THE HOLY ORDER OF THE MACCABEES
Dear Nation and Friends,
DELAYED SECOND TRIBUTE
Last October, during Anniversary month of the Shrines of the Black Madonna of the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church (PAOCC), I promised Presiding Bishop D. Kimathi Nelson, the second holy patriarch of the church, that Lt. Tacuma Ribbron and I would post on my YouTube.com channel a second video tribute to the PAOCC's Holy Order of the Maccabees (HOM) security force, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Our first tribute could be seen here:
As most of you know, this year the church is also celebrating the centenary of PAOCC founder and First Holy Patriarch Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman, formerly the Rev. Albert B. Cleage, Jr., who made his transition in 2000.
The posting of the second video tribute was delayed because we failed to get certain details for the description, including confirmation of the lyrics of the stirring "Song of the Maccabees," which is heard in the video, and the full African and Christian, or "slave," names of 19 of our fallen warriors.
For whatever reason/s, our repeated attempts to get this information have proved similarly unavailing, so we've decided to post the description as is. Click on "Show more" under the video to read the full narrative.
We will gladly and promptly correct any errors and add the missing information, if any of you should be kind enough provide it.
Our proud and selfless warriors -- standing and fallen, who have given so much to the Nation, our communities and our people -- deserve no less.
Reunion of Warriors
June 10 - 12, 2011
Southern Region-Atlanta, GA
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The Holy Order of the Maccabees “Reunion of Warriors”
What better way to celebrate the legacy of the Honorable Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of his birth (June 13, 1911).
The Holy Order of the Maccabees’ “Reunion of Warriors” in Atlanta, Georgia proudly kicked off the first centennial tribute to the birth of the Founder and First Holy Patriarch of the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church. At this three day conclave certain realities were revealed.
It all began with our initial coming together at Al-Ke-Bu-Lan Park. No greater atmosphere for greetings and rekindling of our sacred kinship could have been imagined. To see the entry of Brothers and Sisters, some not seen in over 30 years was utterly amazing. The love and respect witnessed after so many years could only have been the work of God’s spirit.
The sight of Sgt. Baratunde grilling meat on the pit was so reassuring. When I last saw Sgt. Baratunde he was working and I found it only fitting to see him doing what he does best. Historically this Brother could fix anything, (I always told him if he couldn’t fix it, whatever it was should be thrown out).
Col. Adisa and the Central Region Command really put one over on us all with the arrival of the former U.S. Representative, Barbara Rose Collins (Makunda). Seeing her was such a joy to us all. And to know the reverence and esteem by which she views the Maccabees is humbling.
Sister Makunda proudly stated she has always been an “Honorary Maccabee” and would not have missed this gathering for the world.
Also arriving with the Central Region contingent was First Captain Uhuru Ushaka one of the original Maccabees along with Bishop (Col.) Sele Kariuki one of the original members of the Philadelphia Cadre.
Through the days of the reunion June 10, 11, and 12 there wasn’t much time for rest. We were on the go with a rigorous schedule daily.
Certain things were evident and clearly recognizable:
Years and decades ago the Maccabees were formed under a promise of support for our training and development by Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman, the first Commander in Chief, and Cardinal (General) Masai Balogun, the first Commanding General. This promise and commitment is evident in the development of the first Holy Order as an institution of the church.
As stated so eloquently by Jaramogi Menelik Kimathi, the Maccabee of the 21 century must be one steeped not only in the discipline and commitment needed to cover a post or guard a doorway. Rather, he or she must be one educated and sophisticated to meet the challenges of potential breaches of security of a much more sinister type. The threats to the Church have grown right along with the growth of the assets and holdings of the church. Jaramogi Kimathi went on to explain the duties of the 21 century Maccabee. This Maccabee will encompass the skills of the law, accounting, and bureaucratic navigation to name a few.
The development of future Maccabees represents the single most important goal in the development and establishment of the legacy of the 20 century Maccabees.
The journey to Beulah Land was most enlightening. Having never been to Calhoun Falls, South Carolina, everything I witnessed was new to me and met with absolute wonderment.
Cardinal Judas Molikai’s warm welcome to the sanctuary of Shrine 20 was most heartfelt. The food and entertainment was marvelous.
