CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Sunday, the members of Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church began their Black History Month Celebration.
Their celebration consisted of telling past stories and life lessons.
Rev. Claude Axel invited his son, Paul, to be the first guest speaker. Paul detailed his climb through the business world as an African-American man.
“It’s really you versus you," said Paul, now a real estate agent in Houston. "When you look in the mirror and when you wake up each day there is nothing that anybody can do to stop you from accomplishing your goals."
That's the message Paul delivered speaking about his move from sales associate to interim store manager and eventual manager.
But he discussed being passed up for promotions six times in a year and how he had to persevere.
"Any challenge that stands in the way of you accomplishing your goal, keep your faith and trust in god," he said. "He’ll see that you get through it. No matter what whatever you do just do not give up."
Paul's second lesson came when a friend reached out to assure him his time would come.
"I do think that it’s important for us to be able to reach out to our own," said Paul. "And be able to let them know what they’re capable of."
Claude expanded on the message by saying everyone is in this life together and Paul's lessons could be applied to anyone.
“People in general need to know that it doesn’t matter where and when you fall but what really matters is if you have the ability to get back up,” said Rev. Axel.
With Paul's children and Claude's grandchildren sitting in the congregation Sunday, they and everyone else leave with not just a life lesson but a reminder of why we continue to celebrate black history month.
“We have Blacks who have accomplished so much," Claude said. "But then so many times it’s seldom talked about. So we have to keep on bringing up the contributions of our people and how far god has brought us.”
The celebration continues through the month of February. A new guest speaker will be at Sunday service.
Jacolby Satterwhite will speak Feb. 13. Justen Evans will speak Feb. 20. Rev. Albert Walker will speak Feb. 27.