Black History Month speaker encourages students to win in life

Keynote speaker Jerry Baldwin, pastor of New Living Word Ministries in Ruston, urged Grambling State University students to “wake up” as he highlighted GSU’s Black History Month Convocation last week at T.H. Harris Auditorium.

After being introduced by Student Government Association President Ja’Quel Brooks, Baldwin opened his speech saying he was taking his message from Romans Chapter 13, written by Paul the Apostle, which reads in the New Living Testament version as, “This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”

He told those in attendance that now is the time to answer the wake-up call.

“You’re supposed to win,” Baldwin said. “You’re supposed to be successful. God gave you everything you need to be successful, not just as a Black American but as an American period.

“There is nobody better than you. There is nobody that can do more than you — you’ve got what you need to get it done. God gave you that. Before your mama and your daddy got together, God had already ordained you to be a champion. What we see going on right now is not God’s plan. I came here to give you a wake-up call.”

Baldwin pleaded for the students to live their lives right because God always knows.

“Don’t do these things that hinder you from being a great person,” Baldwin said. “Wake up. …  Don’t do these things that are killing you, because they hinder you from being a man, hinder you as a woman that God created you to be. You can’t come to college and get an education when you’re doing those things. You can fool the people, you can fool the President, you can fool the teacher, but you can’t fool God.

“God is calling for us today to live moral lives. He’s calling us today to cast off the darkness. Be a real man, a real woman. Nobody is stopping you from being great. Nobody’s stopping you from being what God wants you to be.”

Baldwin then told the students to ask themselves if they are being good people.

“Ask yourself if you are adding to your culture or subtracting from it?” Baldwin said. “Am I multiplying my culture or dividing it? I’m telling you today during this Black History celebration — it’s good to be Black. But it’s better to be productive.”

GSU President Rick Gallot presented the welcome during the convocation, which also featured performances by the GSU Vocal Ensemble accompanied by Dr. Daniel Huey, the Freedom Singers, and remarks on the occasion from Miss GSU Kelli Copes.