Rankin Chapel; Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu
Hello my name is Patrick Swygert and I'm president of Howard University. It's my great pleasure and privilege to invite you to join me in hearing and listening to the message of Archbishop Desmond Tutu of the Republic of South Africa. Archbishop Tutu brings us a message of hope and reconciliation. Join me and hearing his great message. Thank you. Whoa.
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Good university is very unique in that our students and faculty organizations include a call to worship. We will be led in our call by Father Hargrove the Catholic chaplain. Followed by the invocation by Dean Emeritus Dr. Evans Crawfurd. We have been called to walk the fateful road and to choose the way of God's just as. They. Come together then to be God's people follow Christ and listen for the good things that God has done.
Rise up in praise and thanksgiving. Glory be to God the Creator Christ and spirit giver of all good gifts. In this great. Spirit of God. Whose inspirations we acknowledge is the creative force. In ourselves and in our society. Now whose presence. Has graced. And blessed. The prophets of the world. And whose presence among all peoples are revealed to.
Come among us as we this day worship once more touch our ears and eyes hear and behold. Your presence in the lives of the martyrs who have gone before us. And those. Today who bear their spirits and make their testimonies. Make us aware of the global reach of our faith. As we give thanks to you and songs and prayers. For those who have kept the faith are keeping faith. We come now to share that testimony with us as we prepare our hearts and minds. For your presence and knowledge and in our service. Come Lord Jesus. Please remain standing as the reverend Lilly and Smith the United Methodist chaplain here at the
university will come to lead us. Let us join together in the responsive reading of the psalter as printed in crime by your own lord and answer me for I am poor and needy. Thou art my God be gracious to me O Lord for to do I cry all the day. For thou O Lord art good and forgiving. Give your own lore to my prayer. Hearken to my cry of supplication. There is none like me among the gods so Lord.
All nations. Thou hast made shall come and bow down before Thee O Lord and shall glorify thy name. Teach me by way o lord that I may walk in by truth. A. Low or. A. A.
Let us now calm. The restlessness. And prepare our hearts and minds. For the reading. Of a holy scripture. The Old Testament lesson will be read by Dr. in hate and the Episcopal Anglican chaplain. Our New Testament lesson will be read by our undergraduate chapel assistant. Mr. Orlando his honor and the Gospel lesson will be read by Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas associate professor of theology Howard University School of Divinity. A reading from the book with the prophet Isaiah chapter 61
beginning at verse 8. For I the Lord loved justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully give them that recompense and I will make them an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples all who see them shall they acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord my whole being shall exalt in my God for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation. He has covered me with the robe of righteousness as the bridegroom decks himself with a garland as a bride adorned just saw with the jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots and as a garden causes what is sown and it does spring
up. So the Lord God will cause righteousness and prays to spring up before all the nations. This is the word of the Lord. Praise the Lord. The New Testament reading will be taken from Romans Chapter 12 verses 1 through 8. Again that's Romans Chapter 12 verses 1 through 8. Starting at verse 1. I appeal to you. Therefore brothers and sisters by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God.
Which is your spiritual worship. Do not be confirmed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may discern what is the will of God what is good and acceptable and perfect for by the grace given to me I say to every one among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think but to think with sober judgment. Each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned for us in one body. We have many members and not all the members have the same function. So we who are many are one body in Christ and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us prophesy in
proportion to the ministry administering the teaching. In teaching the exhorter an exhortation the giver and generosity the leader in diligence the compassionate and cheerfulness made the Lord a blessing to the reading of His Divine Word. The holy Godswill over our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ according to St. Luke when he came to Nazareth where he had been brought up he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day as was his custom. He stood up to read and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written. The
spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind to let the oppressed go free to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and he rolled up the scroll gave it back to the attendant and set down the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on on him. Then he began to say to them today. This Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing the gospel of our Lord. Going to ask. That are our. Not to Evans Crawfurd Dean Emeritus. I'm going to ask did. He come at this time to read all of the calls to chapel especially the friends of the chapel.
