“We just felt like this could be a day to commemorate our United States veterans for their great service and what they have done for the country,” says Bishop Godfrey Stubbs of End Time Ministries International. “I think it’s a good way as a church to honor these men and women. Just celebrating our veterans.”
Stubbs and his End Times Ministries on Madison’s west side hosted an early Veteran’s Day Celebration on Sunday Nov. 7, where they honored and celebrated 30 United States military veterans for their service to their country. Retired Army Sergeant Bryan Foster, president and CEO of Foster Funeral & Cremation Service, was the special guest speaker.
“Bryan Foster has been a big part of this event honoring our veterans for the last 7 or 8 years as we have been doing this. He’s never missed a year,” Stubbs tells Madison365.
End Time Ministries presented all 30 of the United States military veterans with a certificate, flowers, and gift cards and served them brunch in their cafeteria. Here is the list of all of the United States military veterans that were honored.
At the event, Stubbs offered his words of encouragement to the veterans and thanked them for all of their hard work and dedication.
“It is no secret that your training or any part to being a soldier is easy. I always knew it was a lot of work, but I never realized how much it really was until my son joined the US Army,” Stubbs said to the veterans. “Thank you for your bravery, strength, hard work, commitment, dedication and willingness to do the hard things that are required of you day in and day out. You’ve given up everything to fight for the United States, that is something I don’t take lightly. So, thank you for everything that you do.”
Foster, the special guest speaker, prayed for the veterans and gave them a charge.
“He read scripture as it relates to service. On top of everything, Bryan donated $500 as he does every year, for us to continue to do this next year,” Stubbs says. “He’s an incredible man.
“While we were calling the veterans to come forward we had people in the church who were veterans, too,” Stubbs continues. “We had four people raise their hands and we managed to incorporate them into the celebration and honor them, too, with gifts and balloons. It was a surprise to them.”
United States military veterans — especially Black veterans — do not often get the recognition that they deserve. Many are, unfortunately, battling homelessness, unemployment, mental health issues, PTSD, depression, and more.
“We just can’t leave our veterans behind. Sometimes people look at them as nobody and we just can’t do that. They are heroes,” Stubbs says. “They fought for our rights and for us to have freedom and liberty and benefits that we have today. To honor them, speaks volumes. I was so proud to be able to call their names one by one.
“We also played the American National Anthem as part of our service and to see them stand up at attention was wonderful,” he adds. “The whole church responded to that and it was such a site to behold in a church service.”
After mass, End Time Ministries International had a soul food meal prepared for the veterans.
“The whole deal — chicken, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, collard greens, hammocks … everything you can think of with various desserts and patriotic cupcakes,” Stubbs says. “We wanted them to feel special and we wanted to serve them. That was a honor. For me, that was us saying, ‘We haven’t forgotten you and we love you and we appreciate you.’
“To see those men crying … I felt so good. We could give back to them. They served … and many did not come back … many were injured. To honor them is a privilege,” he adds.