The Rev. Willie James Goodwin, 66, pastor, Oak Grove Baptist Church, Pontiac

When Sept. 11 arrived, our church just about went into a turmoil because they didn’t know what they were going to do. You tell them the Lord said, “I will never forsake you.”

A lot of churches, the membership got closer together.

Where I am pastor, there’s 12 of us that bring different churches in the area together. We are going to do a commemoration Sept. 11 at Blaney Elementary School and see what we can do to bridge the gap between the races and the churches. God is not a segregated God.

We may not have had any folks directly involved in this devastation, but what affects you, affects me. I am my brother’s and sister’s keeper.

This war started way back with Abraham and his son Isaac and his son Ishmael. They wanted what’s theirs. And it’s just about property. A lot of people hold on to houses, cars – a lot of materialistic things. And you’re going to leave that all behind. When we leave here, we’re nothing but a speck of dust.

I saw Sept. 11 as a sign of prophecy. The end is coming. Don’t get too satisfied staying here. You’re going to be out of here. It’s just that simple. These are the signs it’s happening now. You’re in the last days.

That is my belief.

-As told to Pat Berman, staff writer

September 10, 2002  State (published as The State)  
Columbia, South Carolina
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