Which started his administration being four. Since I've been here forever. I would embrace all of you for coming. These organizations the names of Howard Thurman Mordecai Johnson brought here in your Banyan Tree Hill they passed along the mantle to me which I now share with Dr. Richardson. And you organizations have always been a part of our chapter. It is about you and those of you from the community so their spirit breathes upon us as we on this day and the way that those who from the community are visiting with us see a constituent constituency of our chapel. What a great thing it is to have the privilege of doing this and passing along with thanks in the presence of one who symbolizes
all of a liberation and freedom things of our faith. God bless you. Good morning. I have. Two responsibilities this morning. Both are delightful. The first is to ask anyone who is with us today who has not been acknowledged and who needs to rise. Please do so at this time. But we do have just one or two more acknowledgements
that need to be made and indeed should be made with us this morning Bishop is Dr. and Mrs. Hendrie ponder. Dr. Ponder's served with distinction as president of Fisk University and is now president of the National Association for equal opportunity in higher education. Dr. ponder. We also have with us a son of Howard University a stalwart in the United States Congress someone who attends chapel on a regular basis and who is deeply committed to chapel and to his alma mater. Congressman Elijah Cummings of Baltimore Maryland. We have. A number of trustees here today
representing the full board of trustees trustees who serve without compensation but with unlimited dedication and commitment to this institution who serve us in the halls of Congress who serve us in the executive branch and serve us wherever their paths may take them. We have. The undergraduate student trustee Sean Jones is with us this morning. We have faculty trustee Dr. Gene. You Marty Bailey Dr. Bailey. And we have with us. Another great champion of Howard University who's accompanied by his wife Joan. Mr. Jack Kemp.
Now and in the event that I have overlooked. Any trustee. You are most sincerely and deeply acknowledged as is also the case with our outstanding student body are dynamic and engaged faculty our alumni. The members of our staff here at the university our neighbors and all of our friends and especially the friends of the chapel without whose support this program simply would not be possible. And I'm going to ask for another acknowledgement of the friends the chapel and ask them to please rise once more.
We welcome this morning a son of Howard University who received his honorary degree from alma mater in Nineteen Eighty-Four. At that time he brought a message of hope and courage. A message grounded in his faith grounded in his courage and grounded in his strength the message that one day freedom would reign in the Republic of South Africa. That day has indeed arrived and it has arrived because of our guests this morning and so many others whose soldiers in the good struggle in the good fight with Archbishop Tutu. Some whose names we know. And many thousands of others whose names we do not know but all shared with him a hope a dream a vision for
free South Africa but not just a free South Africa but an opportunity to create a new society. He has not withdrawn from the fray. Now that freedom reigns in his nation he is taking on. Perhaps the most difficult challenge that his nature did his nation give to one of its citizens. It is his responsibility to play that critical role in the transformation of a society that a few scant years ago. Was marked by oppression and apartheid. To a society marked by freedom and opportunity he has taken on a responsibility to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of the Republic of South Africa an enormously
difficult. Painful at times important at all times tense. He may choose in his remarks to speak more. Of his work with the commission with the committee. But let me say based upon my own recent experience the Republic of South Africa where I was privileged to visit along with a delegation of Howard University family members. I saw firsthand the great good work that the committee has begun and I saw firsthand the great challenges that remain. No one is better suited by temperament. No one is better suited by experience. No one is better suited by faith than Archbishop Desmond Tutu to lead this next struggle.
The Republic. Of South Africa. So Archbishop on behalf of all of us who are assembled here today all of us who are a next store in the Irish IRA alders theater all of us who are beneath us in the amphitheater beneath this main hall and all of us around the world. Who are members of the Howard family and indeed the family of man and woman. We welcome you to alma mater. In the name of God Father Son and Holy Spirit.
I mean what a wonderful wonderful act of worship. What a great privilege to be here. I think we want to give the choir as just another round of applause. Your friends I greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Good Morning. That's just a little loud. How about another. Good morning. Slightly better.
I was minding my own business once. In Atlanta during the Olympic Games in I and I was traveling with my wife on the Underground and a few people came along and said they'd like to have my autograph. And I was busy signing for one or two people and then a lady came along and she said Please I'd like to have your autograph. And then as I was signing she turned to the people who said who we. Were sort of put me properly in my place. But dear friends I come bearing very very fervent and warm greetings from your sisters and brothers in South Africa. It's the new South Africa the South Africa
the democratic South Africa the South Africa which has its first democratically elected president Nelson Mandela. I bring you greetings from your sisters and brothers there. You know we were in dire trouble in 1994. We sometimes have short memories and then forgotten we've forgotten how bombs were going off bombs from right wing groups that sought to sabotage the possibility of a new South Africa.
