & Kerry Douglas, songwriters

God Is

Melvin Crispell III

All Things - WINNER

Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, songwriter


Thank everyone who participated in the Super Bowl Survey. After all of the votes have been counted and audited, Steele Hill is picking, as the Winner of Super Bowl 58, on February 11, in Las Vegas, NA USA

Thank You for Reading

Steele Hill Media Ministry

Contact: Fred Witherspoon - - 704.488.5008

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