The Crusader Newspaper Group

Reflecting on the legacy of two servants of Morning Star Baptist Church

Morning Star Baptist Church

Photo caption: Mother Arnetter Smith and Brother Chester Mitchell (Photos by Mark Joseph) 

By Stanley Louis Hill, Sr. and Ada Nivia Lopez

We pause shortly today to capture photographic images that reflect on the many noble deeds of a faithful sister and brother who helped establish the glorious history and legacy of Morning Star Baptist Church of Chicago.

We are today reaping the rewards of their steadfast loyalty and many sacrifices made. It is up to us to see that a great institution for which they laid the foundation perpetuates the good work begun in them.

Mother Arnetter Smith is 102 years old. Scanning her face you see signs of God’s presence. Such tenderness and sweetness of manner. Has known much suffering, however only been purified by it. Has never lost hold of the hand of God. Thankful for her blessings and not complaining. An intense and undeniable wave of love and recognition of God’s presence appears when in her presence and see her face.

Brother Chester Mitchell is 100 years old. In him you see God singing out from his face. Gentle, serene and emanating God. God shone in his eyes – so caring, kind and wise and always ready to offer a helping hand. He touches nothing he does not brighten and improve. No man and woman who meets him remains without a determination to be better, more sympathetic and more generous to his fellowman.

Psalms 90 written by Moses is well known for its reference to human life expectancy as 70 or 80 years old (“three score years and ten, or if by reason of strength four scores” – a score is 20 years. Mother Smith and Brother Mitchell have exceeded the prophecy.  They have humbled themselves and because of this they have been exalted with long lives. Their age is the number of years the world has been enjoying their company.

When in their presence and see their faces, one can hear God in their voice, in their smile, in their humility. Touched by their kindness and filled with awe for in their presence we experience some part of God in action. By their tenderness and sweetness of manner, we intensely and undeniably feel the presence of God.

“Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” This is the First and Great Commandment. And the Second is: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

This is the legacy they have instilled. If a man or woman remains with God they will bear much fruit, apart from God they can do nothing. Of the strength which Christ can impart it enables us to bear cold, fatigue, hunger, to meet temptations and persecutions, to engage in the performance of arduous duties. When we put our faith in the message of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we become empowered with the Holy Spirit and we shall be safe. AMEN

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