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What Happened to Black Hospitals?
Why I Still Don’t Drink
Healing Testimony
Black Doulas Deliver Confidence
Mar/Apr 2024
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Christine Ince/Re-evaluating the risks associated with alcohol.

Carla Creech/Is a traditional birth coach the answer to black maternal and infant mortality rates?

Delbert Baker/EMBRACE your health with this wellness checklist.

90 Years of Message
Ninety Years of Good, Black Health

Steven Norman, III/What happened to black hospitals?

Cheryl Bausby/This survivor gives praise and glory for even her “stage four.”

James Black/When the doctor gives you bad news, get into gear, starting on your knees.

How to Become Brand New by Barry Black
How the Stylistics hit upon timeless truth.

Cover Photo by: Canva
Why I still Don't Drink
Doulas Deliver Confidence
Senate Chaplain Barry Black

by Phillip McGuire Wesley/Media that takes you higher


by Carmela Monk Crawford/Work of Your Hands

by Edward Woods/Using Humans to Make a Statement

by Charis McRoy/Project 2025: Political Program or Prophetic/Religious Playbook?

by Carl McRoy/Otis Redding

by Donna Green-Goodman/Resurrection Celebration

by Noah Washington/Family Under Construction


by Debleaire Snell/A Different Look at Faith

by Delroy Brooks/You Might Be a Samaritan

by Andrew Harewood/The Global Ruling Superpower Taking Shape

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Carmela Monk Crawford
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Erica Keith

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Calvin Watkins
Call 1-800-456-3991 Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time for subscription information or address changes. MESSAGE (ISSN 0026-0231) is published bimonthly Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec.

© 2024 by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, Maryland, 21046, U.S.A. Address editorial correspondence to MESSAGE MAGAZINE, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, MD 21046-1565 U.S.A. All subscriptions are prepaid. If you did not order MESSAGE, it is being sent as a gift from a friend. You will not be billed. To subscribe, mail payment to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. or call 1-800-456-3991. Subscription price: one year, $19.95 U.S. currency; single copy, $4.00; overseas, add $10.00 per year for postage. Prices subject to change without notice. Periodicals Postage paid at Nampa, Idaho and additional offices. Vol. 91 No. 8 March/April. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. Printed in the U.S.A.

Unless otherwise noted, Bible texts in this issue are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Statements in this issue attributed by an author to other speakers/writers are included for the value of the individual statements only. No endorsement of those speakers’/writers’ other works or statements is intended or implied.

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Open the Mind to Truth
“Closed Minds” Message,  May 1959
If you are suffering from a closed mind, break with the past. Unlock the gates to your intellectual self. Throw away the padlocks. Trust yourself in the hands of truth. Wherever you go, seek it. Whenever you find it, accept it, keep it as a rare treasure.

To do so is to begin a new and wonderful experience, a mental enlargement, a coming to maturity, a character embellishment that will be the wonder of men and of angels. Best of all, it will bring you at last to the very portals of heaven and the welcome of God Himself, who is the source and embodiment of all truth.

— Sanford Whitman, “Closed Minds”
Message, May 1959, p. 30

Phillip McGuire Wesley, jr.

It is always a good thing to elevate. I pray that this column will give you the inspiration to go higher.


ABC: I Am What I See By Alan Forbes
ABC: I Am What I See
By Alan Forbes

Are you a parent looking for a good book? ABC: I Am What I See is encouraging, inspiring, and thought provoking. It opens the minds of young scholars to different career opportunities. Wonderful illustrations match career descriptions. This lovely book expands children’s knowledge of different fields of work. Available on Amazon.


My message
Taking My Life into My Hands

y now you’ve heard of Dan Buettner’s study, literature, and developing lifestyle and community brand, The Blue Zones. In a nutshell, Buettner explored geographical regions around the world that have higher populations of 90 and 100+ year-olds in their communities, and likely hold the secrets to longevity.

These communities spanned the globe and include Sardinia, Italy, Ikaria, Greece, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, Okinawa, Japan, and the only Blue Zone comprised of a diverse people defined by similar beliefs and practices, Loma Linda, California. There, most of the participants in this study happen to be Seventh-day Adventists. And, Adventists, typically are vegetarians, avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and seriously check out of weekly stress during the seventh-day Sabbath.

