By JENNIFER AMATO
NORTH BRUNSWICK — Bishop Calvin Enlow and First Lady Vanessa Enlow were on their way to John F. Kennedy International Airport on Sept. 11, 2001.
They wound up driving through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, unaware that the worst terror attack on American soil was happening just miles away from them.
When they emerged from the tunnel, they saw debris and soon found out what caused “all hell to break loose,” in Calvin Enlow’s words: an airplane had slammed into the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan.
“We started running for our lives,” he recalled. “I really thought I was going to die that day. I thought the tunnel was collapsing.”
When he realized they were out of harm’s way, his religious background kicked in.
“There were no other thoughts we entertained except helping others, and that’s what our country is built on,” he said.
Enlow shared his memories during a prayer service at his New Destiny Family Worship Center, just hours after North Brunswick Township held its own commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks.
During the township ceremony held on Sunday, Sept. 11, and on Hermann Road, Enlow said he felt a certain power as he touched the steel from the towers that adorns the memorial.
“So many emotions rushed through me, and I really had to fight off tears,” he said.
Enlow took the opportunity to extend the lessons of 2001 to today’s society. He said that America is facing “intense difficult times,” especially as minorities and law enforcement clash.
“Communities have this major distrust, and it’s one of the reasons we’re combining this service,” he said.
Therefore, he invited North Brunswick Councilman Bob Davis and North Brunswick Police Director Kenneth McCormick to join in the praise and worship service.
“Their burden and their desire is to build community relationships so we have much to look forward to,” Enlow said.
Davis quoted part of the poem, “The Power of One,” by Cheryl Sawyer that was read earlier that morning: “We are all one race, one religion, one color, one everything. We are all Americans, and no one is better than another,” to a hail of amens and hallelujahs.
McCormick said that New Destiny “feels like home” since he has always been welcomed there; Enlow introduced him by saying he has much respect and admiration for North Brunswick’s top cop.
McCormick lauded Enlow for his continual partnership in creating community events and partnerships, such as the newly established Building Bridges initiative that is working to bring the community and police together.
“We have a positive outlook for tomorrow. Things are going to change. You know why? Because there are people working right now to make a difference,” Enlow said.
“This is what I know: All lives matter.”
As part of the Building Bridges campaign, New Destiny accepted a donation of $1,000 on behalf of the North Brunswick Police Department during the ceremony.
One component includes the delivery of backpacks filled with school supplies to schools around town this week.
Contact Jennifer Amato at firstname.lastname@example.org.