Pastor: Ring the Bell to Honor History, Commit to Progress

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Rev. Dr. Reginald Davis led a kick-off ceremony for the "Let Freedom Ring" program at First Baptist Church last week. (Joseph Fudge/Daily Press)
Rev. Dr. Reginald Davis led a kick-off ceremony for the “Let Freedom Ring” program at First Baptist Church last week. (Joseph Fudge/Daily Press)

Colonial Williamsburg’s collaboration with First Baptist Church for the monthlong “Let Freedom Ring” program is the culmination of a decades-long partnership between the two entities – a partnership both the Foundation and the church are eager to highlight as they get the word out about the initiative.

Colonial Williamsburg Program Development Manager Stephen Seals and Rev. Dr. Reginald Davis sat down recently with Local Voice’s Tom Davis for an interview that aired Tuesday on 92.3 the Tide FM.

“We’ve been connected with First Baptist Church for as long as the Foundation has been a Foundation. It was almost like it was our duty to fix that bell,” Seals said. “It just seemed like the perfect partnership.”

Seals is referring to First Baptist’s historic church bell, which was purchased for the church in the late 1800s and fell silent in the 1950s due to structural issues. Colonial Williamsburg stepped in last year to help restore the bell and together the Foundation and the church have put together “Let Freedom Ring” – a monthlong opportunity for people to come to the church and ring the bell as a symbolic act in support of freedom and racial equality.

“When people sign up to come and ring the bell, we are hoping, first of all, that they get a sense of history and a sense of the people who have lived, died and struggled to get us to where we are,” Rev. Dr. Reginald Davis said. “[We are also hoping] they will commit themselves to the struggle we’ve undertaken to have American become a more perfect union.”

Click above to listen to the full interview.

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