Shreveport, LA—The historic Mt. Canaan Baptist Church will host the first Harry Blake Social Justice Empowerment Conference from October 29–31 to honor the legacy and leadership of the late civil rights icon. Dr. Blake worked 62 years in the ministry and pastored Mt. Canaan Baptist Church, serving the Shreveport community for 52 years before his untimely passing in April 2020. All events are free and open to the public and will be held at Mt. Canaan, located at 1666 Alston Street.
“We shall forever honor his memory,” said Greg L. Oliver, Sr., current pastor of the 127-year-old church. “The Harry Blake Social Justice Empowerment Conference was established to be a lasting memorial of Dr. Blake’s life, work, and leadership. “His legacy will remain alive and vibrant, and it will be shared with generations to come.” Oliver became pastor of Mt. Canaan Baptist Church in 2018. Prior to succeeding the late Dr. Harry Blake, he led the True Vine Baptist Church in Monroe, Louisiana.
Dr. Blake served as the first Field Secretary of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference under the guidance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He traveled throughout the South organizing voter registration drives, and he survived numerous attempts on his life, including a beating by Shreveport policemen in 1963 after he had organized a memorial service for the four little girls who were killed in the bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
During his tenure at Mt. Canaan, Dr. Blake helped establish a model prayer service that has been implemented in congregations throughout the nation. His ministries were designed to address the needs of the church and the community.
The 2021 conference theme is “The Church in Prayer, Protest, and Pacesetting.” The events will include powerful preaching and teaching leadership sessions presented by prominent pastors, an awards luncheon to recognize individuals for their work in social justice, racial equality, and activism in the face or COVID-19, and a health fair that will feature medical professionals, health screenings, and vaccine stations.
- Friday, Oct. 29
“The Church in Pacesetting” presented by Bishop Joseph Warren Walker, III, Zion Baptist Church, Nashville, Tennessee.
- Saturday, Oct. 30
“The Church in Prayer” presented by Dr. Roy Elton Brackins, Grace Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, Forest Hills, Texas.
“The Church in Protest” presented by Dr. Freddie Haynes, Friendship West Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas.
Harry Blake Awards Luncheon (limited seating)
Harry Blake Stay Safe Shreveport Community Health Fair
- Sunday, Oct. 31
“Harry Blake Day” guest speaker, Pastor Dennis Jones, Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, Houston, Texas.
For more information, visit the church web site at www.mountcanaan.com.
Mt. Canaan Baptist Church, located in Shreveport, Louisiana, has served the community for over 127 years. The church’s mission is to glorify the Lord through worship, biblical instruction, and fellowship and to evangelize the lost. Through the preaching and teaching of God’s holy scriptures and the opportunities to serve numerous ministries, Mt. Canaan is dedicated to developing an intimate, loving relationship with God, strengthening the body of Christ, and growing the Kingdom of God in every believer.