On February 25, The Marjorie Luke Theater was filled with guests who turned out for its 8th Annual Visions of Hope Black History Month Worship Celebration.
The yearly event, was sponsored by Visions of Hope founder Phillip Pipersburg, a resident of Santa Barbara (by way of Belize), since 1968. Phillip, a 1984 Olympic runner, received a vision from God and established “Visions of Hope” in 2010 to bring the community together in unified worship. Since then, He and his wife Lillian, and daughter Candice have organized and hosted the event. The attendees were treated to spiritually uplifting gospel music by Grace Temple Praise group and Visions of Hope Worship team and Ron Paris.
The celebration began with prayer and scripture by the Young Black Professionals of Santa Barbara, who also led the attendees in the Negro National Anthem. Deacon Lawrence Lee from New Trinity served as emcee. This year’s National Theme was read by Elder Robert Parham is “A Tribute to African Americans in a Time of War.” Over 30 veterans were honored with awards by Visions of Hope.
Deacon Lawrence Lee introduced the guest speaker, Rev. Carlos Speights from New Trinity Community Church in Oxnard Ca. He is involved in a variety of interfaith ministries and is part of the Third Sunday Federation of Churches which is an auxiliary of the Western Baptist State Convention. Rev. Speights powerful message “We are More Than Conquers” was a moving tribute to African Americans in a time of war. He included the contributions of Black soldiers from before America won it’s freedom in the American Revolution, and every war and conflict since.
The honorees included (alphabetically): Jessica Beaty, Kenneth Bridgett, George Brooks Jr., Victor Bryson, Richard Carpentier, Wallace Dailey, Buddy Gibson, Tobbie Gibson, Tommy Gordon, Friday Hampton, Louie Hayes, Lawrence Lee, Dekoran Lomax, James Jordan McDuffy, Lisa Mitchell, Marc Mitchell, Richard Moody, Wayne Orosco, Ron Paris, Robert Poindexter, Edward Riley, Fred Smith Jr., Patsy Thorpe, Isaiah Toran, Isaiah Toran Jr., Darrell Tullis, Darrin Tullis Jr., J. Louis Watkins, Ronald Wiley, Gloria Willingham.