Tuskegee Reunion - What a blessing
Oct 30, 2013
Rich and Jane Berry went on staff with the Navigators in 1970, and opened up Tuskegee University (aka: Tuskegee Institute). With limited knowledge and resources, they reached out to Christian Evangelical, Tom Skinner and their ministry at Tuskegee was never the same. Continue to read as Rich reflects back 40 years on his time at Tuskegee and the great Tom Skinner.
In 1970 Jane and I went on Navigator staff and opened up Tuskegee University (at the time it was Tuskegee Institute). What did we know? Very little! It was like the first century church. We just witnessed to everyone and started a Bible study with whomever was saved and would listen. For probably 15 or more years the ministry went on passing from leader to leader with Jane and I being there for 3 years.
Thinking back fondly on our time at Tuskegee, I remember distinctly when we invited the late Tom Skinner to come and speak. At the time we were working very closely with the Tuskegee Sunday School and through their Religious Enrichment Week, we were able to bring Tom. He came for three days, and it was as powerful as anyone could have ever dreamed.
This week one of the graduating Nav groups is holding a Sunday School reunion, and Jane and I will go down to meet with them. Reflecting on this time with Jane and Tom this is what I wrote:
"Most of the Tuskegee people do not know about this event, but there have been thousands of people who have been directly and indirectly impacted by the Nav Tuskegee ministry, and I owe a lot of the movement to this man. The late Tom Skinner, who was a saved gang leader from New York, made a critical impact on the African-American evangelical movement. He was truly a world changer who was committed to reaching the lost in the hood.
Billy Graham tried to recruit him, but he respectfully declined. He was truly a man with a biblical-world view and a BIG vision. He called discipleship 'walking with people'. Jane and I both are from New York, and we met Tom in the 60s. I first heard him at a crusade in the Apollo Theater where he led thousands to Christ. He even led Jane to Christ, and we followed him around as he preached a radical gospel-'be a true disciple of Christ'. We invited him to come to Tuskegee in '72 and he agreed to come. In three days he led about 300 young people to Christ. We were able to follow up with about 100 of them, and our ministry was never the same. We were changed, and as they say, 'The rest is history.'"
Stay strong and be blessed,