It’s been a long, a long-time coming.’ A man, a heart stronger than metal, his choice, our challenge, singing out to ensure that change is gonna come. The Louisville Interdenominational Male Chorus in its 27th year.

Pastor William Buck.


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by Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Author’s program note. It has just gone 7 a.m. here in Cambridge. It is one of  those precious summer Sundays when the good people, the indispensable  people of the land are engaging in time sanctified slowness… the universal  desire to refresh, renew, recharge, recreation the order of the day, not revolution,  not even here in the citadel of revolution. The day promises to be sultry, kissed by sunshine, so choice that even fervid  movers and shakers, their every move calculated, deliberate, serious sit down  for a moment and allow themselves to be touched by the simple majesty of a pink  hedge rose, enriching every passer-by with the wanton liberality of its insinuating,  insistent, evocative and always joyous scent. But here’s the important thing. Two years ago these flowers were not to be found in my neighborhood park,  the Common.

They are only there now because one person decided to make it  a better and more soothing place by taking roots from another place alive with their  radiance, planting them in dead of night, thereafter giving them the water and  the tending required. A man. His task. His secret… and a happiness that comes  from making the world, even in such a small matter as this, a better place. You may guess who this horticultural benefactor was; I will neither confirm nor  deny. But I tell you this: the good folks of Louisville, Kentucky applaud such initiative  by emulating it… and this is the point of this article. That if there is to be change, you  must designate yourself as the change agent, selecting the work you must do to  change a world in constant need of revitalizing and thoughtful revisions.

That is why for this article, I selected one of the most moving songs about change  ever written, not merely on the need for change, but the need for you to get up and help  make it happen. The song which you can find now in any search engine is “A Change Is  Gonna Come”. It was written and recorded by Sam Cooke in 1964. It has been called  one of the most inspiring anthems of the Civil Rights Movement. And so it is… but we  have need of it now for so many other purposes. What good are anyone’s civil rights  when we as a species are daily assaulting, by means various and pernicious, what  we must have to survive? “Oh, there been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long/  But now I  think I’m able to carry on/ It’s been a long, a long time coming  But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will.” Thus sayeth the folks of the Louisville Interdenominational Male Chorus, making  a difference, note by melodious note, for over 26 years now. Here is their story…  and it’s well worth the hearing. What must be done to bring about beneficial change.

The world we inhabit today will not be the world we live in tomorrow. It is not just  that the verities we knew so well yesterday are in the process of transformation;  it is the verities of today which will not be the verities of tomorrow, whether we like it  or not. The first task, therefore, of mankind in general and each of us in particular, is to move  with change, keeping in step with the developing evolution of everything, for everything  is evolving, embracing as much as we can with optimism and joy rather than bemoan  and bewail the loss of the “good old days”, the passing hours we lived in just the other  day, precious in our mind’s eye but gone, gone forever, replaced and irrevocably so by  the change that is gonna come, the change that is, after all, nothing more than a bridge  to the change that grows out of the change, great and small, we make today. It is easy in these circumstances to feel insignificant, a person of no consequence,  no meaning, less even than a grain of sand in the midst of infinite time, space, and  eternity. Such a realization can easily lead to dismay, despair, and  demoralization. But this would be wrong… for the stupendous challenge of our life is to craft our  planet and every feature that distinguishes it, the goal perfection, the objective  crucial, the task glorious because it involves us all and calls upon us all to act, for  without the act there cannot be the achievement.

If the goal was not monumental and demanding, we should be cheated. We, all of  us, were created to rise above, then rise above again, our every sinew and muscle  required for the task at hand, a task that calls us from the pedestrian affairs  of daily life to be and act like the children of God that we are and must never forget,  no matter the difficulty of the road we must each trod… for this is the only road worth  traveling. How change comes. On August 29, 1983 a small group of reverend fathers assembled at the First  Congregational Methodist Church, their numbers few, their work necessary,  their steadfast determination notable and essential. They would make music,  holy music, thereby uplifting the people, disseminating the good news… and from  monies raised through their musical and charitable endeavors, they would help  as many meritorious students as possible attend institutions of higher learning,  education necessary if these students were to rise above their circumstances  and, in their turn, assist others not yet as fortunate as they now were. Thus from the First Congregational Church, Greater Salem Baptist Church, Little  Flock Baptist Church, Mount Nebo Baptist Church, and Portland Memorial Baptist  Church The Interdenominational Male Chorus was founded and a new light lit for  the churches, their pastors, their parishioners, the great city of Louisville, and mankind,  for a good idea that makes life better is never merely local and parochial but a good  deed and high example for the world at large which can only advance by such means,  a fact we can never forget. Two revered gentlemen, Brother Harry Brown and Brother Alfonso Vance, were  honored by their honorable colleagues; assigned to protect and foster the happy  idea and take particular responsibility for its success… and so they did. Thus they  acted from the first day as all the truly great people on this Earth have ever done;  they started, one foot after another, minute by minute, one day at a time, so are  the greatest goals achieved. Here was their unbeatable agenda: They committed… for without commitment there can never be greatness. They did more than their share… for change is always carried by the few… for the  good of the many.

