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Detroit says thank-you

By Jehron Muhammad | Last updated: Feb 27, 2014 - 10:22:50 AM

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City Council president, congressman show appreciation for great work of the Nation of Islam, Minister Farrakhan


DETROIT ( - The Nation of Islam’s annual Saviours’ Day convention was held here for the first time since 2007 over the Feb. 23 weekend.

Among those attending this historic event were Rep. John Conyers, the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, newly-elected City Council President Brenda Jones, former Detroit congressman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Rev. Dr. Jim Holley of Detroit’s Little Rock Baptist Church and Rev. Willie Wilson, pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church based in Washington, D.C. 

Veteran Councilwomen Jones began the evening by thanking the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for “awesome” words delivered to the city council during a visit to the city last year.

“He said to our body, it’s about time for us to return our city back to what it once was,” she said.

Council president Jones has been critical of emergency manager Kevyn Orr and consultants he has hired to restructure city operations. The city is in dire financial straits and filed bankruptcy last year. State aid has come with conditions, like Mr. Orr overseeing money, and other strings.

Student Minister Troy Muhammad Photos: Michael Muhammad
In a sign of appreciation for the great work and history of the Nation of Islam in the city, the council president asked Student Minister Jeffrey Muhammad of Chicago to read a Testimonial Resolution, signed by all nine members of city council, from the stage at the Joe Lewis Arena, where Min. Farrakhan spoke to some 19,000 people in a Sunday keynote to close the weekend.

The resolution lauded the history-making work of the Nation, its founding by Master Fard Muhammad in the city’s “Black Bottom” neighborhood in 1930, and the wide range and impact of the 84-year-old movement.

The resolution began: “On July 4th in the year of 1931 Master Fard Muhammad announced the beginning of his mission which was to restore and resurrect his lost and found people who are identified as the original members of the Tribe of Shabazz. He began preaching in the area known as Black Bottom, in the city of Detroit, Michigan.” 

The resolution concluded by thanking Minister Farrakhan for having the insight to hold this year’s Nation of Islam convention in the city. “(We) appreciate the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for bringing the 2014 National Saviours’ Day Convention to the city of Detroit, bringing (with it) his message of hope at a critical time when our city really needs the light of his guidance,” she said.

Rev. Jim Holley, who was rated by the Detroit Free Press as one of the top five ministers in the state of Michigan and was named “Michiganian” of the Year by the Detroit News, thanked Min Farrakhan and the men of the N.O.I. for protecting his church.

“I remember I was involved in a local controversy and the windows of my church were broken out. All the pane glass windows were broken. Minister Farrakhan sent the brothers, not only from Detroit but out of Chicago and protected my church for two weeks until we were able to replace those windows. Sisters and brothers, I shall never forget that,” he said, speaking from the Joe Louis Arena stage.

Rev. Holley said the keynote event and convention was “a great day in the beginning of the resurrection of the city of Detroit.”

Longtime N.O.I. supporter Rev. Willie Wilson, during his brief remarks, provided the audience with some of the reasons people, especially Black people, fail to reach their potential: “We read the Qur’an but we don’t have the Qur’an in us. We read the Bible but we don’t have the Bible in us,” he said

Rev. Wilson compared religion without action to “a person who buys a car and worships it, polishes it every day. The owner of the car ain’t going nowhere. He ain’t going to do nothing, but will kill you if you put a fingerprint on his car.”

“The purpose of the vehicle is to get you to your destination. Religion is a vehicle to get you to the destination of spirituality, and when you get to spirituality you have a higher state of mind, a higher state of consciousness,” he said.

Black people with a higher state of consciousness “can stand together and work together even though one (is) a Christian and (the other a) Muslim because we know what time it is. And know what must be done,” he said.

Congressman Conyers said he felt “an obligation” to attend the annual Saviours’ Day Convention.

Last September Min. Farrakhan attended a tribute to Rep. Conyers and paid deep respect to the longtime lawmaker, thanking the Michigan Democrat for years of service.

Rep. Conyers told the crowd the Black Caucus is in a struggle and needs the Black community’s help. “I feel an obligation in joining you and this great Minister, and all of you that are here, many from places far and near,” he said. “It’s so important that we share … ideas looking where we are in the struggle. And as the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus we need your help, your opinions more than ever,” Rep. Conyers said.