In the past quarter-century, the percentage of the Togolese population with access to safer water sources has been steadily increasing from less than 50 percent in 1990 to 63.1 percent in 2015. Despite this improvement, water quality in Togo is still relatively poor with more than 30 percent of its population that remains unable to obtain water safe for consumption. In rural areas, the population suffers from health complications due to a lack of access to clean drinking water sources and sanitation. As Pastor of the First Baptist Church, I will join Senior Pastor Michael Simone of Spring Branch Community Church in Virginia Beach, VA and father of Rev. Travis Simone of the Williamsburg Community Chapel and others on a mission to improve the situation and bring hope to the villages of Togo, West Africa. I want to hear from the congregation and visitors on other things that we can do to help the government and private citizens in providing aid to the villages of Togo.
On Friday, June 7th, Mrs. Connie Matthews Harshaw, President of the Let Freedom Ring Foundation sat down with Stephen Seals of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Barbara Ham Lee of WHRO-FM for a conversational history lesson on the Historic First Baptist Church of Williamsburg and the Let Freedom Ring Bell.
The Historic First Baptist Church, established in 1776, was created by free and enslaved Blacks. The church is formally recognized as one of America's oldest continuous African American congregations. It is home to the "Let Freedom Ring" bell, which was silenced during segregation and the Civil Rights movement, yet it rings again today. The Freedom Bell also made modern history on September 24, 2016 when former President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Ms. Ruth Odom Bonner rang the bell at the opening ceremony for the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History in Washington D.C.
Thank you to Mrs. Connie Matthews Harshaw for all that you do to tell the story and help others understand that Our History is American History.