There were random killings of blacks and you might recall that a major role player would tell disease Inkatha Freedom Party were saying they were going to boycott the forthcoming elections. We could change our teeth in anticipation of the most awful catastrophe and bloodbath imaginable which we saw as inevitable. And then the miracle happened the freedom the freedom party joined the elections and the world watched in amazement as those lines snake their way slowly
to the polling booths. And now a dream came true. We are free free at last thank God Almighty we are free at last. The wonderful wonderful word. Thank you. And you might have noticed of course that the offertory came before the sermon but some wonderful words that captured way way way from some 126 when the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion. Then were we like people nude in hell. Our mouths were full of laughter
and our tongues saying aloud for joy. Then among the nations it was said the Lord has done great things for them great things indeed the Lord did for us and we rejoice. We have one a comprehensive victory over injustice injustice and evil of our party. And we are realizing just how evil it was. We used to say a system as even as foul as a party it was could survive only by using equally even for methods to maintain itself. We didn't know half the story. Now we have been
appalled at the extent of that even at the depth of depravity as we have listened day after day to testimonies and the revelations that have come before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. You've probably heard of the young lawyer who opened the Passo which contained a tape recorder. His wife came to testify and she said had just come back from the movies and were preparing for bed. And Becky the young lawyer took out the tape recorder and I said to him Why don't you put the tape into the radio
so we can all hear it together. Maybe he didn't hear her. Maybe he heard but ignored her. He placed the headphones over he is switched on the tape recorder. Next moment he had to scrape pieces of his brain from the war. It had been booby trapped or you've heard of the activists who were tortured through electric shocks until they died. And this is told by one of the police officers who had been involved.
They then took the bodies and placed them on land mines and detonated the land mines and blew them up into smithereens. You heard the story of the youths who had taken in a minibus laid with alcohol driven to the borders between South Africa and Botswana. When they came there the defense South African Defense Force injected some stuff into them. Then they were put back into the minibus and it was packed with explosives and that too was blown up to kingdom come.
Extent of the evil against which we were struggling today. We have freeze we have won a spectacular victory. Friends I come here to say to you that victory that success over evil and injustice and oppression have been totally impossible without your love without your prayers without your support. Our victory our splendid victory that has brought a new democracy to life. That victory is your victory
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for all that you have been to us. In 1984 after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this great university gave me an honorary doctorate. I call though. On that occasion at a special convocation asking why is it possible for the Jewish community to be sufficiently powerful as a lobby so that Israel gets the kind of treatment she receives from this land. How come African Americans have not themselves become an equally potent
lobby for South Africa. And very soon after TransAfrica and other organizations and persons launched the Free South Africa campaign. You see I came on that occasion to ask for your help to enlist your support. It doesn't happen too frequently for those who came asking for help to be able to return. And she I came I asked for your help you gave the help. And today we have free will.
And. To be able to come and say I know I speak on behalf of millions. Whenever anyone says that. Take it with a pinch of salt because it is almost always an exaggeration a presumption but I can tell you that I stand knowing that I feel no contradiction. I speak on behalf of millions who wish to have been here themselves to say to you your friends supported us who prayed for us. You went on demonstrations for us. You boycotted for us. And that's how it's happened. Thank you. Thank you. On behalf of all of those many many millions
now I would have liked to give you one person standing ovation. It does look a little odd if I do do that but but maybe if I asked you Would you join me in giving a real humdinger of an applause and ovation to those such as yourselves and to the many many around this world this country who were part of our struggle a struggle that has now ended so wonderfully successful. Please join me.
Thank you. Thank you very very much. You don't know just how much you have meant to us. You think it is. I'm being I'm trying to be nice sort of conventionally. I'm not trying to be nice. I'm telling you the truth. As a small boy of about nine years I think I picked up a copy of Ebony magazine living in a ghetto and it was the number that described. Jackie Robinson and how he had broken into Major League Baseball to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers I didn't know baseball from
Ping-Pong. But that didn't matter. Just to know that someone of color who would overcome all of those many many orders that had been placed in is way too complex. And as I said there in the segregated township I grew in I said they can do it over there. Maybe one day we too can do OK. And so you don't know just how much you have inspired us. We died many deaths. When Joe Louis lost say gaged Schmidly then when he won
we were dancing in the streets because his victory was our victory. You don't know what it meant to us. I don't know whether it was a good film or not. But I went to see. Show me where the. Jews are going. The first was the ending to. The Lena Horne. You don't know just how subversive that was for a small boy in a chain in a black ghetto in South Africa. You have been incredible in your inspiration that you have provided for us the Martin Luther King Jr.. We sang We Shall Overcome. We
sang it as if it was our national anthem. We sang it meaning for it to come true. And when you made it here we might not make it at home but by vicariously we be with you and show our victory. You'll never really know. How deeply you have influenced us how deeply you have inspired how deeply you have empowered us in some of the darkest moments. Thank you. Thank you for all that you have
been and that we are where we are. Because you were where you where we are free. Because you had a passion for our freedom. We see. And we used to say things that you were saying here to our White compatriots. You will never be free until we are free. And they thought these are just slogans and we used to we we used to point to them I don't know again you'll see my vintage I mean the kind of music I speak of and the people I speak about. But you remember that feeling that you find once you remember
how the two convicts escape and Dominical together. One is black one is white and they fall into a ditch with slippery side. And the one convict throws is way too near the top and is just about to make it but he can't because he's made to whom he's been a good partner. And this leads us to the bottom and they realize that the only way they can make it and we used to say that to our White compatriots only way they would make it is to get to go. Up and out. And today White South Africans were told and they realized hey
these black people are free from the burden that we used to carry disappear we no longer the pariahs of the world. So again why. Well they have got on their lapels. The new flag of the new South Africa. They want you to know they come from South Africa because they've got this extraordinary precedent. Everyone wants a piece of it. But we got there because you. Believe that believe that we would never be we would never have been able to persuade your Congress yet to apply sanctions against South Africa. Had he not been that you were passionate.
