Faith & Insight: A mission from God

After serving nine years in the U.S. Air Force, James Meredith returned home to his beloved Mississippi. He saw himself as a man on a mission, “a mission from God.” Meredith had a plan to transform Mississippi life and to open doors to many who had been shut out of society.

Meredith was the architect of two of the most epic events of the civil rights era. James was the first black man to be admitted as a student at the University of Mississippi in the fall of 1962. His admittance sparked a riot amongst white supremacists. Thousands converged upon the campus and it required 30,000 state and federal law enforcement officers to put an end to the violence. Over 300 casualties were recorded.

Meredith was shadowed every day by two U.S. Marshals until he graduated in August 1963. James endured daily threats and abuse, but his “mission” was accomplished. Years later, he would see his son graduate from Ole Miss.

The other great event that James engineered was the “March Against Fear” in 1966. With only his Bible and a walking stick, James left Memphis and traveled south on Highway 51 with Jackson, Mississippi in his sites. On the second day of his march, June 6, 1966, he was gunned down in northern Mississippi.

James survived the sniper’s attack and would join the march much later. By then the marchers numbered into the thousands as Martin Luther King, Jr. continued the march for James.

King said of James Meredith, “One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, courageously and with a majestic sense of purpose facing jeering and hostile mobs and the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer.”

James was on a mission from God. He remained faithful to his calling. In 2006, a statue of James Meredith was erected on the campus of Ole Miss. Mission accomplished.

Every Christian is called by God through the gospel. Every Christian is provided gifts from God to be used in his service and to benefit mankind. Everyone should seek God’s purpose and find God’s mission for life. Then one day, we can all declare in the words of the apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Mission accomplished.


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