2 men bringing message of friendship, racial reconciliation to community
ALBION – Two men who met by chance and became friends will share their story about healing America’s racial divide in Albion and Medina on April 29 to May 1.
The Rev. Timothy Lindsay is pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Albion, and a member of Pastors Aligned for Community Transformation (PACT). Pastor Lindsay was instrumental in bringing Will Ford and Matt Lockett to the area to speak in their upcoming visit.
Lindsay first heard about Ford and Lockett when he was having lunch last year with a friend in Rochester. They were discussing race relations when the friend told Lindsay he had to read “The Dream King,” a book about Ford and Lockett and how their lives are woven together, including generations ago by history.
Lindsay realized a man in his church had met Ford, who was his teacher at a Bible school in Dallas, and the pastor asked his Rochester friend to help arrange a visit. The friend contacted Ford, who then called Lindsay.
Ford and Lockett’s story is unbelievable, Lindsay said.
“Will is an African-American with intricate knowledge of his family’s life in slavery in Louisiana,” Lindsay said. “He has shared his story for years. He was in Washington, D.C. in 2005, on Martin Luther King Day, speaking in front of the Lincoln Memorial. A white man was in the audience – Matt Lockett. Will’s speech resonated with Matt and he made an effort to meet Will. This led to a friendship between the two families, which continues today.”
The two families have spent considerable time together. Lockett was very interested in ancestry and genealogy, and after 10 years, Ford and Lockett made an astounding discovery.
Lockett discovered it was his family who owned Ford’s ancestors in Louisiana.
“It was a very emotional discovery for the men,” Lindsay said. “The slave owner was a very wicked man and was terrible to the slaves. Now you’ve got a family name attached to that. It was Will’s best friend’s family. The men realized God was going to use their friendship to reconnect the nation.”
Lindsay said every person in America needs to hear their story.
The coincidence doesn’t end there, however. General Lee fought his last battle in the front yard of Lockett’s family farm at Sailor’s Creek, near Appomattox.
“In reality, that’s where the Civil War ended,” Lindsay said.
Ford and Lockett will share their story at 7 p.m. April 29 at Albion First Presbyterian Church; at 1 p.m. April 30 at Medina First Baptist church; at 7 p.m. April 30 at Roberts Wesleyan College’s Cultural Life Center; and at 7 p.m. May 1 at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Rochester. They will also be speaking at assemblies in Albion and Medina high schools.
In addition Ford will speak at Sunday services at 10 a.m. May 1 at Harvest Christian Fellowship.
Registration to attend any of presentations is encouraged by logging on to www.UnitedAndHealed.com. A free will offering will be collected at each event.