Introduction of Scotland African American Methodist Zion 2nd Century Project
On the Occasion of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. International Salute
Frank F. Islam
January 14, 2024
It is truly a privilege for me to introduce the Scotland African American Methodist (AME) Zion Church 2nd Century Project located in Potomac, Md, to receive the Martin Luther King, Jr., Legacy award for Civic Engagement and Community Impact.
As a citizen of Potomac, I can tell you unequivocally that the Scotland AME Church 2nd
Century Project is an outstanding choice to receive this award. Let me explain why.
The Scotland AME Church was established one century ago on September 14, 1924 in a community which the emancipated slaves who had moved there owned and called Scotland.
For nearly 100 years the Scotland Church was the center of community life. It was the epicenter for the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery County Maryland in the 1960’s and focused on education, history and interfaith engagement in the decades to follow.
Tragically, in July 2019, the Scotland Church flooded. And, the parishioners of Scotland didn’t have the money to file the permits, hire the engineers, or retain the contractors it would take to fix a building that had initially been built by hand. Without the church, it appeared there would be no community.
But, the people of Scotland would not let their community disappear. In 2022, under the leadership of the Reverend Dr. Evalina Huggins they, launched the 2nd Century Project to keep their church and community in place for another 100 years. Backed by the generosity of my friends, Mitch and Emily Rales, as well as government leaders at the state and county level, people like Council President Andrew Friedson and County Executive Marc Elrich, the 2nd Century Project has brought together the broader community in a common cause.
The 2nd Century Project has touched thousands of people through means such as a Scotland Juneteenth Heritage festival, media engagement, and visits to dozens of other congregations. To date, the Project has raised more than $6 million of a $10 million project goal.
Re-construction and expansion of the Scotland Church is already underway. In an era when churches, especially Black churches, are closing in record numbers, the 2nd Century Project plans to reopen the Scotland African Methodist Episcopal Zion church by the end of this year.
That’s the story of the Scotland AME Zion 2nd Century Project. It is a remarkable one and that is why we are here this morning to recognize and give the Scotland Church 2nd Century Project the Martin Luther King, Jr., Legacy Award for Civic Engagement and Community Impact.
In closing, let me leave you with these words from Dr. King himself which reflects the importance of this collaborative endeavor. Dr. King said, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
To all of you in this collaborative endeavor in Potomac Maryland, I say thank you for coming together in the network of mutuality and single garment of destiny to shape the community of Scotland and Potomac for the next 100 years.
Now, on behalf of the MLK, Jr. International Salute Committee, I am proud to present to the Scotland Community 2nd Century Project the King Legacy Award for Civic Engagement and Community Impact, working to keep the dream alive, Commitment, Leadership, Service.
Catherine- the podium is yours.