December's First Friday luncheon focused on religion in Madison County


JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - The Jackson Madison County Bicentennial Commission hosted another First Friday luncheon today focusing on religion and its importance to the community.


“If it had not been for the church, where would we be as a people,” said Dr. Claude Bass, the Pastor of St. Paul C.M.E. Church.


One of the keynote speakers of the First Friday luncheon says religion played an integral role in the formation of the city and county.


“The church has been a light in the midst of any darkness. It has been an encourager. A place where people can go and be healed and inspired. So, the church plays a major part,” said Dr. Bass, the Pastor of St. Paul C.M.E. Church.

Dr. Bass’s part of the presentation focused on the history of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church also known as C.M.E. church in Jackson.


The second presentation focused on how the church and religion blazed a path to moral formation, evangelism, and education in the area.


“Churches were started as soon as people got here. One of the quotes I will mention from early settlers has something to do with people showing up with a rifle in one hand and a Bible in the other and as soon as they were building their homes, they were building churches, so it is foundational,” said Ray Van Neste, the Dean of Theology Admissions at Union University.


The First Friday luncheons are themed around reflecting on the past and looking to the future of Jackson -Madison County.


The other keynote speaker wants to emphasize the importance of keeping religion at the forefront for the future.


“Sometimes people today forget how central religion has been to the lives of most of the people in our area before. I think our forebearers have something to teach us here to think about how important this is still to this day even if we don’t think about it as often,” said Neste, the Dean of Theology Admissions at Union University.


The next First Friday luncheon with be Friday, January 7th, 2022, and it will focus on healthcare in Madison County.



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