National News

Honored by Omega Psi Phi fraternity in regal fashion

By Michael Z. Muhammad -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Aug 30, 2017 - 11:42:24 AM

What's your opinion on this article?

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is draped with the purple Founders Robe of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Photo: Lens of Ansar
DECATUR, Ga.—Just outside of Atlanta nestled on five beautiful acres of prime real estate sits the national headquarters of the illustrious Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

Called the Omega World Center, it served as the perfect backdrop for a night of regal honor. There on August 26, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan received the organization’s highest honor, the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

He was also presented with a purple and gold Founders Robe, fit for a king. This represented the first time in the history of the organization such an honor was bestowed.

Minister Farrakhan’s Omega experience began with a tour of the fraternity’s museum located on the lower level of the grand building. The John H. Williams Museum showcases Omega Psi Phi history.

As the Minister toured he demonstrated a keen interest in the men immortalized. He was very deliberate in his tour remarking, “What a list of greatness.”

“These men never died because Omega lives,” he said.

“No wonder I pledged this fraternity I would be keeping company with giants,” said the Minister as he passed photos of fraternity members such as Langston Hughes and Jesse Jackson. He was elated to see a picture of legendary basketball coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines from Winston Salem State College where the Minister also attended.

Fraternity official embraces Minister Farrakhan. Photos: Jesse Muhammad

Minister Farrakhan recalled how Coach Gaines was one of his biggest supporters especially when he was attacked by Jewish groups.

Following the tour, he took photos in the organization’s board room as he was introduced to the Supreme Council and other prominent fraternity members.

From there, it was on to the stage of the auditorium where the program and reception was held. The tight program was presided over by Dr. Mark E. Stevens, committee chair. Student Minister Tony Muhammad, West Coast regional representative and an Omega member, was first speaker up. He noted the 40th Grand Basileus, or international president, was presenting the award after 40 years of work by the Minister in the absence of his teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. This is no coincidence, Tony Muhammad said.

The invocation was conducted by Minister Steven Rhodes of the Kelly Chapel United Methodist Church. Following a solo from Omega man Damian Charles, Dr. David Marion, 1st Vice Grand Basileus, began the program in earnest as he told the full house why Minister Farrakhan was chosen to receive the award and what it meant to the fraternity.

“Minister Farrakhan has been a comforter to Black people for a long, long, long time,” he stated. Honoring Minister Farrakhan is not an easy task, he said. Some have asked why a Christian organization would honor a Muslim. Why would Farrakhan not deserve this? Has he not earned it? asked Dr. Morgan. “The Supreme Counsel of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity concluded he was so worthy and courageously voted to give him this esteemed award unanimously,” he said.

Min. Farrakhan received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Omega Psi Phi recently during a special ceremony in Decatur, Ga.

Next up was the fraternities “commander in chief,” the Grand Basileus Tony Knox who presented Minister Farrakhan with the Founders Robe. “Minister Farrakhan you bring out the best in us,” he said. He went on to say this presentation had never been done before. We are going to make a presentation tonight of a robe, said Grand Basileus Knox.

“The men of Omega thought it would be fitting that we drape Minister Farrakhan in a robe because we want to cover a man who speaks the words of God,” he said. The regal robe fit the Minister like it was tailor made.

At that point the program made a turn. It turned from an awards ceremony to a love fest. The love for Minister Farrakhan demonstrated by the speakers and audience permeated the auditorium. The Omegas also gave a gift to Mother Khadijah Farrakhan, the Minister’s wife.

Bishop Staccato Powell of the African Methodist Zion Church spoke as the spirit heightened in the room. “It is difficult to be in Minister Farrakhan’s presence and not be indelibly impacted,” he said. “The unifying factor is Minister Louis Farrakhan. As I look over this audience tonight it is because God has preordained this event tonight. We honor and recognize him for a legacy of love, leadership, and lessons. His legacy will endure throughout eternity. God has preserved him. Look at him. Minister Farrakhan has walked the way of the highway of life. As we rise now let us declare to this man of God, job well done, well done good and faithful servant.”

