There are places around the world that when mentioned people immediately recall what they are known for, such as a monument, architecture, or a historic event. When you hear the mention of Tulsa, Oklahoma you may immediately remember that is where the well-known Transformation Church is led by Pastor Michael Todd. However, if you dive even deeper into what Tulsa is known for you may recall the tragic massacre that occurred 100 years ago.
Every place has good and bad events that have taken place. The Tulsa Race Massacre is an event unknown to some but an event that cannot be ignored. On May 31st, 1921, an 18-hour riot took place in the neighborhood of Greenwood. Greenwood was described as “Black Wall Street.” It was a place where people of color flourished with homes, businesses, hospitals, and more. The uproar started after a young black male was wrongfully accused of sexual assault. The race war began with a white mob swarming the Greenwood neighborhood looting and burning everything in sight. As the dust settled an estimated 8,000 people were left homeless, over a hundred dead, and a thriving Black neighborhood demolished. It was later reported that the sexual assault did not occur and was instead a mere accident.
As this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre many have learned about the historic moment and have given their respects and condolences to the survivors. Among those offering to help is Pastor Michael Todd. Pastor Todd invited the survivors to the city’s Juneteenth celebration service on Sunday June 20th. In the service, Pastor Todd on behalf of the church gave the remaining survivors $200,000 each.
Pastor Todd stated, “If God is the God of reparation and restoration, and I am God’s. I am one of God’s people, then I am responsible for being a part of restoring what has been torn down,” He went on to say that he felt compelled to pay reparations since the government has not done so. The survivors in attendance were Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis, and Lessie Randle.
Pastor Todd is no stranger to giving as he has used his platform and church to give to those in need countless times before. This kind gesture was well received and much needed. Although it cannot erase what happened it may inspire change for the future.