Making A Difference: CM&I College - - Jackson, MS

Making A Difference: CM&I College

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

In the shadow of downtown Jackson only about 30 years after the end of the Civil War, a minister, poet and songwriter started what he termed a movement, that turned into a denomination with over 150 member churches in about 30 states today, the Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. That minister was Bishop Charles P. Jones.

Current Presiding Bishop Joseph Campbell says this Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Mother Church on Lamar street, The legacy of Bishop Jones will be celebrated.

“For this celebration we will be doing his music, some of his poems, just to commemorate the anniversary of his birth,” said Presiding Bishop Campbell.

Another entity came into being shortly after the organization of the church. and is also still with us in Jackson, Christ Missionary and Industrial College.

In 1897 when the school came into being, the opportunities of black youngsters to get any advanced education, or in many cases any education at all, can be summed up in one word, “Nonexistent.”

Dr. Mary Seay is the Headmaster at CM&I College and says,

“CM&I Is the best hidden secret in the city of Jackson," said Headmaster Dr. Mary Seay. "It is one of the best schools in the area, providing educational opportunities for all children.”

Dr. Seay says the school has turned out a large percentage of graduates compared to enrollees over the years. “About 99% of those that come graduate and go on to college.”

Jessie Castilla Williams was one of those graduates back in 1949. She went on to get her masters from Purdue and retired from teaching. This school offered her a chance she couldn't get elsewhere easily.

“We had to learn because we were poor, we were black and we had to make it,” said Ms. Williams.

So this Sunday, the celebration will go beyond the founder of a denomination, but to a church that has supported such a school that has quietly for over a hundred and fifteen years, been offering a difference to those who wanted it.

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