They urged the good people of Louisville to join them… for it is the undeniable  fact that those doing good have a responsibility to recruit those who might also  do good… if only they were asked to help. And asked again… and again… for you  cannot achieve maximum results if you ever take no for an answer. They listened to excuses. They didn’t make them. When you work with people  you hear people’s excuses. The excuses which diminish progress, or even stop  it all together: “I can’t…”; “I’m sorry but…”; “I forgot…”, “I’ll be your best worker — next  time” and all the rest. People become leaders because they disdain the making of  excuses as unworthy of them and their important mission. They covered for those who said they would do a certain thing, then failed to do it…  forcing the true believers, the people who nurtured and cared for the idea, to do more…  and to do it with the smile that was often under the circumstances deeply difficult  to summon, but always there notwithstanding, for heart is always part of the kit of  every one who works for change.

For such a one there will always be heart… and  at just the precious moment most necessary. That is what is meant by the old  adage, “God helps those who help themselves”. No one epitomizes this more  that William Buck, fighter, survivor, inspirer, man of the  cloth , my friend. Brief history of a man of courage, tenacity, faith and resolution. Of the many things I could tell you about William Buck, this one reaches the core of  the matter. He woke up this day in pain. He will go about his important business today  in pain. And he will go to bed tonight in pain. Yet this pain will not define this or any other  day; rather his determination to continue to effect the most positive of changes will. He  has pain; pain does not have him.That is the crucial difference and the reason his story  is worth attending to far beyond the confines of Louisville’s Greater Shepherd Church,  (which he founded) and the New Jerusalem Baptist Church, where he acts as Assistant  Pastor, in his “retirement” years. Some of you will have been born with debilitating back problems like Pastor Buck.  Have they defeated… or empowered you? Some of you will have worked the most demanding and laborious jobs, the kind of  job that progressively destroys even the strongest of bodies. Pastor Buck did. Has it  defeated… or empowered you? Some of you will have become so enfeebled and weak that one day you missed  your step and fell helpless to the floor, all alone, no one to call, no means of calling  them… and so spent hour after excruciating hour alone with only your fears and the  name of the Lord to comfort and sustain you.

Did the experience defeat…or  empower you? William Buck was cobbled together with titanium in his back… and  unequalled resolution in his mind. The Lord was his shepherd and he rose to the  task. Pastor William Buck was tested by such experiences… was challenged by such  experiences… was born again because of such experiences… and so because of  such infirmities, their constant pain, and the faith they tested and thereby helped  secure, he moved to God, a grateful child of the Lord, a man who learned to lean  on Jesus where he found everything he needed to rise above, rise above, rise above  and bring the good news to the people, particularly in the songs sung by the Louisville Interdenominational Male Chorus, his special cause, his particular joy. Hallelujah! Envoi. This is more than a story about one particular man in one particular place.

It is instead  a story about the individual commitment, responsibility and constant work that have  built thousands and thousands of worthy organizations across the Great Republic.  Select one of them as your special cause and learn the joy of giving like the good  people of the Louisville Interdenominational Male Chorus, currently in 15 churches,  have done, for they in general and William Buck in particular are worthy models  of what we can do when we put our minds to the task and work together to achieve  it. Dedication.

The author, with great pleasure, dedicates this article to all the people who have  used song as the means to advance the favored young people of Louisville and  especially to Mrs. William Buck, Bulah Mae, and their two children, Lakesha (37) and  Contrallo (32). These are his rod and his staff, nothing likely without them, but with  them the great change that gonna come, that he works for every day of his blessed  life. About the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is the author of over a dozen books in print, several ebooks, and over one thousand online articles on a variety of subjects. One of Dr. Lant’s favourite topics is to write about interesting people who are changing our world for the better one day at a time. Republished with author’s permission by Howard Martell . Check out CB Passive Income ->


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