Link to photo gallery (below) of JUSTICE Ministration gathering at the HOLLA Center in Morven, NC on Sunday, August 20, 2017.
JUSTICE Ministration services will be held at HOLLA each 3rd Sunday at 3 p.m.
Photos taken by Derwin J. Marshall
What is JUSTICE Ministration?
J.U.S.T.I.C.E. is the acronym for “Jesus Uniting Souls To Increase Community Engagement.”
“Ministration” is defined as “The services of a minister of religion or of a religious institution.”
JUSTICE Ministration realizes as far back into the pages of history as the arrival of African slaves, influential entities, media and other powerful mainstream forces have systematically downplayed how the ministry of Jesus the Christ and the ministries of most other key Biblical figures such as the “major and minor prophets” spoke to the need of “doing justice” or “letting justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
While the act of commingling the Bible and “Christianity” with racism and revisionism is not as blatant as it once was, this ministry understands the problem remains, especially as “politically conservative Christians” often use the Bible as a political football.
“Conservative” tendencies to focus loudly on anti-abortion and anti-gay messaging while sinfully ignoring the needs of the poor and oppressed (which include poor and oppressed Blacks, poor and racially profiled immigrants, poor and bullied gays, those “broken-hearted” ones at the abortion clinic, and others who are often judged and discriminated against by “conservative” politics) is not consistent with Jesus’ teachings and his introductory sermon according to the book of Luke.
JUSTICE Ministration seeks to reconnect Jesus back to his original mission of Justice and the need to “bring good news to the poor… and set at liberty them that are oppressed,” as recorded in Jesus’ initial sermon in Luke 4:18.
Therefore, JUSTICE Ministration’s active ministry will be focused on “JUSTICE – Jesus Uniting Souls to Increase Community Engagement.” This will be carried out by using Jesus’ powerful Luke 4:18 sermon as our guiding principles and categorized outline for community action.
“Increasing Community Engagement” simply means JUSTICE Ministration will seek ways to work together with youth, churches, parents, religious groups, organizations, social justice activists, and neighborhoods in securing “justice” and improving the conditions of our communities which face the most pain, obstacles, poverty, crime, hardship, and injustice.
Below is a newsletter which gives more details regarding JUSTICE Ministration’s plans, mission, and ministerial objectives. In short, our community-engaged platform is powerfully connected to Jesus’ initial sermon also outlined below.
- “The spirit of the Lord is upon me;
- He Has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor;
- He Has sent me to heal to broken hearted;
- Preach deliverance to the captives;
- Recovering of sight to the misinformed;
- To set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
About the JUSTICE Ministration & Stop Killing Us (SKU) Founder
Founder and Community Minister Curtis Everette Gatewood (pictured praying) is best known for his consistent and enduring presence as an organizer for the North Carolina NAACP, Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People’s Coalition, and the Moral Monday movement during Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II’s tenure as NC NAACP President (2005 to 2017). Gatewood has often been referred to as “the Bayard Rustin of the movement.”
Gatewood was part of the organizing group of pioneers Barber called together during the 2006 inception of what ultimately became the HKonJ People’s Assembly with over 250 Coalition Partners and a talented organizing team and staff which have collectively worked to mobilized upward 90,000 marchers with Gatewood as “coalition coordinator” and Barber as the visionary convener.
Gatewood was appointed by President Barber to serve as the volunteer “HKonJ Mobilization Committee Chair.” From the onset, as “Mobilization Chair” Gatewood was responsible for organizing and “mobilizing” HKonJ mass turnout. The first mass mobilzation of “thousands” in pursuit of an “HKonJ 14 Point People’s Agenda” would occur on the 2nd Saturday in February 2007.
Both Barber and Gatewood were elected the in 2005 – Barber as NC NAACP President, Gatewood as NC NAACP 2nd Vice President. Ms. Debra Tyler-Horton, one of many outstanding organizers, would serve as volunteer HKonJ Coordinator for the first four years of the HKonJ Movement beside Barber who led as Convener. Tyler-Horton and Reuben Blackwell would serve as Co-Chairs of the HKonJ Steering Committee.
Meanwhile, in 2010 in conjunction with NC NAACP and National NAACP, Gatewood would be hired as the North Carolina State Coordinator for the National NAACP “One Nation Working Together” march on Washington, D.C. for meaningful Jobs, Education, and Justice on 10.2.10 (October 2, 2010).
This would greatly prepare Gatewood as a prime candidate to be later hired in 2011 as the NC NAACP’s full-time Statewide HKonJ Coalition Coordinator. Gatewood would subsequently become the longest serving organizer and staff member under the NC NAACP Barber Administration for the next 6 years in addition to serving as the State Coordinator for the National NAACP-sponsored “America’s Journey for Justice (AJ4J)” in 2015.
