Episode 47: Willie’s Wise Words

Coronavirus concerns have been eclipsed by all the racial tension taking place in our country. Willie Brown joins us to share his thoughts and insights, and to remind us that we must cry out, humble ourselves, and ask God to show us our hearts.


Intro and Welcome | Tim Peabody

  • Church re-opening this Sunday, June 7th. 
  • Three identical services at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

Guest Spot Highlight | Willie Brown, Engineer, US Army ERDC

  • Married to Erin. Two sons Josiah and David.  Working on a PH.D. in Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech. From Vicksburg and work s at Corp of Engineers.
  • Things have been different. Son David born March 11 which was the first day of a death in MS from the virus and my last day in the office. Been home since.
  • Working from home. Largely the same. Miss people I work with but it’s been good. Great to have time with him early on. Been gardening and baking.
  • Josiah and David were not named after kings of Israel. Josiah means “God Supports, God Heals.” David we just like the name.
  • Tim: Coronavirus has been eclipsed by all the racial tension going on. We all have a heavy heart for the George Floyd killing. What has this been like for you and your family? How are you navigating?
  • Willie: Answer is underwhelming so let me provide some context for it first. I think of a narrative arc. In America, our society, our civilization was essentially built on the backs of slaves – my ancestors. Hits closer to home thinking about my granddad who grew up in a family of share croppers essentially as slaves, and he and his siblings escaped in order to build lives for themselves. Ended up in Vicksburg. Pastor and civil rights leader. In middle of civil rights movement, church was burned down by white supremacists. Stories I grew up with. My dad grew up in an age where if a white woman was walking on one side of the street, he needed to walk on the other. Couldn’t drink from the same water fountain. Couldn’t eat at the same restaurants. Up until our day, these recent cases have rocked our country but we have had many such cases in recent and less recent history from Rodney King to BreonnaTaylor.
  • So my answer is I don’t have the same visceral emotional response as many do because part of me sees and hears that video and thinks it’s a little much par for the course. Hate to say that way. Has been our country in large part. Been progress. Don’t want to be overly pessimistic. That’s my emotional response. But also, it makes me want to say, “What can I do? How can I be an agent for change?” Realize that we live as fools if we think that hope in changing our country is our ultimate hope. Makes me think of Abraham whose builder and maker and foundation was God. Look forward to a city where righteousness truly dwells.
  • Tim: Most of us share your desire to know what we can do. What do you suggest we can do to help?
  • Willie: We tend to live in silos. Shutdown a little of the social media and have conversations with people who have different opinions. Real conversations. Most people have someone they love who disagrees with them or has a different angle so have a genuine conversation. Where we go the country goes.
  • Tim: Is there any name we should know or people we should be reading or following?
  • Willie: John Perkins has written a lot on racial reconciliation. Local in Jackson.
  • Tim: Anything else to say to me or our church on the topic?
  • Willie: Ultimately, our country and our church goes as we as individuals go. I feel like it’s too easy to be on Facebook and be outraged but not realize that this didn’t happen in a vacuum. We could actually be complicit. Reach out. Question our own stance no matter where we stand. Know other perspectives.
  • Tim: Thank you for being willing to talk to us.


  • Family of George Floyd and others who have been rocked by this crisis.
  • Harold Miley in the passing of his wife, Barbara Miley.
  • Randy Underwood, in the passing of his mother, Ferne Underwood.
  • Family and friends of Jean Singletary in  her passing.
  • Terry Burnham, father Eugene in hospital
  • Margaret Woodruff, fell and broke both ankles.

Devotional | Willie Brown

  • Psalm 139: 1 – 4, 19 – 24
  • Seems implicit in the Psalm that David knows he doesn’t know his heart as well as he could. God knows his going in and going out.
  • He’s calling for justice and for God to act.
  • Think in our day many Christians are doing that, and I think we should. The outrage is justified. In the midst of crying out, I pray that we cry out to God to know our own hearts. “Search me O God!”
  • Humble ourselves and desire to be pure before God. It’s a challenge. We may find something in ourselves that needs to make us uncomfortable.
  • In humbling ourselves, God’s goal is not to crush us but to cradle us. “Lead me.” He’s with us the whole way.
  • Don’t just cry out for justice but consider the fact that this didn’t happen in a vacuum, and we could have a role.

Closing Remarks

  • Tim: Thank you. Willie is also in our men’s mentoring program.
  • Willie: Erin and I read through the Bible every year. Doesn’t take long.
  • Tim: Challenge. Follow their example. Doesn’t take as much time as you imagine.
  • Church will be worship on campus this Sunday, June 7 at 9, 11, and 5. Identical. Same service. Same music. Live service each time.  9:00 Service broadcast live on Facebook.
  • Come early. Be in a good mood as we help you find your seat. We are all losing our favorite seat. Households will sit six feet from other households. Won’t last forever. Want to make our church safe and comfortable for people.
  • Student activities live on zoom at 9:00 AM. Children’s activities will be at other time slots now and not on Sundays. Life Groups adjusting their schedule so check with your leader.
  • Thanks for helping us in this progress. Been a strange journey.
  • Video: Better Together.
  • New Employee: Merritt Blackwell, Music Associate. Will meet on Sunday.
  • Like. Share. Comment.
  • #MHBCtogether.
  • We love our family.

Host & Guests

Tim Peabody

Willie Brown


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