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Visiting a Black Church

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  • Visiting a Black Church

    What's the experience like?

    --------

    What’s it like in a black church? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    In trying to see how different people do worship, I had brought up the idea to my pastor of going to a black church which he thought would be a good experience for me. This morning I went to one. It’s been the first time I’ve been checked at the door, along with everyone else, to see what my temperature was.

    When I went in, one of the first things I noticed was a picture hanging right above the pulpit that was of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus. The picture was quite colorful and stood out. I also saw something on the wall about Covid Busters which surprised me as well since most churches don’t want to have anything remotely political in the sanctuary. There was also an American flag standing in the sanctuary.

    There is an amazing unity in the place as well in that everyone seems to know everything that is going on and the mood will switch from a quiet solemnity to a sudden jubilation apparently seamlessly. No one can say that the black church is lacking in excitement when they get together for worship. Also, this is a group that I can tell strongly emphasizes community.

    When the time came for giving, there was a great excitement at that. I know God loves a cheerful giver, but I did not understand what was going on. I have seen too many churches where that seems to be the emphasis a lot of times. I’m not saying that was going on here, but I do see that happen often.

    The sermon was certainly full of a lot of passion. I didn’t really agree with what was said in the interpretation, but the excitement was present and the congregation would often join in response. As I said, the black church emphasized community greatly. I do think that is something that is lacking in many churches I have been to.

    I can also say I was the only white person in the room, but I don’t think anyone treated me any differently because of it. I was just another attendee that day. I had someone come up and give me a pin with a pink ribbon on it that I saw was for something with I think health awareness, which I had no problem wearing while I was in the congregation.

    The service was also longer than many others that I have been to. I saw on the website that I needed to be there at 9 AM and I don’t think we got out until it was 11 AM. Most churches I have been to have had the whole service last for an hour at the most.

    The worship style wasn’t for me, but I was thinking about how it is great that we serve the same Jesus. Racial issues often come up in our context and for a Christian, we should remember that we are all one in Christ. If you think we have a race problem, the best way to deal with it is to spread Christianity. Now that is not the reason to spread it as Christianity is not to be a means for a political end, but it is a result of it.

    We’ll see where I go next week.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    (And I affirm the virgin birth)
    What’s it like in a black church? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out. In trying to see how different people do worship, I had brought up the idea to my pastor of going to a black church which he thought would be a good experience for me. This morning I went to … Continue reading Visiting A Black Church

  • #2
    I have had SO MUCH fun in black churches, both attending and preaching.

    One of my favorite was when a local black church was having a 'building dedication', and my youth choir was invited to sing.

    When the pastor, a dear friend of mine, got ready to introduce our choir, he put his had up to his forehead like he was searching through the crowd.... about 450 black people, and 30 white kids right there in the front row.
    He was pretending the didn't see them, and announcing, "has anybody seen our youth choir from FBC?" --- our kids raised their hands, and he beamed really big and said, "well THERE they are"!

    I was laughing so hard. And the kids did great and were received quite well.

    If you've ever been to a 'building dedication' for a black congregation - it's quite an affair -- at LEAST 3 preachers with complete sermons, and LOTS of singing ---- about 4 hours total, THEN the meal!!!
    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

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    • #3
      I find it interesting that you're grouping congregations by race (or disability) rather than belief or practice.
      Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

      Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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      • #4
        Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
        I find it interesting that you're grouping congregations by race (or disability) rather than belief or practice.
        In my area, we actually have "black churches" with whom we fellowship, and they tend to stay that way because of their culture and MANNER of worship.

        Our Church, a couple decades ago, actually helped sponsor a black pastor, but when his congregation found out about it, they kicked him out.
        He became my Associate Pastor in my church.
        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

          In my area, we actually have "black churches" with whom we fellowship, and they tend to stay that way because of their culture and MANNER of worship.

          Our Church, a couple decades ago, actually helped sponsor a black pastor, but when his congregation found out about it, they kicked him out.
          He became my Associate Pastor in my church.
          Well, so far he's visited Vietnamese, Chinese, deaf and black churches. That would be like me trying to visit different churches and going to a Greek Orthodox church, a Russian Orthodox Church, an Antiochian Orthodox Church (Arabic)....
          Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

          Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
          sigpic
          I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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          • #6
            Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
            Well, so far he's visited Vietnamese, Chinese, deaf and black churches. That would be like me trying to visit different churches and going to a Greek Orthodox church, a Russian Orthodox Church, an Antiochian Orthodox Church (Arabic)....
            Ah, gotcha!
            The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
              I find it interesting that you're grouping congregations by race (or disability) rather than belief or practice.
              I don't believe I have ever seen a "black church" that wasn't a Baptist church. Probably just coincidence or my region.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ronson View Post