AJ4J was an approximate 30-day NAACP-led march from Selma, AL to Washington, D.C. Gatewood was responsible for organizing the North Carolina leg of the “journey.” Gatewood (known for his unique and sometimes humorous way of leading chants) would ultimately march and chant over 110 miles across the state of NC and also march in segments of VA and D.C. as part of the humbling and historic journey.
Gatewood’s role in Moral-Monday organizing was equally humbling, spiritually revolutionary, and developmentally awesome.
As NC NAACP President Barber continuously led beyond expectation, Gatewood was the first Moral Monday protester arrested of the eventual more than 1,000 over the course of the year; Gatewood assisted Barber in touring over 20 counties across the state where Gatewood coordinated and often led local mass meetings to generate statewide support for Moral Monday.
Getting arrested for civil disobedience and protesting institutional injustices did not begin at Moral Mondays for Gatewood. He has been arrested over 20 times for nonviolent protests beginning in 1993.
Gatewood’s first arrest was during a protest he initiated at the trial of Michael Seagroves, a white male who was charged with the shooting death of 15 year-old Jamal Elliot who was shot in the back four times in Durham, NC.
Seagroves came out shooting as 4 black youth, including Jamal were running away from the Seagroves home. A bullet also grazed the head of a 17 year-old who survived. The youth were said to have broken into Seagroves’ garage but began running once they realized Seagroves was home.
Seagroves was acquitted and his case was largely used by legislators who sided with Seagroves and passed legislation known as “The Castle Doctrine” – very similar to today’s controversial “Stand Your Ground Laws.”
Ironically, over 20 years later, Gatewood and NC NAACP President Barber were being held and waiting to be released from the Wake County jail for protesting at the NC General Assembly when the breaking news of Dylan Roof’s relentlessly evil and racist massacre – the lowdown shooting at point blank range of nine beautiful and loving Christians who were holding Bible study at the Mother Emanuel AMEZ Church in Charleston, SC.
While exhausted and emotionally drained, God chose Gatewood to spend 13 consecutive hours on the ground in front of the Mother Emanuel Church just days immediately following the shooting.
This meant Gatewood was not one of those who were just helicoptered in to do a press conference and leave when the cameras left or when CNN decided these killings were no longer newsworthy.
“When I arrived God provided me the heart, ears, and eyes to understand -this is not an opportunity for a press conference – it is an opportunity to heal the broken-hearted; minister to the less fortunate community’s tears, grief, confusion, and need for love, prayer, and consolation. People were still standing in the streets crying. Known gang members were finally showing remorse and chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ and thanking me for being there,” said Gatewood.
Beginning April of 2016, Gatewood would serve a full year as the NC NAACP Director for Field & Branch Operations, asssisting President Barber in supervising staff and “field operations” as Barber’s charismatic voice and success caused a growing and national demand for his presence beyond the state of NC.
Minister Gatewood began the process of organizing JUSTICE Ministration on May 13, 2017.
Prior to working under the Barber Administration of the NC NAACP, Gatewood emerged onto the national stage fighting the over-commercialization of Christmas and it’s financial burden on the poor during the mid 90’s as a young President of the Durham NAACP. The simultaneous re-energizing the local NAACP and following God’s call to build a street ministry in Durham’s most violent, drug-infested, and most populated “public housing” communities raised consciousness while also raising the eyebrows of traditionalists.
Gatewood’s initial sermon was preached inside Durham’s Few Garden Community shortly after 2 year-old Shaquanna Atwater was shot and killed by a stray bullet from a driveby shooting as the toddler was on the porch. In response Gatewood spearheaded the largest march (with more than 1,000 Black males) against street violence in the city’s history.
Similarly, rather than sticking to the custom of holding all local NAACP meetings in churches, Gatewood began holding the local meetings in public housing centers, homeless shelters, and on street corners.
Gatewood reemerged on the national scene in 2001 due to his early public opposition to President George W. Bush’s plans to use military force against Afghanistan and Iraq in response to the 911 attacks.
Many leaders and politicians became more visible in their critique of the Bush wars once both Bush and the wars became more unfavorable in the court of public opinion. But Gatewood did not wait or waiver.
Gatewood was on the less traveled road of facing the blistering persecution, reprimand, ridicule, and even death-threats which came with being part of the few who loudly resisted the unjustifiable, unjust, and deadly plans of war at the time the country united solidly under the banner of the American flag and as Bush enjoyed over 90 percent approval and favorability ratings.
Gatewood is married to what he refers to as his “better half” – Odessa B. Gatewood. He is the 12 th child born in a closely knitted family of 14 children of Christian parents whose 70 years of matrimony proved to be extremely loving, caring, and “Holy.”
Gatewood is an ordained Baptist minister who sees far beyond the labels of denomination, tradition, and religious affiliation. “I believed God called me beyond a ministrial tradition of ‘saving souls’ of those who may or may not go to hell when they die – God called me to further do all I can to save lives and demand justice and seek mercy for those who are already catching ‘hell’ right here on earth right now,” says Gatewood.
For more about founder see – “About Founder – Autobiography” Tab