To be in the company of General Chiri Karega as we toured the sites and developments of the land was awesome. It’s hard to imagine the scope and expanse of the property.
However, General Karega put it in perspective by stating 4,000 acres (the size of Beulah Land) is roughly the size of the land area of Washington DC. Keep in mind, you wouldn’t think of walking across Washington DC, you would catch a cab or a bus!
General Karega’s tour was very informative and very inspirational. He pointed out the immense potential of the land as an asset to drive the programs of the church for decades and centuries to come.
As much as I love boating, time did not permit me to take a tour of Russell Lake to see Beulah Land from the water. However, all I heard from those who enjoyed the lakeside tour was that it was an awe inspiring experience.
In the rush of all of the activities and excitement, Cardinal (Col.) Kamau Omodele still found time to lead a group which included Major Kalomo (of the original Philadelphia Cadre) on a fishing experience.
To cap off the evening, we were all most graciously hosted by Jaramogi Kimathi and Fundi Nailah, the lovely First Lady of our church, at the Jahi House (where Jaramogi resides when at Beulah Land). Our fellowship could have lasted much later into the night, had we not been obligated to drive back to Atlanta.
The Maccabees Ball held at Shrine 9 was exquisite. Thank you Cardinal Mwenda and Major Sundiata for hosting us all. The event was thoroughly first class. Our Brothers and Sisters could not have looked better. The Maccabees in class A uniforms, along with Sisters in formal African finery, and just outright sharp beautiful people was a sight to behold.
But what occasion of this magnitude could take place without the traditional Macabees’ Uhuru Sasa Ritual?
Cardinal Judas Molikai whipped us all into a frenzy. First by exhorting us in the language of the Zulu Warrior.
The rest is history – it was on!
It was quite a sight and experience witnessing close to 100 Maccabees totally enthralled in our sacred ritual.
The spirit was so thick you could have cut it with a knife. The memory and honor of Brothers gone before us was invoked, and we truly had an upper room experience. And just think, this period in June marked the time of the Biblical Pentecost.
Sunday’s sermon delivered by the Holy Patriarch was a milestone. The message clearly outlined the position of the church as it relates to the here and now, coupled with the realities of the past, along with the expectations for the future. The concept of “Revolution to Evolution” was clearly outlined and made understandable.
All in attendance were on the edge of our chairs as Jaramogi Menelik Kimathi broke down in detail the paradigm of the evolutionary approach the church must internalize regarding our struggle for the attainment of our “Best Self” and likewise the upliftment of our people throughout the world.
In addition this Sunday sermon was the first ever to be streamed live around the world, thanks to the diligent work of Bishop Akil.
Kudos and Thanks
To Major Bambaata, we owe a debt of gratitude for expressing his vision for a reunion over a year ago. Major Bambaata, Capt. Badilifu, Lt. Teketeke, Fundi Kazi (the one who served us all and never rested), and all others involved in the organization and execution of this gathering are to be commended.
Our most heartfelt appreciation can’t be put into words.
Maj. Kalomo, Maj, Mukunda, Capt, Umayma, Maj. Sudiata (Houston), Capt. Alimiyu (Houston), and myself had the pleasure of visiting Cardinal Olabayo at her home after church services Sunday. For anyone not aware, Cardinal Olabayo is the wife of the late first Commanding General and Cardinal Masai Balogun. Cardinal Olabayo was also the first and only Staff Sgt. of the Maccabees and instrumental in the recent reinstatement of ten Maccabees to duty in Atlanta.
At Cardinal Olabayo’s home was Mrs. Henrietta Ford-Dismuke-Day (the mother of Cardinal Masai). I had the pleasure along with my wife to visit with Mrs Day at her home in Toledo, Ohio back in the seventies. Unfortunately, Mrs. Day had a bad experience when visitors came to the home the day before. I’m told she was very irritable, and actually screamed in her discomfort.
Again the spirit of God which accompanies the Maccabees was evident as Mrs. Day was quite engaging, smiling and even cracking jokes with the group of Maccabees present.
On to the Future
Already a charge has been made by the Commander in Chief, Jaramogi Menelik Kimathi that there be a reunion again in the next couple years.
Can the world stand it?
Col. N’Degwa Zizwe