                I don't believe I have ever seen a "black church" that wasn't a Baptist church. Probably just coincidence or my region.
                The closest one to me is Methodist. The second closest is AME, (might be third closest).
                Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

                Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                sigpic
                I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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                • #9
                  The only one I know of near me is AME. I visited once, around 30 years ago. As of 2000, the local black population was under 1%, and I think that was probably true when I attended. They must have imported people from surrounding towns in order to fill the place. It was a blistering summer day, the church had no A-C and not much in the way of fans. Shallow though it may be, I had trouble getting past that to really appreciate the service.

                  The service was kind of on the long side, over two hours. That was not a whole lot more than I was used to, since my background is Pentecostal. Ninety minutes to two hours is typical. But we had A-C *and* fans.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ronson View Post

                    I don't believe I have ever seen a "black church" that wasn't a Baptist church. Probably just coincidence or my region.
                    I have experienced several "non-denominational" black churches in Texas, and one in Ohio.
                    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                      I have experienced several "non-denominational" black churches in Texas, and one in Ohio.
                      And I had forgotten about AME, which I assume is the largest black church. I've just never actually seen one.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ronson View Post

                        And I had forgotten about AME, which I assume is the largest black church. I've just never actually seen one.
                        We actually had a black church here Pastored by a guy I believed to be a genuine friend. He got into the Jeremiah Wright "liberation theology", and increasingly alienated all of his white friends.
                        He used to have white and Hispanic people in his congregation, but as he became more racist (literally) they disappeared.
                        Then he blamed the white pastors (and ME) for going after his non-black congregants, accusing us of convincing them not to be part of "that 'N-word' Pastor's church".

                        He actually had a fairly good sized congregation, but it dwindled down to pretty much nothing, and he blamed everybody else but himself.
                        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                          We actually had a black church here Pastored by a guy I believed to be a genuine friend. He got into the Jeremiah Wright "liberation theology", and increasingly alienated all of his white friends.
                          He used to have white and Hispanic people in his congregation, but as he became more racist (literally) they disappeared.
                          Then he blamed the white pastors (and ME) for going after his non-black congregants, accusing us of convincing them not to be part of "that 'N-word' Pastor's church".

                          He actually had a fairly good sized congregation, but it dwindled down to pretty much nothing, and he blamed everybody else but himself.
                          This probably isn't the place to say this, but that's never stopped me before...

                          Absolutely every black friend or coworker I have ever had or known throughout my entire life had a chip on their shoulder. Some of them hid it really well, but it always eventually became exposed. Like one friend (surprisingly) telling me that he knew OJ was guilty, but he needed to be acquitted as payback. Or another justifying a riot that involved the burning and looting of Los Angeles (and other examples not mentioned here).

                          So, my daughter had a close friend for many years that was black. After the Michael Brown incident, the friend asked my daughter to go to Ferguson and march with her (about 200 miles away). She declined, and so the friendship instantly ended. My daughter was accused of being racist by her friend because she didn't want to go. She was really shocked and hurt, but it didn't surprise me at all.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ronson View Post

                            This probably isn't the place to say this, but that's never stopped me before...

                            Absolutely every black friend or coworker I have ever had or known throughout my entire life had a chip on their shoulder. Some of them hid it really well, but it always eventually became exposed. Like one friend (surprisingly) telling me that he knew OJ was guilty, but he needed to be acquitted as payback. Or another justifying a riot that involved the burning and looting of Los Angeles (and other examples not mentioned here).

                            So, my daughter had a close friend for many years that was black. After the Michael Brown incident, the friend asked my daughter to go to Ferguson and march with her (about 200 miles away). She declined, and so the friendship instantly ended. My daughter was accused of being racist by her friend because she didn't want to go. She was really shocked and hurt, but it didn't surprise me at all.
                            I'll just say that I have been blessed with some wonderful black friends - most notably a black pastor who was "let go" by his church because of his friendship and association with me.

                            So, my church hired him as my Associate Pastor.
                            The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                              Well, so far he's visited Vietnamese, Chinese, deaf and black churches. That would be like me trying to visit different churches and going to a Greek Orthodox church, a Russian Orthodox Church, an Antiochian Orthodox Church (Arabic)....
                              I suspect that most Vietnamese, Chinese and black churches are going to be Protestant.

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