The Minister was then presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, made of beautifully engraved crystal, by Grand Basileus Knox. “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to get out of your way because I know you want to hear from the Minister. Brothers of Omega, Supreme Council, our 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award goes to no other person, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” he said.

With that Minister Farrakhan came to the podium to address the august body. In thanking the fraternity for the award, he noted, we give all the praise to whom it rightfully belongs. For whatever we are of good is a gift from our Creator, he said.

With that Minister Farrakhan gave an overview of his personal history and journey. He noted his love of Jesus but how he was confused by the hypocrisy of the church. He asked the audience if God could send prophets to those who suffered slavery and injustice in the past why not Black people? Minister Farrakhan shared his history with Omega Psi Phi Fraternity as a pledge at Winston Salam Teachers College where he was black balled off line and out of the organization.

The headquarters of Omega Psi Phi were packed with fraternity members, well-wishers and Muslims who witnessed Min. Farrakhan receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo: Jesse Muhammad

The Minister was honored to receive the award. Photo: Jesse Muhammad (L) Audience packs the headquarters of Omega Psi Phi to witness the fraternity bestow a LifetimeAchievement Award to the Minister as well as the Purple Founders Robe. Photo: Lens of Ansar

Minister Farrakhan said he would cherish the robe presented him. He referenced David the Psalmist in the Bible, stating, “The law of God is a lamp under my feet. I dwell on that law night and day. This is what Omega men should always strive for, manhood in the face of an enemy who kills men who stand up. It is better to die standing up than bowing down to your enemy. That’s an Omega man.”

“Uprightness is one of the founding principles. Can you stand to walk with a man that strives to walk upright?” he asked.

He went on to say the principles of Omega are put forward as an eternal guide, “so as long as we live we strive for those fundamental principles that make an Omega man a man after God.”

“I’m an Omega man and I don’t need a pin because your illustrious founders were not the founders of principles that undergird the organization,” he said.

The Minister deftly used the Lord’s Prayer to conclude his speech. You can tell I’m from God because my enemies are those in power in the government of the United States, he said. “Our father which art in heaven hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth.” He then asked who’s will is being done on earth? Not Jesus’ will, he said. It is the will of Satan. “That’s  why it’s so much rape, robbery and murder and deception in the world.  Jesus said my kingdom is not of this world. What do you need Jesus? I need some Omega men who want to see the kingdom of God come to this earth. This brotherhood is a sign of a bigger brotherhood.”

The scripture says “ye are all gods, children of the most high God” and you are no dog barking, I’m not condemning I’m joining, he said.  “What you showed me downstairs all those great men, not one of them was a dog. They were intelligent men who mastered every field of human endeavor. They are the born leaders of the people who shape and build the kingdom of God on earth. How can you build a kingdom with no earth to call your own? Give us this day our daily bread. One-hundred and seventy years up from slavery, we are still begging for what we could unite and give ourselves.”

“So as Omega men, we can’t do it alone. The two swords on the Omega shield represent the duality of your nature. One part carnal, the other flesh that makes demands. But there is the upright side of man that the enemy is always trying to corrupt so that the flesh will be your god. Omega men you are not a dog. Dog spelled backwards is God. And a god turned backwards is a dog,” he concluded.

In attendance was Bernard Muhammad a member of Mosque No. 15 and an Omega man for 42 years. “This event was magnificent,” he said. “We were able to honor a man who has done much for Black people. I think we are trying to reconcile with the Minister by acknowledging that we made a mistake. If that mistake had never happened, we would be in the presence of the greatest Omega man ever.

“This evening we are making amends with God’s man. When the Minister was awarded our Founders Robe, no one in the history of the fraternity has touched that robe without being a brother,” he said.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity was founded in 1911 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. by three students. Today, Omega Psi Phi has over 700 chapters throughout the United States, Bermuda, Bahamas, Korea, Japan, Liberia, Germany, and Kuwait. There are many notable Omega men recognized as leaders in the arts, athletics, business, civil rights, education, government, and science at the local, national and international level.