Similarities in diet and lifestyle choices emerged from all these communities, and the data extracted show nine common denominators, or “choices” that can lead to longevity. The people in the Blue Zones are more likely to…

eye on the times
woman next to giant clock
using humans to make a statement

Photo by: DreamsTime


ith no federal policy addressing the immigration crisis, migrants have become human pawns in a fight between Republican governors, and sanctuary cities led by Democratic mayors. Republicans cite the need to secure the borders, reduce smuggling of weapons, drugs, and people, and the need to address crime at port of entries.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre emphasized, in particular, the role of Texas in the current migration and immigration crisis. There, Governor Gregg Abbott has ordered that groups of undocumented migrants be shipped to sanctuary cities.

5 Facts About Black Americans & Healthcare
5 Facts About Black Americans & Healthcare
Black from the Past
Otis Redding
Otis Redding vinyl and cover art
By Carl McRoy
Otis Redding died in an airplane crash on December 10, 1967, at only 26 years old, and never enjoyed the fruits of perhaps his most successful recording. “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” was released in January 1968 and almost sounds like a pleasant vacation tune for some oceanfront relaxation. Just imagine your stress rolling out to sea along with the tide.

However, the lyrics describe a man resigned to a hopelessness that’s hounded him for 2,000 miles from Georgia to San Francisco. Perhaps this journey was a variation of the Great Migration of blacks leaving the South to escape white supremacist terrorism and pursue better job prospects. This exodus is often associated with destinations like Chicago and New York, yet there was also a strong westward movement.

Optimal Living
Plant-based Lifestyle
Celebrating New Beginnings Resurrection Morning
By Donna Green Goodman
H dropcap
ave you ever wondered what Jesus may have eaten when He rose from the dead? What I do know is that His resurrection represents Newness of Life. And, each day, wherever we are on the Journey to Better Health, we too can wake up and Celebrate New Beginnings!

Traditionally, American Easter/Resurrection Day Celebration fare includes ham and lamb and eggs and potatoes and green beans and some sweet ending. Eggs are pretty much expected in some form, but, each menu is clearly determined by the ethnic cultures in communities across the country.

As you’re planning this year’s celebration, consider omitting eggs, especially if you are African American. We have the highest rates of death from heart disease. “Eating one egg per day significantly increased the risk of dying from heart disease. Higher blood cholesterol levels and higher intakes of dietary cholesterol were also associated with an elevated risk of death from heart disease.” (Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine.)

Three Reasons Why I Still Do Not Drink
Photo by Adobe Stock
By Christine Ince

ne weekend I was on call at a South Texas hospital and was asked to see three separate patients with newly diagnosed liver cancer, generally not curable, related to their alcohol-induced liver disease. I was relaying what I considered an unusual number of cases to the physician I was covering for and was told that that was not an unusual number. That brings me to the reasons why I do not drink alcohol.

woman sitting crossed-legged on a sofa and holding a wine glass
Photo by Adobe Stock
Alcohol causes cancer.
Alcohol at moderate and heavy levels (generally anything more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men) is associated with several cancers, including cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, colon, liver, and yes, breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer can increase with any level of alcohol. The risk increases by about 5% per 10 grams of alcohol per day for the premenopausal woman and about 9% for the post-menopausal woman.
Alcohol affects your memory.
It is well known that heavy drinking causes dementia. One recent study from the British Medical Journal noted that even moderate alcohol consumption adversely affected the structures of the brain associated with memory.
Let's Take a Look at a Do-What? A Doula!
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hildbirth is a transformative experience that requires physical, emotional, physiological, and mental health support. Doulas have become a staple in maternity caregiving spaces. They provide women with the care and support they need during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Where did this practice originate?

The origins of doulas can be traced back to ancient Greece where women supported each other during childbirth. The word doula comes from the Greek word “doule” which means female servant. In modern usage, we like to say, “one who mothers the mother.” Now, there are many different cultures, not just the one mentioned above, where women have been supporting women in their communities from day one.

Women supporting women have been throughout history. In many cultures, midwives took on the support role while in others you might have found a mother, grandmother, or other female members and people of the community who provided this type of care. For purposes of this article, black women have always held that supportive role for one another.

vector illustration of a family of four with the text Family Under Construction
Illustration by: iStock
ne of the deliberate things done to our ancestors who were snatched, sold, and stolen from their homes was to disconnect families. Since strength can be found, or achieved, with strong family connections, the strategy often operated to ensure the painful disruption of the family unit. Now, centuries later, our community still wrestles with the complications that exists as a result of this trauma.

Regardless of what your family looks like, some simple essentials can make a difference in the strength of your bond, and the integrity of the unit. If every family takes a fresh look at their family, we can thrive and not just survive.