We used to say to them places in my party is totally immoral unchristian unbiblical without remainder for it to these totally irrelevant arbitrary biological attribute skin color and says that this is what invests people with what. We used to tell them the story that you probably knew of what happened when God created human beings you created them out of dust and then God said well I will put you in an oven to fire you and make you strong. And God put in the first lot and God got busy doing quite a lot of other things. And God for all that he put this look to him. And when when God. Took a job.
And. Opened the oven and all happened to cinders and they said this is like people who came up out. Then God put in the second lot this time God was over anxious. And God God opened the oven too quickly. And this lot was under down. And they say this is how white people came up out. Of course I mean this story says skin color race ethnicity. These are total irrelevancies. The thing you invest each one of us with one which is intrinsic. It comes as a package.
Is that each one of us is created in the image of God. Each one of us. Whether you are tall whether you are a stumpy one like me whether whether you present. Or whether you have a sort of hourglass Strega whether you are beautiful whether you know show your true form. Whether you are rich or poor educated the incredible single one of us is this creature of infinite what each one of us is a card carrier. Each one of us is a sanctuary of God the Holy Spirit.
Each one of us is God's Viceroy. Each one of us is God's representative and to treat any one of these of God's creatures as if they were less than they he's just wrong. We should look at it as painful as it often is for the victims of racism but it is positively blasphemous. It is it is getting in the face of court and show you help us to tie you to our heritage the glorious heritage of the children of God. Can we persuade you
too appropriate you teach the heritage of the glorious freedom of the children of God. You remember despite all that conspires to make you focus. Will you remember. There are things called VIP VIP. Maybe I'll probably go to the VIP VIP. But each one of you you might be might or you might not be a VIP. What you certainly ah is a V S P U A V S P U a very special person. And remember that I am
a very special person. I see I am a very special person. When you wake up in the morning don't be too scared by what you see in the mirror. Say I wake up I am a free speech. I am a fan. Special person. I am God's representative. If anyone wants to know about God who is invisible then they must look at me. If anyone wants to know the compassion of the love of God. That must come from me. I am a feast. You know sometimes when students write exams they don't always know the answers
which which doesn't usually stop them from having a go. Well they had this exam where are they. They asked what did John the Baptist say to Jesus when Jesus came to him to be baptized. Now you know what it is John the Baptist said. But this particular guy or Gaius didn't know it was a literal ignorance as between friends. And hair and so his answer was John the Baptist said to Jesus. Remember you are the Son of God and behave like one. But it is very important that each morning you wake up
and you read you say hey remember I am the son I am the daughter of God. I stand for part and let me behave like one and we behave like one. Friend. We are going to succeed in South Africa but will it be a scintillating success. Now. It is not because I have a hotline to heaven that I can tell you that it is because God wants us to succeed. God wants us to succeed because we are such an unlikely lot. We can't have been said to be particularly virtuous.
About our day which for so long sought to destroy our country clearly is totally immoral and biblical and Christian. As we have shown we are not particularly smart either. So it's not because we're virtuous it's not because we are smart. I don't know whether you know the story of the South African who got upset because at the time there was the Soviet Union you know and the and the United States were getting all the curators for the for the space program. And and so this sort of Reagan announced we in South Africa are going to launch a spacecraft to the sun no less. And when they said to him Hey man long before he reaches the sun you will
be it will be scorched earth. You think we're stupid. Well when you launch you good night. We. We are going to succeed. We are going to succeed for the sake of the world because God wants to see two boys you do nothing while in the Middle East to put runty to one day. The hit didn't make me in South Africa a party that night. Me and your night May Somalia Burundi Rwanda Middle East Northern Ireland Sri Lanka Burma. Your
your night be screened. They had what they thought was an intractable problem. You've sold your soul. No way in the world can anybody ever again see we have an intractable problem. We are already screwed. God has had incredible federal workers you and you have accomplished a great work in South Africa and God says you need something.
