Zion Baptist plans Black History Month presentation

PARKERSBURG – In honor of Black History Month in February, a special program highlighting the role of African America women will be presented Feb. 17 at Zion Baptist Church in Parkersburg.

“Be Still and Know That He Is God” will be performed at 4 p.m. at the church at Eighth and Clay streets. There will be no admission fee, but a goodwill offering will be collected, said Cynthia Brown, a member of Zion Baptist Church.

Brown said she initially saw the show last fall in Gallipolis, Ohio, and was very interested in bringing the program to Parkersburg during February to celebrate Black History Month.

The musical is presented by the Ladies of St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Charleston and was written and directed by Susan Sylvia, the church’s first lady, Brown said. Sylvia is a Parkersburg native.

“It is scriptural and it is also very informative,” Brown said of the program.

The title comes from Psalm 46:10, with the Scripture serving as its basis as it describes the trials and tribulations of African Americans from the period of history prior to being forced into slavery through the advancements of the Civil Rights Movement.

“‘Be Still’ reminds us that everyone had gone through trials, while others are going through trials, and others will go through trials and tribulations. But if we just remember to ‘Be Still and Know That He is God,’ everything will be fine,” says a press release from the Ladies of St. Paul A.M.E.

The musical was originally written for St. Paul A.M.E. Church’s 2012 Women’s Day program and was well received. The group has been performing the production at other churches and venues around the region since that time.

The narrators are the Rev. John Sylvia of St. Paul A.M.E. and Maureen Dillard, first lady of Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church in Charleston. The coast includes Sharon Banks, Gerva Coleman, JoAnne Ford, the Rev. Carolyn Hairston, Brenda Hardy, Helen Hartfield, Sara Moore, Ruth Nowling, Sharniece Perry, Pam Robinson, Darllene Stokes, Jean Wiggins, Evelena Williams and Tierah Williams.