The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.If one mission of a minister is to bring people together, Aric Bernard Flemming Jr., M.Div. ’19, was born to the role. Only, perhaps not precisely in the way he or his family envisioned.The son and grandson of pastors, Flemming began preaching in his grandfather’s Atlanta church during his freshman year at Morehouse College. Flemming’s father, for whom he was named, had been poised to take up the leadership of the church when he was killed by a drunk driver in October of 1993. His son was born five months later and, as he finishes his degree, seems destined to take up the family mantle.Flemming’s pastoral agenda is, thus, personal as well as professional, but, for a while at least, he has other plans. “For a long time, I have wanted to do music,” says Flemming, who both sings and composes. “But growing up, there was always a disconnect between being able to do music and do ministry,” he explains about his grandfather’s church, “If you were a preacher, you couldn’t sing, and if you were a singer, you couldn’t preach.”Flemming was musically active through high school, singing with a rap group that released an EP. When he went to college, however, he believed he had to put away such dreams. In their place, he looked for ways to turn individuals into reverent communities. At Morehouse, he befriended other young preachers with whom he practiced honing his ministerial skills.“Before I knew it, I was ready to actually develop a whole sermon,” says Flemming. “I had them inside of me. My grandfather knew it the entire time.”Flemming’s skill and determination flourished at Harvard Divinity School, in terms of both secular and spiritual leadership: he has served as vice president of the Harvard University Graduate Council and as a seminarian. When a group of students sought a black worship service, he helped create the Black Student Ministry, which is now sponsored by the Memorial Church. He cited the diversity of the Harvard community as helping him grow spiritually as well as intellectually: “Moving away from exclusive practices and seeing value in everybody, in the sacred dignity of every human being.” As Commencement approached, he talked about upcoming plans to facilitate a BGLTQ Bible study with the BGLTQ office.“Students are spiritually hungry,” he says, reflecting on his experience as a proctor and in the Office of Student Life. “I’ve seen students in need of spiritual spaces where they can engage.”Flemming had originally intended to continue this work by pursuing a doctorate. When he decided on a master’s, however, he realized he had a year to himself. Committed to another season as a proctor in Wigglesworth Hall, he is giving himself over to what he calls his “year of creativity.”“I’m just going to pour myself into my art and not really worry about the future,” he says. “Performing, recording, writing — just everything I can get my hands on, I’m going for it. I’ll probably never have a wide-open opportunity like this again,” adding that moving from the structure of academia to a world of artistic exploration is “scary, but I have to find courage to go forth in this. It’s a real leap of faith.”Flemming has already released several songs on Spotify and recently made the move to iTunes. He points out that music is an extension of — rather than a diversion from — his ministerial outreach.His music, he says, “is rooted in my gospel self. It’s rooted in where I come from and the preacher in me. I’m writing the songs but they’re really sermons.”Citing as influences the gospel-rooted soul and rhythm and blues of artists like Aretha Franklin and Luther Vandross, he has come to believe art can create another kind of sacred space.“What I’m realizing,” he says, “is that I want a spiritual experience for everybody who comes in contact with my music.”Preaching, he explains, is not that different from singing. “I want to bring those methods to a concert space,” he says, “where we can create a euphoria within a moment, a collective experience for everybody.“I feel like that is spirit. I feel like that is God. I feel like that is everything about just being in community with people and having a shared experience.”This upcoming musical year may not be what Flemming or his family had initially expected. It is in many ways, however, the culmination of his time at Harvard Divinity School. When he receives his diploma, he will see his father’s name in his. “I want to carry him,” he says, as he makes his own first steps into his future.“Harvard Divinity School has been very, very instrumental in working through my own identity,” says Flemming. “Harvard Divinity School has helped to not only shape my identity, but has helped to shape how I understand people and life, living, and spirituality.”
Meanwhile, Gov. DeSantis said during a briefing Saturday that said almost 1,200 tests were administered at the Memorial Health drive-thru testing site in Broward County.He also announced new testing sites at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, and TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.Out of those who have been diagnosed with the virus to date, those with serious conditions have typically been over the age of 60. However the majority of the infected are under the age of 60, the governor added.As of Saturday evening, there are 763 confirmed cases in Florida, and 12 deaths. South Florida remains the epicenter, with 56 cases in Palm Beach County, 164 in Broward County, and 169 in Miami-Dade County. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried is asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to implement a statewide “stay at home” order in response to the increasing number of coronavirus cases.Read her full statement below:“I want to recognize the difficult choices the Governor has had to make in this public health crisis. No Governor in recent history would have expected to have to make a decision like California, New York, or Illinois have made in the past 72 hours. Shutting down one of the nation’s largest states is a decision that will have an economic impact – but it is a decision that will save lives. Based on the data, we know we are a week behind California’s vast increase in COVID-19 cases. The individuals and businesses I’ve spoken with are growing more anxious by the day. As the nation’s third largest state, we need to go further, and we cannot afford to lose another week.”She continues:“I am asking the Governor to consider implementing a statewide “stay-at-home” order, closing all non-essential businesses for a reasonable timeframe, after which time the situation could be reassessed. A piecemeal approach of closing certain communities and businesses risks sowing further confusion. I encourage the Governor to take this decisive action today to save lives and preserve Florida’s economy for our shared future. I will stand by the Governor should he make this difficult decision, and I implore him to do so now.”I want to recognize the difficult choices @GovRonDeSantis has made during this #coronavirus crisis.Data shows Florida is a week behind California in #COVID19 cases. So, I’m asking the Governor to issue a statewide “stay-at-home” order.This difficult decision will save lives.— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) March 21, 2020
He featured for clubs like Everton, Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Blackburn Rovers, Reading, Maccabi Haifa and many more.The Yak made his debut for the Super Eagles of Nigeria in 2000 and went on to score 21 goals in 57 appearances thus becoming the 3rd highest goalscorer in the history of the team.Yakubu Aiyegbeni played for Nigeria at four African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournaments in addition to him representing the country as part of the Eagles team to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. RelatedGreatest Nigerian Player: “No Where In The World” Mikel Better Than Oliseh – Aiyegbeni (AUDIO)August 10, 2020In “Featured”Yakubu Aiyegbeni Picks His All Time Super Eagles XIAugust 7, 2020In “Featured”Diafra SakhoJune 30, 2017Similar post Former Super Eagles striker Yakubu ‘The Yak’ Aiyegbeni has retired from football at the age of 35.Yakubu, who is the second highest African goalscorer in the Premier League with 96 goals, played for many clubs during his impressive career.