Symbols of racial reconciliation, Will Ford and Matt Lockett will share the stage once again.
Ford and Lockett will be among the 33 local, national and international speakers scheduled to appear at the first One Blood Revival set for 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 12-13 at Memorial Stadium. The purpose of the event is to help bring healing and restoration to Baton Rouge. There will also be choirs, mimes and dance, drama and worship teams.
The free event has been more than a year in the making, and organizer Devin O'Neal said it has been well-received. Volunteers have given out more than 65,000 One Blood bracelets around the community and schools in East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes.
"People really want to see unity in the races, unity in the churches," said O'Neal, pastor of Voices of Mercy Outreach Ministries. "We definitely know that the city needs healing."
Ford, who is black and a Lake Providence native, and Lockett, who is white, have been friends since 2005 after meeting at a prayer gathering in Washington, D.C.
"They met at the Lincoln Memorial on Martin Luther King Day in a sea of tens of thousands," O'Neal said.
Later Ford and Lockett discovered they had another connection far beyond their friendship: Lockett's ancestors once owned Ford's ancestors. The revelation only brought the two ministers closer together, even writing a book titled "The Dream King: How the Dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. Is Being Fulfilled to Heal Racism in America."
"It's a book about how Martin Luther King's dream is being fulfilled, especially one of the things that Martin Luther King said is he had a dream that one day former slaves and former slave owners would be able to sit at the same table of brotherhood," O'Neal said.
Ford, director of Marketplace Leadership Major at Christ for the Nations in Dallas, and Lockett, executive director of the Justice House of Prayer DC in Washington, will be sharing the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at the One Blood Revival.
"They have a message of church unity and race unity," said O'Neal, who will be speaking at 6 p.m. on both days.
Other speakers O'Neal highlighted are the Rev. "Trell" Donk Webb, of Atlanta, and Ron Harvey, of Arizona.
Webb is a Baton Rouge native who has been the subject of many songs by local rapper Lil Boosie, O'Neal said. Webb spent time in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola for murder.
"He got saved in jail, and began to pray, and God let him out," O'Neal said. "He travels around telling his testimony of how God delivered him."
Webb will also perform with Baton Rouge rapper Reggie Morgan, author of the book "The Thug Who Went to Heaven."
"They want to take back what the devil's been trying to steal through gangsta rap and destroying our youth," O'Neal said. "God give (Morgan) a message of taking back that industry and combating it with the right message."
O'Neal said Harvey has a connection to the Gathering of Tribal Nations.
"Native Americans are coming from all over the country," he said. "We've been actively trying to bring all of the Native Americans in Louisiana together for this event."
Other speakers/performers scheduled include apostle Frank Manguno, of Plaquemine; chief apostle Lloyd Benson Sr., of Baton Rouge; apostle Alvin Chean, of Malaysia; pastor James Burton, of New Orleans, and associate director of the Louisiana Black Advocates for Life; apostle Albert White, of Baton Rouge; Laura Aguillard, of Reserve; pastor Wuan Miller, of Baton Rouge; apostle Fred Berry, of Los Angeles; William Hinn, of Texas, and nephew of Benny Hinn; pastor Ron "Prism" Williams, of Baton Rouge; prophet Brian Beverly, of Hammond; apostle Mardia Scott, of Baton Rouge; Christian rap artist La Will, of Eunice; and pastor Guillermo Lopez, of Baton Rouge.
O'Neal said the event will also include Spanish-speaking services and interpreters.
For more information on One Blood Revival, call O'Neal at (225) 937-1234 or go to onebloodbr.com.