Houston, TX: In a ground breaking effort, the Houston area is uniting on the weekend of April 6th and 7th to remember the Holocaust in a March of Remembrance and to say “Never Again” to hate and anti-Semitism. A total of seven marches will be held over two days in communities around the city, six on Saturday, April 6th. The weekend will culminate with a march and memorial service at The Church at Bethel’s Family on Sunday, April 7th.
The March of Remembrance is a nationwide event sponsored by Christians who come together to honor and remember Yom Hashoah and the Jewish community. Yom Hashoah (The Catastrophe,) also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day is a national holiday in Israel and is observed by those of Jewish descent worldwide.
The March of Remembrance has its roots in the March of Life in Europe founded by German pastors, Jobst and Charlotte Bittner, in Tubingen, Germany in 2007. In 2008, the first offshoot, known as the March of Remembrance in the U.S., was held in Dallas, Texas. In 2012, the first march was held in the Houston area in the community of Kingwood. Hosted by seven churches with participants from congregations across the city, almost 1,000 people participated in the event between the march and memorial service. For 2013, the vision has spread across the city with multiple churches in each location participating in the effort.
“What is going on in Houston is really unique,” explained Ted Pearce, the National Director of the March of Remembrance. “Both in terms of the scope of the marches as well as the wide cross section of churches, federal, state and government leaders, organizations, synagogues, and schools that are participating in each location.”
At each location, a prayer and awareness walk will precede a memorial service where Holocaust survivors will share their testimony. Also, descendants of Nazi members will be flying in from Germany to attend several of the marches to acknowledge the wrongs of their forefathers and to express repentance.
On the morning of Saturday, April 6th, the marches in Chappell Hill and Missouri City will begin at 9:00 a.m. The opening ceremony in Chappell Hill will be held behind Providence Baptist Church on the corner of Poplar Street and FM 1155. The memorial service will be held at Routt Missionary Baptist Church, 11670 2447 FM, Chappell Hill, at 1:00 pm. Holocaust survivor, Lili Gordon, will be the keynote speaker.
The march in Missouri City will open at The Freedom Center at 9:00 am, located at 2303 Murphy Road. The memorial service will follow at New Hope Lutheran Church, 1424 Murphy Road, at 11:00 am featuring Holocaust survivor, Bill Orlin.
Family Life Christian Center, 2414 Spring Cypress Rd, Spring, will host the prayer walk and memorial service in North Houston. The opening ceremony will begin at 1:00 pm with the memorial service at 3:00 p.m. Zoly Zamir, a Holocaust survivor, will be the featured speaker.
In Baytown, the march and memorial service will be hosted by Faith Presbyterian Church located at 3900 Main Street. The opening ceremony for the prayer and awareness walk will begin at 1:00 pm with a memorial service featuring the testimony of Al Marks, a Holocaust survivor, at 3:00 pm. The memorial service will be opened with a proclamation by Baytown mayor, Stephen DonCarlos.
Grace Community Church will be host to the march and memorial service in the South area of Houston located at 14505 Gulf Freeway. The opening ceremony will begin with a welcome from Meir Shlomo, Consul General of Israel to the Southwest, Grace Community Church Executive pastor, Brian Cowan, and Doug Stringer, Founder of Somebody Cares Int’l and Honorary Chair of the 2013 March of Remembrance Houston. The memorial service will begin at 3:00 pm with featured speakers, Ruth and Larry Steinfeld, survivors of the Holocaust.
In Kingwood, the march will begin with an opening ceremony 1:30 pm at Kingwood United Methodist Church located at 1799 Woodland Hills Dr. A proclamation will be read by Dave Martin, Houston City Council member. The prayer and awareness walk will end at St. Martha Catholic Church located at 3702 Woodland Hills Dr. The memorial service will be hosted by St. Martha beginning at 4:00 pm opening with music by Ted Pearce, National Director of the March of Remembrance. Holocaust survivor and founder of the Holocaust Museum Houston, Bill Morgan, will be the keynote speaker. Also speaking will be special guest, Pastor Jobst Bittner, founder of the March of Life from Tubingen, Germany.
The highlight of the weekend will be the march and memorial service on Sunday, April 6th, hosted by Pastor Walter August and The Church at Bethel’s Family. The march will begin with an opening ceremony and welcome by Pastor Walter August and Deputy Consul General of Israel Maya Kadosh at 4:00 p.m. Following the prayer and awareness walk, a memorial service will be held beginning at 4:00 pm. Keynote speaker will be Eva Mozes Kor, a Holocaust survivor and former Mengele twin.
Ms. Kor is the founder of the Holocaust Museum and Education center in Terre Haute, Indiana, and the C.A.N.D.L.E.S., an acronym for Children of Auschwitz Nazi’s Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors. This organization of the Mengele Twins has located and reunited many survivors of the experiments and is dedicated “to heal the pain, to teach the truth, to prevent prejudice.”
For those unable to attend the service at The Church at Bethel’s Family, a live stream will be available online at http://www.holocaustremembranceassociation.org/live.
For more information about the events or the March of Remembrance, visit http://www.holocaustremembranceassociation.org.