While many families that I meet across this globe are struggling to connect and even be in relationship, l’ve witnessed also some amazing successes. Let’s revisit ideas and practices that will bless the home environment in wonderful ways.

Optimal Living
Life Design
The Embrace Challenge typography
The Embrace Challenge typography
A Health and Wellness Checklist
Healthy habits foster a healthy life. Did you know that dedicating just 15 minutes daily to mindful gratitude and health actions can reduce stress and enhance overall well-being? Accept the EMBRACE Challenge in seven steps to navigate toward a happier and healthier life.
Here are the seven EMBRACE habits that integrate faith, health, and wellness.
vector illustration outline of hands holding out a hard
1. Engage the Gratitude Habit
Gratitude positively impacts mental health. Take a moment each day to count your blessings or recall a good thought. Express gratitude through prayer and repeat those good words to yourself and others. You will foster a positive mindset, reducing stress and promoting emotional well-being.
90 Years of Message typography
90 Years of Message typography
90 Years of Health for the Black Community typography
90 Years of Health for the Black Community typography
headshot of Dr. Grace D. Kimbrough, MD.


“I can safely say that the proper attention to the feeding of children and co-operation on the part of the child and parent, will insure healthy, hearty children; and when the body is in perfect health and vigor, it maintains a wonderful power of resistance against disease and infection.”—Dr. Grace D. Kimbrough, MD., (1879-1960) a black pediatrician, philanthropist, and former Message columnist.

three babies sit in a large wicker basket, around them floats a circle of cigarette smoke


Early editors, not always without supremacist language or racial sensitivity, did manage to sound an effective warning against tobacco in 1944, 21 years before the United States required big tobacco to print a warning on each cigarette and tobacco product, 40 years before the dangers of “second-hand smoke” was taught.

“It has been found that animals exposed to the fumes of tobacco are injured, but in their offspring the results are still more apparent. Some are born dead: the survivors are never robust. Nicotine, carbon monoxide, and furfural form a combination that must surely bring serious results. The most serious injury comes from inhaling the smoke.”

close view of a womans alert face as she pours salt from a shaker onto a piece of food

What Every black American Should Know about Hypertension

Health Care's Moral Mandate typography
What Happened to Black Hospitals? typography
By R. Steven Norman, III
medical plus sign with a stylized stethoscope

uring the decade after the Civil War ended and slaves were freed in 1865; the Jim Crow Era began. Jim Crow Laws enacted by the Southern States enforced segregation of public spaces, restricted voting, limited education opportunities, increased the chances of incarceration and convict leasing, and worst of all denied hospital access to black patients and barred black physicians from hospitals and the American Medical Association. Referencing this travesty, Martin Luther King said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

However, God always sees, hears, and delivers the oppressed. He saw pregnant Hagar flee into the wilderness to escape her enslavers, Abraham and Sarah, who exploited her body and labor for their gain (Gen. 16). God heard the cries of Israel when Pharaoh attempted genocide against infant boys and raised Moses to secure Israel’s freedom (Exodus 1-3). God also sent Jesus to heal the sick and set the oppressed free during Roman times (Luke 4:18).

Up in Smoke: Why It Seems that the Whole World Smells like Week Right Now, and the Question that Needs to be Asked.
person smoking while wearing a yellow jacket
person smoking while wearing a yellow jacket
Up in Smoke: Why It Seems that the Whole World Smells like Week Right Now, and the Question that Needs to be Asked.
lbert Einstein once said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

Not only is it critical to make sure you ask the right questions, but it’s also important to avoid the crippling mistake of falling victim to asking the wrong question. It’s concerning to watch the legalization of a substance that may be subjecting us to undue harm.

While heroin and cocaine are some of the most addictive and toxic substances to the human body, their impact on culture is at least framed within their illegality. But the relaxing of attitudes and legalization of a substance expands its capacity to negatively affect, not just the users, but society in general.

Marijuana is responsible for the deaths of up to 430,000 people in the United States annually. Alcohol is responsible for the deaths of between 80 and 100,000 Americans annually. The number of deaths from cocaine use is estimated at 24,500. And even that number represents the stark increase in deaths from cocaine use which was 6,784 as recent as 2015, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Cheryl smiling with red Message logo polo and black sunglasses
Always ready for adventure, Cheryl, on the 2018 Message Cruise.
Healing Trust
For Cheryl Bausby, cancer survivor, prayer and praise lead to cancer defeat.
As told by Cheryl Bausby to Euridice Osterman
went to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat surgeon because of the bulge sticking out of the left side of my neck. A friend had asked about it while we went on one of our girlfriends’ cruise excursions. I promised to check it out when I got home.

