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Civil Rights Leader Jesse Jackson Delivers Sermon at Charlottesville Church

Posted: Updated: Aug 27, 2017 07:56 PM
Reverend Jesse Jackson Reverend Jesse Jackson
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church congregation Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church congregation
Gloria Beard Gloria Beard
Jesse Jackson, talking to media Jesse Jackson, talking to media
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, Sr.  paid a special visit to a Charlottesville church Sunday, August 27.

Reverend Jackson was greeted to a packed church where he delivered a sermon on changeless values in changing times.

The Sunday morning church service at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church drew in hundreds of people.

"I heard that Reverend Jackson was going to be in town and I always wanted to see him because I’ve been following him all my life,” said Gloria Beard. 

Reverend Jackson’s message to the people of Charlottesville focused on political action and community members coming together. 

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church prides itself on being a Unitarian Universalist church. This means they strive to promote religious freedom, as well as “freedom in religion.” 

Some attendees wondered why Jackson chose this type of church to deliver his message. Jackson explained, “In part because of its reputation as being progressive and inclusive.” 

“I think it's important to reach out to the white community, as well as the black community, and the Latino community. We must reach out to people, I wanted to come to a congregation of...that shows, there is,...that Charlottesville is not only just black and white” said Jackson.

In addition to a message of unity, Jackson touched on the Confederate flag and statues. He is calling for them to come down.

“Robert E. Lee himself said ‘don't bury me in a Confederate uniform, don't put no Confederate paraphernalia around my grave, because to have so would be an affront to the north, to extend the wounds of war,’” said Jackson. 

Jackson also expressed his gratitude for Heather Heyer who died on August 12 amidst of violence after the Unite the Right rally.

“She's in that lineage of those who gave, who paid the ultimate price for a more perfect union,” said Jackson. 

For many who attended Sunday’s service, the sermon was a starting point to moving forward and working together. 

“I'm just feeling so wonderful, it really lifted me because I have been kind of depressed because of all that misery that happened on August 12, but we will overcome,” said Beard. 

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church says that nearly 500 people attended the service.