York church helps black neighbors witness history

SHARON -- A lot of people, of all colors and certainly blacks, want to go to Barack Obama's inauguration Jan. 20. Included in that hope were more than 30 from St. John Baptist Church in the small western York County town of Sharon.

A small problem hushed hope. No bus. Rental buses cost too much. And seemingly every bus east of the Mississippi was already chartered for that inaugural trip.

The Rev. John T. Brown, senior pastor at St. John, did not tell his congregation of black people -- so proud of this election, of their country and of the people of all colors who made it happen -- that hope was lost.

Brown did not quit. The members did not stop praying for a miracle.

St. John Minister Jerri Dye and her sister, church administrative assistant Debra Dye, both pass a church on a hill on S.C. 49 every day as they travel from York to Sharon. Jerri's twin sister, Minister Terri Dye, saw it many times, too.

"Hillcrest Baptist has a bus sitting right there," Debra Dye told Brown.Sure enough, it was a commercial bus with bathrooms and blue seats with the blue words "Hillcrest Baptist Church, York, S.C." on the sides and back.