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Sunday, February 14, 2021

Announcements 2021-FEB-14


Sabathanites Drum Corps

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Color image of the Sabathanites Drum Corps marching in parade in Minneapolis, ca. early 2000s. Photographed by Suluki Fardan.

Sabathanites Drum Corps marching in parade in Minneapolis, ca. early 2000s. Photographed by Suluki Fardan.

Founded in 1964, the Sabathanites Drum Corps is the oldest existing African American drum corps in Minnesota. It started as a youth group, but in 2017, some of its original members are still performing with the corps after over fifty years.

The Sabathanites Drum Corps was founded in 1964 as a youth organization affiliated with Sabathani Baptist Church, located at 3805 Third Avenue, in Minneapolis. Its pastor at that time, Rev. Stanley R. King, advocated for the church’s involvement in the community all week long—not just on Sundays. Thus, the Sabathanites Drum Corps was formed to give the youth in the neighborhood something to do and keep them out of trouble.

To participate in the drum corps, members had to attend church at least once a month and maintain a C average in school. When the Sabathanites first started, they were led by Leon Lewis, a member of the Elks Ames Lodge Drum and Bugle Corps.

The first Sabathanites corps had more than fifty members made up of youth from both South and North Minneapolis. They included snare, tenor, and bass drummers as well as bugle players and majorettes. Drummers said that before forming the Sabathanites, they listened to the Elks’ performances, then mimicked them by beating on makeshift drums created from garbage cans and cardboard boxes. Most of the drummers played by ear, but a few were also in their school bands. Northern States Power Company (NSP, later known as Xcel Energy) sponsored the Sabathanites, providing their instruments and uniforms.

The Sabathanites were popular, and whenever they performed, they generated large crowds. On July 19, 1967, they performed in the Aquatennial Torchlight Parade in downtown Minneapolis. Hundreds of people marched and danced along with the group. The police—on high alert because of rumors of possible “riots”—overreacted and beat many people in the crowd, including some drummers. Later, violence broke out in North Minneapolis along Plymouth Avenue, where demonstrators set fires, threw rocks, and damaged properties.

The Sabathanites denounced the police action and refused to perform in the Aquatennial parade—a protest that lasted forty-three years. On July 21, 2010, Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak welcomed the group back to the Aquatennial parade and issued a proclamation declaring the day to be “Sabathanite Drum Corps Day in the City of Minneapolis.”

Mayor Rybak encouraged Minneapolis residents to reflect on the Sabathanites’ history, perseverance, and strength, and called on all parade-goers to “get their groove on” to their music. The Sabathanites said they felt vindicated because they had not caused a riot in 1967 and were not doing anything wrong—just performing. The Sabathanites marched in the Aquatennial parade that night in honor of a long-time member who had recently passed away, and to inspire young people in the community.

Throughout the years, the Sabathanites have performed across Minnesota at parades, competitions, grand openings, festivals, and celebrations. In 2014, they celebrated a milestone: their fiftieth anniversary. They were honored at the “Southside Back in the Day” celebration, held annually at Phelps Park in Minneapolis. People who lived or grew up on the Southside recalled hearing the Sabathanites practice every Saturday morning in the parking lot of Bryant Junior High (later Sabathani Community Center).

In a tribute at the celebration, the Sabathanites were given an award stating, “We will never forget the feeling of pride in our heritage the Sabathanites helped to instill within our young hearts and minds.”

While their numbers have dropped over the years, in 2016 the Sabathanites continued to perform with some of their original members. They include Bernard Carter, Terry Danforth, Suluki Fardan, Jonathan Guilmant, Gary Hines, Gus Jenkins, Clarence Russell, Ira Russel, Walter Scott, Jr., and Maurice Tyner. In June 2016, the Sabathanites added a youth member, Xandrien Lyons.

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© Minnesota Historical Society

Award to Sabathanites. “Southside Back in the Day” organization. 2014.
Editor’s note: As of January 2017, the award was on display in the lobby of Sabathani Community Center (310 East Thirty-Eighth Street, Minneapolis).

City of Minneapolis Proclamation. Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak. July 21, 2010.
Editor’s note: As of January 2017, the proclamation was on display in the lobby of Sabathani Community Center (310 East Thirty-Eighth Street, Minneapolis).

Russell, Clarence, Walter Scott Jr., Bernard Carter, Suluki Fardan, and Terry Danforth. Interviews with the author. August 13, 2016.

"We Jam!: The Sabathanites of Minneapolis." KFAI's MinneCulture. Soundcloud.

Stairstep Foundation | 2115 Plymouth Ave. N, 2115 Plymouth Ave. N,
Minneapolis, MN 55411



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Thursday, February 4, 2021

February 12, 2021

Greetings GFMBC Family,

The Sunday school books are here at the church, you can grab yours on Sunday.
Please note that they are also available to be picked up at the school from lobby.

I will cover the cost of shipping to all Mothers and sick and shut-in. Contact me personally by email or 
call (612) 396-4167.

In His name.
Minister Jay C.

Stairstep/HWU will be providing an opportunity for members of our community 65 and older to receive the COVID Vaccine. M Health Fairview will be administering the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. It requires two injections given 21 days apart.
The vaccine will be offered from 12 – 4:00 p.m. at the following churches:
Shiloh Temple International - 1201 W Broadway Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55411
February 19 (1st Dose) – March 12 (2nd Dose)
New Hope Baptist Church – 712 Burr Street
St. Paul, 55130
February 20 (1st Dose) – March 13 (2nd Dose)
United Church of God in Christ - 277 W Lafayette Frontage Rd
St Paul, MN 55107
February 26 (1st Dose) – March 19 (2nd Dose)
Greater Friendship Baptist Church – 2600 E 38th Street
Minneapolis, Mn. 55406
February 27 (1st Dose) – March 20 (2nd Dose)
Vaccinations are available to people 65 years of age and older. Eligible individuals who wish to receive the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination must schedule an appointment. Walk-ins will not be accepted. There are only 100 Doses available per day.
Schedule an Appointment
Call the Stairstep COVID-19 Hotline – 612-254-1228
What to expect when you get the vaccine
• Medical professionals from M Health Fairview will give the vaccine and walk you through the process.
• You need to get two doses to be protected. The schedule above indicates when you will take the second dose.
• You will be monitored for 15 minutes after you get the vaccine for any possible side effects.
• You will receive a vaccine card that will identify which vaccine you received (Pfizer). This is important for your second dose.
Stairstep Foundation | 2115 Plymouth Ave. N, 2115 Plymouth Ave. N,
Minneapolis, MN 55411



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