On. God. In.
One. Guy Oh.
On. Man. I'm sure Dina Bertice being offered would understand if I would break tradition and to ask the chairman of the board of trustees the Rev. Dr. Thaddeus Garrett to come in to respond to the beautiful message that we heard from Archbishop Tutu. Thank you Dean. I would only ask that you make sure you have collection plates by these doors as these people leave. Thank you very much. I want to apologize for being late but I had to preach
at another church this is a day some of us have to work. And I thought I would never get here but I am so very pleased. My heart is so full. To be able to join with my brother and the clergy my friend and a leader of man and womankind. We are grateful that he came to this place which this morning we shall call this house of worship. We are grateful that all of you who have come here to demonstrate to him that as God has held on to his hand and the people of the Republic of South Africa and has led them to freedom that we simply want to join that band of children pursuing that heavenly truth.
Archbishop Tutu our hearts are overflowing this morning and we are so grateful that you have crossed these waters. Not only physically but the waters of time and that you have come to join with us as we seek to be a part in this country of a continuing struggle for freedom and liberation. Gawd won't pass by race north I creed no other place of birth. But on that final day. God will last. What has bowed down and left here on Earth. Desmond Tutu you've made your mark in God. You know all that we can ask
all that we can hope for is that one day we might be able to join you in that great trial in freedom. God bless you. Before the benediction I'd like to acknowledge the members of the chapel staff here who are not introduced previously. Dr. Fulton Caldwell the Bohai chaplain please stand. The Reverend Michael Worsley Tom Skinner associates. Johari Abdul Malik the mayor of the Muslim students of Howard University. The Reverend kaolin Gordon the Baptist chaplain here at the University.
Now time for we going to change the order of service and have the benediction then the recession. We were so moved by the message of Bishop Tutu. I'm going to ask that he would stand this time. I'm going to ask that we all stand and hold hands. I'm going to ask. The president of the Howard University student association to please stand next to Archbishop Tutu. I'm going to ask the student leader of the South African student body to please come and to stand on the other side of our president's swagger. I'm going to ask musicians to. Play softly.
And that generations yet unborn will understand the significance of this occasion that we must carry on the message of Archbishop Tutu not only in our generation but the next generation. And these are student leaders of the future. It is their responsibility. And so as you hold hands you symbolize your generation that will lead this nation in this world to come together as one. And remember what Archbishop Tutu has taught us that until all of us none of us are free. Let us play softly we shall overcome.
The. A. A. A. A.
A. A. A. In my language. And you know
I mean. I. Thought.
Oh. The most reverend Tutu was a guest speaker for the Sunday worship service at Howard University. He had come full circle. Of Friends who supported us who prayed for us. You went on demonstrations for us you boycotted for us and he's had it happen for him. Desmond Tutu was born a warrior of peace. In 1984 the world took note of his fight for racial justice in South Africa. This man to do to come to strong and receive
the Nobel Peace Prize for nine. Months later that same year Archbishop Tutu received an honorary doctorate degree from Harvard University. And I present you with this diploma. It was at Howard University that he sounded the call for help. The politics of the day the politics of exclusion. TransAfrica spearheaded the Free South Africa campaign and the walls of social injustice. When you look back over your life do you have any regrets and what I. I would want to apologize to whoever I may have hurt in the process of the struggle because of being. Abrasive. And not not always being as humble as you want to be. What is it that you want people to know about sure that I love.
- Rankin Chapel
- Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu
- Contributing Organization
- WHUT (Washington, District of Columbia)
- AAPB ID
Speaker: Tutu, Desmond
Speaker: Swygert, H. Patrick
Speaker: Hargrove, Jerry E.
Speaker: Crawford, Evans E.
Speaker: Smith, Lillian
Speaker: Hayden, J. Carleton
Speaker: Piazana, Orlando
Speaker: Douglas, Kelly Brown
Speaker: Garrett, Jr., Thaddeus
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
WHUT-TV (Howard University Television)
Identifier: 1600 (WHUT)
Format: Betacam: SP
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- Chicago: “Rankin Chapel; Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu,” 1996-11-04, WHUT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-293-784j16wd.
- MLA: “Rankin Chapel; Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu.” 1996-11-04. WHUT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-293-784j16wd>.
- APA: Rankin Chapel; Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu. Boston, MA: WHUT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-293-784j16wd