Rev. Al Sharpton entertains, speaks from the heart at services

Photo by Chris Sykes
Cable TV show host and National Action Network founder the Rev. Al Sharpton, left, shakes hands with Orange City Council President and Bethel Baptist Church Trustee Kerry Coley on Friday, Oct. 12, during the kickoff of the church’s official pastoral installation ceremony celebration that concluded on Sunday, Oct. 14, with the installation of new Pastor Darren Ferguson.

ORANGE, NJ — When the Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network founder and cable TV talk show host, appeared on Friday, Oct. 12, at Bethel Baptist Church in Orange as part of the church’s ongoing 101st anniversary celebration and the Rev. Darren Ferguson’s pastoral installation services, he had some fun with the audience, joking about rapper and music producer Kanye West’s visit on Thursday, Oct. 11, to the White House in Washington, D.C., to meet with President Donald Trump.

Sharpton spoke two days before Ferguson officially became Bethel Baptist Church’s newest pastor during the actual installation service and ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 14.

“One of the reasons it’s hard for me to look up to everybody that everybody else is looking up to is because, when you grow up under giants, it’s hard to look up to midgets standing on ladders,” said Sharpton on Friday, Oct. 12. “Everybody tall ain’t a giant. Some of them are midgets standing on a ladder and, if you look up and, if you snatch the ladder, you would see that they aren’t as tall as you thought they were. Giants stand on their own two feet. A giant can take the good days and the bad. Midgets hope the wind don’t blow, because all that’s standing there would be removed from them.”

Sharpton said West appearing at the White House with Trump was a classic example of a “midget” pretending to be a “giant.”

“I remember when Barack Obama was in office and we had meetings. I was his civil rights organization head and he would have me convene the others and sometimes we’d bring in entertainment and I know that some of them became very accessible to the president. One of them that wasn’t because he used to act up all the time was mad because he didn’t get in,” said Sharpton in reference to West. “Well, he got in yesterday and he’s an example of what I’m talking about, because just because you are in position, don’t mean that you are positioned to be where you at. So folks are talking about Kanye messed up. Kanye didn’t know what to do. He just wanted to be in there, like Jay-Z and others was in there with Obama. When he got in there, he didn’t know what to say. It wasn’t that bad, because he was talking to someone that didn’t know that he was crazy.”

“I was at MSNBC and one of the young ladies on my ‘Politics Nation‘ staff said to me: ‘What is that nut talking about?’ I said: ‘Which nut are you talking about?’” said Sharpton. “You’ve got one nut talking to another nut and they’re talking nut talk. The only one that knows what Kanye was talking about was Trump, because they both understand that kind of language.”

Sharpton said he used the metaphor of giants and midgets to illustrate why Ferguson becoming the new pastor of Bethel Baptist Church was a good thing for him, the congregation and Orange. He also said it helped explain why he decided to come to Orange to speak during the church’s weekend pastoral installation celebration.

“You are getting one of the best that we have to offer. He’s a young man with a message for these times. He knows all sides and can minister to them. So even though he is young he is well-trained and he is well-versed, because he sat under people that didn’t give him breaks but that brought him into being what he is and that is a great young minister,” said Sharpton. “If you study the Bible, God does not deal in confusion. He deals in continuity. When the Rev. Ferguson asked me to come and speak, I immediately said ‘yes’ and, as I always mess up, I had something else scheduled, but I told them they were just going to have to wait, because I’m coming out here to Bethel. I’ll get there as soon as I can, because that’s what he means to me.”

Orange City Council President and East Ward Councilman Kerry Coley also serves as a trustee at Bethel Baptist Church and was at the church on Friday, Oct. 12. He said he understands what Sharpton was talking about when it comes to Ferguson’s abilities and skills, and the other qualities that led to the Bethel Baptist Church Pastoral Search Committee members choosing him in the first place.

“Our pastor, he has been through a lot of things and, like I told you before, he is a walking testimony and he is a shining example that God is real,” said Coley on Friday, Oct. 12. “And now he’s here. How about that? Right here in little old Orange in Bethel Baptist Church. Who would have thought this church right here would attract mighty men of God like that to this town and to this church?”

Charles Frazier, another Bethel Baptist Church trustee and longtime member of the congregation, agreed with Coley and echoed his sentiments.

“We’re going to do some things on this, not only in Orange, but we’re going to reach out further than Orange,” said Frazier on Friday, Oct. 12. “We’re going to touch some souls and lift this place up in a mighty way. Unbelievable right now, without a doubt.”