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NOELLE GREEN-ANDERSON AND FREDIA REYNOLDS — Ellis’ words ring true, 20 years later

March 26, 2020, marks what would have been the late Rev. C.A. Ellis’ 90th birthday.

We hope you and your readers will join us in celebrating our Godfather because of the significant impact he had on our lives and the entire city of Port Arthur. He was a true man of God, who was well respected as a community leader/activist, evangelist and visionary.

In addition to serving in civic groups like the Port Arthur All American City Committee, assisting with architectural projects for the city, serving as Associate Pastor of the First Sixth Street Baptist Church and operating his own Revelation Resurrection Ministries, Rev. Ellis was a published writer. We often marvel at some of the things he wrote and/or preached about as many of the topics are still relevant today.

Twenty years ago, The Port Arthur News published a Pastor’s Corner column written by Rev. Ellis titled “Sharing a Divine Revelation from God.”

Considering all that is occurring now as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we thought it would be fitting to honor him by sharing his wise words again as they are timely.

In the article written on April 1, 2000, Rev. Ellis first encouraged believers to always seek divine revelation from God when dealing with sudden change. He believed the word and voice of God yields messages of truth. He explained how to know when you’ve received that truth as well.

He wrote: “There is never a conflict between the voice of God in revelation with his written word. Any message and/or revelation from God, to be considered valid, must be embraced and supported by the written word of God and the Spirit of God.”

He went on to share that he had in fact received a divine revelation from God to advise the community to always be prayerful and ready for sudden change.

This is the part that is truly relevant right now as the world deals with quarantining, the economy shifting and the death toll of coronavirus victims steadily increasing.

The excerpt of the article reads: “When sudden change occurs in your life, whether it be negative or positive, if you heed this admonition, you will be enabled by divine grace to overcome with great joy. Friends, whatever your reaction to this divine admonition may be, your life will be affected by it! First, and last, talk to God about it. Govern yourself accordingly. Watch, pray, prepare, stay ready for sudden change.”

“There are things and/or conditions in our homes, families, communities, churches, schools, places of employment or through the news media that will often nudge us toward prayer and occasionally toward prayer and fasting. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading.”

The second part of the column focused on repentance and the importance of seeking God before making decisions on candidates seeking political offices — another current topic because of the upcoming presidential election.

Ellis wrote: “The need for national and personal repentance, not mere church-going is urgent upon this nation. It is repent or perish for us (Luke 13:3). The seasons ahead are expected to bring sudden change that without spiritual preparation could in a drastic way adversely affect the American life as we know it today. Times change! Seasons change! We cannot expect a continuous booming economy and unparalleled blessings from God upon the nation without a massive turning to him in truth!”

The last sentence of that excerpt alone is truly a profound message. We expect so much from God, yet we spend so little time with Him. We do not pray, serve or worship anymore like we should. He is no longer the center of our lives.

Other things are more important instead. However, we have the audacity to question where is He when something catastrophic happens, like back-to-back storms or the coronavirus and fear looms. Not only do we have to worry about contracting the virus, but the affects of the quarantine that are seriously jeopardizing the economy particularly.

We believe if Rev. Ellis were still here today, he would remind us that “God has not given us the spirit of fear.” He would likely quote Isaiah 41:10, which states: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.”

However, he would also encourage us, as he did in 2000, to turn back to God and get back on our knees.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

We take great pleasure in sharing Reverend Ellis’ divine revelation with a new generation of The Port Arthur News readers in observance of his birthday. We hope his wise words will bless someone. He is greatly missed. May he rest in eternal peace.

Noelle Green-Anderson is Assistant Principal at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and a former writer for The Port Arthur News. Fredia Reynolds is principal of Wheatley School and a minister.