During the examination, the doctor said it was a goiter, and he thought it might be cancerous. He had me scheduled for surgery in two weeks. While on the way home a friend called to get the diagnosis.

“I have cancer,” I told him.

The buoyancy in my voice made him wonder. In referencing 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”), I told him if I’m sad then I don’t believe that God can heal me.

During the surgery, the doctor saw that the blood vessels and the goiter were indeed cancerous. I instructed him to remove the entire thyroid, although the right side was benign. Five months after my thyroid surgery, I saw an endocrinologist who said that he could not help me because I had stage 4 cancer that had metastasized. Also, because the cancer was both differentiated (stationary) and poorly differentiated (it moves around and is said to be “hiding”), all he could do was recommend someone that specialized in treating that type of cancer.

Health Happens
Health Happens
By James Black
ollowing one of my successful Youth Ministries Leadership Conventions in 2008, I watched a video of myself on stage. I was so shocked at my profile shot. I literally looked about six months pregnant. It took that embarrassing video to convince me that I needed to make some serious health changes and reclaim my life.

I took my bicycle off the rack and literally pulled off the spider webs. I started riding a few miles a day, then gradually increased to 25 miles a day, at least six days a week. I changed a few eating habits and I lost 30-40 pounds easily. I was in the best shape of my life, and feeling like it as well!

Nonetheless, when I visited the doctor for my annual physical in early 2009 we were shocked to learn I was borderline anemic. Further tests and a bone marrow biopsy confirmed a diagnosis of Myelodysplastic Syndrome which is a deletion of my red blood cells. This led to my bone marrow transplant in 2016.

Then, in 2020, I was literally shocked, and still in shock, that I had a stroke. This experience was devastating for me. I really thought I was going to die, but I had to keep telling myself I was going to live.

Interestingly, in both cases my doctors shared that it was my healthy lifestyle that saved my life both times. I had the stroke on Monday morning, but I had walked three miles on Sunday the day before. Coupled with regular doctors’ visits, eating 100% organic, almost zero sweets, practicing nontoxic household cleaning, and less stress with routine walking, I am still here. What makes me get up and walk every day is this message that I tell myself daily: “I want to live!” So, by God’s grace, I am doing my best to make good Health Happen!

Nonetheless, here is the rest of the story. You never know when a health crisis is going to hit. It needs no invitation. It just shows up invited or not. It is during our season of healthiness that one needs to prepare for the unexpected. As I reflect on my experiences, here are six areas of focus…

How To Become A Brand-New Person
Photos by: Canva
headshot of Barry C. Black
When I was growing up, my mother would not permit my siblings and me to listen to rhythm and blues music. I was not an obedient child and found a way to get around her prohibition. I felt grateful for transistor radios. With my special earplugs, I could listen to the forbidden music undetected. One of my favorite singing groups was the Stylistics. They had the soulful, Philadelphia sound, seasoned with a falsetto leading voice, and marinated in flawless harmony. One of their songs, “My Love,” has these lyrics:
“My love, I’ll never find the words, my love
To tell you how I feel, my love
Mere words could not explain.”
That song sounded very harmless to me. It was talking about someone in love, and back in the day, starting in the first grade, I always felt I was in love! Moreover, the song even mentioned God. The lyrics declared, “God bless you. You make me feel brand new, for God blessed me with you; you make me feel brand new. I sing this song ‘cause you make feel brand new.”
You’re family here.
Message is one of the oldest, black, Christian magazine in North America whose longevity is owing to its critical function of sharing the message of redemption, relationship, and readiness.
Redemption in slab font
We believe that God, recognizing how irretrievably broken our lives and world would be following the influence of the enemy’s lies, sent His Son Jesus in whom we are created anew. He has promised the total righting of everything that is wrong in this world. Seek Him. Reach for Him, and He will in no way cast you aside. He wants you to know Him, and assures that He will be there when you look for Him. No matter who you are, this opportunity is for you.
Relationship in. slab font
We’re here to operate as a set of His hands and feet, to come alongside all who preach, teach, and work with this good news. We fight against the destructive effects sin has had on us, the personal, systemic and perpetual division that plagues this world. In particular, we target and counter the false narrative of who God is. Together we affirm His image found in the black mind and body that has so often borne the brunt of brutality and untruth. Together we seek to align with God’s Kingdom at work in the here and now.
Readiness in a slab font
Finally, we prepare for that day when all of God’s people reunite with Him in person. That preparation includes a complete opening of our minds and hearts to Him, allowing Him to do the work of getting us ready. We’re reading His Word with an open mind, seeking the special blessing of the Spirit especially on His Sabbath, and we eagerly watch for His return!
Let’s walk together, fam.
To receive personal Bible studies, pray with someone, talk with a chaplain or find a church, reach the Message Resource line: 1-855-God-Cares (1-855-463-2273).
A Different Look At Faith
parents watch and smile as their daughter grabs something out of the fridge
Photo by Adobe Stock
By Debleaire Snell
admit that I often chuckle when I hear someone say that it should come as no surprise that I can talk for hours about faith.

