When news broke of the vandalism that was done to the Pincham-Lincoln Center several weeks ago, Ashley felt a strong urge to do something. After just wrapping up one mission, I hesitated to enter into another so quickly, but I trusted her and her intuition of what she felt God was nudging her to do. Ashley reached out to a precious friend to see if we could help in some small way. Her words sealed the deal and preparations began.
Kristina Hendrix is more than just an involved member of our community. She strives to educate others about our history and is constantly working to make our town and those in it better.
Read the poignant words from Kristina below.
"Hope. Fear. Excitement. Scared. Proud. Sad. Broken. Blessed. All of these emotions were felt during the past few years of the Athens-Limestone Community Association’s renovation of the historic Trinity High School into the Pincham-Lincoln Center. On December 17, 2015, more than 300 people watched ALCA and local and state officials cut the ribbon on a project that had been 45 years in the making. From 1865-1970, Trinity High School was the only school for black students to be educated in Limestone County. In 1970, students and teachers alike did not have an idea that their beloved school was closing due to a desegregation court order. Founded in 1981 and reorganized in 2007, ALCA made Trinity their mission to renovate the school. The community – black and white, old and young, and born and raised and transients - all joined together to turn this historical landmark into a place that everyone could use. The community saw that hope and excitement turn into a blessing and a moment of proudness for Athens and Limestone County.
Then on June 29, 2016, three juveniles entered the Pincham-Lincoln Center and damaged nearly $20,000 worth of contents. ALCA board members felt the emotions of being in fear, scared, sadness, and broken. Sad and hurt, is probably the best way to sum up how they felt.
What people may not understand about this act of vandalism is that it took away something, more than ONE something from ALCA and the community. For the Trinity graduates and their family members, it was as if those juveniles hurt a family member that had just gotten healed from a long-time illness. For those elected and appointed officials, they took away the years of work on a project that was truly needed within that community. For ALCA and the interested community members, it took away that sense of a ‘can do attitude,’ where people can pull together for the greater good. But the group this hurt the most, the future generations of Athens and Limestone County. The Pincham-Lincoln Center was built as a place for people to continue to learn and grow, just like Trinity High School.
Although the Pincham-Lincoln Center is broken, it will not be broken forever. People may have seen that ALCA likes to use the words “Arise and Build” as an internal motto. “Arise and Build” comes from when Trinity was expected to close due to many different reasons during the 105-year history. The people always said, “We will arise and build” and they did. The words come from Nehemiah 2:18,
“Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.”
ALCA is taking on this minor setback and all of their other projects as an opportunity to educate people about the history of Athens and Limestone County that is not taught in schoolbooks.
The next few months are crucial for ALCA. There is much work to do to repair the Pincham-Lincoln Center. The windows and doors that were damaged will have to be replaced. A security system will need to be installed. And the hearts that were once broken will need to be comforted and healed."
God led us to this cause before news broke of the Alton Sterling violence days ago and the Dallas shootings last night. While preparing to launch this project this morning and pondering over the ALCA's motto "Arise & Build" we realized that this community center, it's purpose and message speak volumes in the state of our world right now.
It's time to "Arise & Build". Not only a building- but our relationships with others. Our world is divided in so many ways, today. We are divided by gender, race, political party and religious background. You cannot turn on social media or television without seeing hurtful comments directed toward people with differing opinions, beliefs or backgrounds.
This morning I looked up the words to this motto coined by the ALCA.
"Arise" is defined as to "get or stand up".
Stand up, Christians. Stand up for love, for equality, for those who are oppressed and hurting.
Proverbs 31:8,9 tells us to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice."
I absolutely love how the Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines "build". It says, "to form by ordering and uniting materials by gradual means into a composition whole."
We are to form one body, Christ's body, by uniting into a whole. Not by uniting with others of the same background, gender or race.
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28
The proceeds from this shirt will go toward the rebuilding of the Pincham-Lincoln center, but the message from this shirt will benefit all of humanity. Buy this shirt to support this wonderful center that will teach generations of our beautiful yet heartbreaking history. Wear this shirt to spread the message that we are dedicated to unity. In our community, our nation, and in our world.
Arise and Build, friends.
Use your place in this world to stand up for what is right. Build each other up so that we can truly be the body of Christ.
Love and Blessings,
**Monetary donations are gratefully accepted, and can be made to the ALCA for the rebuilding of the Pincham-Lincoln center here.