I wrote a book about having unrealistic faith, extended Wednesday night prayer meeting services expounding on resetting faith, and engaged in impromptu conversations about managing it. Some may even think that it is my favorite subject, and the truth is, I will never hold back on speaking about faith. But one of the things I love about the matter of faith is that the Bible doesn’t hold back from talking about it, either. Depending on the version of the Bible you read, just the word faith can appear over 230 times.

But as frequently as it appears, people find ways to complicate it. In Matthew 17, Jesus talks about having “mustard seed” faith. Yet, when I think about this Scripture, I often wonder how many people know what a mustard seed looks like. To some people, that tiny spice is as foreign as a rare jewel. So, if I’m trying to encourage someone to have faith the size of a mustard seed, I’m trying to get them to compare their faith to something they’ve never held or seen before.

Red Square Christopher Thompson
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Outdoor illustration of a Samaritan individual cleansing with a small bowl of what appears to be water on a person lying down on the ground up against a tree trunk as there is a donkey and two other disciples nearby roaming around in the background
Illustration: iStock Photo by Getty Images
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[b] met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesu’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
A REFLECTION : Prejudice Runs Deep, and Wide, but the Gospel of Jesus Demands Access
by Ellen G. White
When the Lord sent out the 70, they were to bear the message of the gospel to the Samaritans, notwithstanding the fact that the Samaritans were bitterly prejudiced against the Jews, and the disciples themselves had been educated to regard the Samaritans as the worst of all people. When the 12 had been sent out on their trial trip, they had been instructed not to go into Samaria or to preach to the Gentiles, for by so doing they would arouse the prejudice of the Jewish people, [to whom] they were seeking access.

Besides this, the disciples were so narrow and exclusive in their ideas that it would be inadvisable for them to come into connection with the Samaritans. They were leavened with the spirit of the Pharisees to a greater degree than they thought possible. The theories and maxims of the rabbis still exerted considerable influence over them, but Christ had given them many lessons to counteract these teachings.

The Hope of the Race typographic title in all uppercase letter form with a silhouette of a partial mountain range scenery inside the letters

Global, Ruling, Superpower Taking Shape Don’t See How? Open Your Eyes!

Photos by: Adobe Stock
One of our giants, Mary McLeod Bethune, once said, “There is no one so blind as he who would not see.”

As we look around the world and see decay, destruction, and endless dissension, some may believe that God did design the universe but left it to run on its own. Some call this belief, “Deism.” I would argue that God has not left the world to run on its own. Instead, He has indeed provided the world a significant blueprint, with specific clues that indicate He knows just what is happening and where we’re headed. And, that He is in control.

Before proceeding any further, let’s acknowledge that for some, the very idea of God can be a challenge. Others may argue there is no God at all.

Having worn the “nation’s cloth” for almost 34 years, having been integrated into combat, having experienced conflicts, living with the certainty of death for 13 months and two days, and officiating the farewell of teammates, I can understand why. However, intentionally opening one’s eyes and seeing what is real, relevant, and redemptive takes courage, commitment, and a clear consensus. Our world’s events are orchestrated by an intelligent force moving us towards a global finale.

Mark 8:36 states, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (KJV). This world is going to pass away, and thus, we focus upon this new kingdom.

Bless and Be Blessed
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Find resources near you by going to this link
Atlanta, GA
Berean Outreach Ministry Center
291 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive
Atlanta, GA 30318
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Chicago, IL
Hyde Park SDA Church
4608 South Drexel Road
Chicago, IL 60653
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Miami, FL
Mt. Pisgah SDA Church
3340 NW 215th St,
Miami Gardens, FL 33056
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Thanks for reading our March/April 2024 issue!