Prayerfully Speaking

Hope from the Truths of God's Word

The Color of Church

Growing up in rural Louisiana, it was normal for me to…

  • go to church with all white people
  • go to the local doctors office and wait in the white waiting room

For the first five years of schooling, I attended an all white private school and then transferred to a Catholic school.  For the first time I had classes with a few dark skinned people – ranging from light to very dark. I remember touching one black boy’s hair on the playground amazed at the texture.

So thankfully, high school was integrated. Finally, a school that made sense to me. But when it was time for me to lead a team in coordinating the Jr./Sr. Prom of 1986, I discovered there were two proms: a black one and a white one. Sad!  I was determined to change it. I made some progress until the principal called me in and let me know there would NOT be one prom for both races.

I hated it. Deep down in my soul, I just hated it. At school we were a beautifully different, colorful culture.  But the culture of our community didn’t allow us to take our friendship outside the school very often. It certainly didn’t make it into the church.  This video really tells the story.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QaeqZcIkvM&feature=related

Today, I’m proud to belong to a church that accepts all races, all colors. And BIG news to me – the white rural church of my youth recently hosted a black preacher behind the pulpit. I just wish I could have been there to see it with my own eyes.  The young new pastor took a chance and invited the gentleman to preach.

What about you? Has your church experiences been colorful? Is it now? Has your church moved beyond segregation of races? Do you worship beside men and women of all colors and backgrounds?  Or does the integration stop at work and recreation? What color is your church?

Scott Williams is addressing the sad fact that on Sunday mornings, we stand in the most segregated hour of the week.  His first book, published by New Leaf Press (where I work) is a wake up call to truth.  But Scott isn’t pointing the finger. He’s addressing the issue and suggesting practical solutions to start the conversation in your own church, in your own family for that matter.

I would love to hear your thoughts and view on Church Diversity. Please consider reading Scott’s book.  The first chapter is free to download. Click here  to start reading now.

I’m not asking you to read this book because it makes me look good at work. I’m asking you because it’s really important to me and I hope it’s important to you. If you and I are called by God to love, to reflect Him, to share His love, then let’s make sure we are doing that in our own community, in our own churches.

I am positive that when you and I reach heaven, it will be filled with people of many colors. In the words of Pastor Craig Groeschel, “it’s time for a little heaven on earth?”

About Jennifer O. White

I’m a simple wife who has discovered God’s amazing gift of prayer. Here at Prayerfully Speaking I share my journey of unwrapping this gift. God invites us to ask Him, but His enemy works diligently to keep that from happening. I hope to offer you encouragement to believe God is ready to pour more into your life than you’ve ever imaged.

5 Replies

  1. Louanne

    Thanks for posting this Jennifer. Very important message (book) to share.

  2. our church (HighPoint Church in Arlington, TX) is a little slice of Heaven. it is incredibly diverse in race, culture, and even religion. there is something really awesome about worshiping Jesus with people from all walks of life. i’ve been looking forward to this book ~ going to download the 1st chapter now! thanks, Jennifer.

  3. Jennifer White

    Eryn – I love that your church is a little slice of Heaven! Let me know what you think of the 1st chapter

  4. I think a “diverse” church is a good idea in theory. It is good for families who do not have a history of church membership or tradition. However, if you have a family history of church attendance why would one leave their family church to join another just because of the color of the members?

    I’m Black and my forefathers actually purchased the bricks to build my church. My church is all Black because back in time we could not worship together. However, our church have their our culture and traditions. How can one merge that. What will the new diverse church decide what to omit?

    I visit those type of churches every now and then but I would never join. I am connected to my church through family history and connections. I feel safe, comfortable at my church. I love the programs and the members. Why would I leave? I feel comfortable with the fellowship and I feel members are honest and show their authentic self. I would not give up my church just to say I am sitting next to a couple of a different race. Isn’t that being racist? Going out of your way just to pick a friend of another color?

  5. I think a “diverse” church is a good idea in theory. It is good for families who do not have a history of church membership or tradition. However, if you have a family history of church attendance why would one leave their family church to join another just because of the color of the members?

    I’m Black and my forefathers actually purchased the bricks to build my church. My church is all Black because back in time we could not worship together. However, our church have their our culture and traditions. How can one merge that. What will the “new” diverse church decide to omit?

    I visit those type of churches every now and then but I would never join. I am connected to my church through family history and connections. I feel safe, comfortable at my church. I love the programs and the members. Why would I leave? I feel comfortable with the fellowship and I feel members are honest and show their authentic self. I would not give up my church just to say I am sitting next to a couple of a different race. Isn’t that being racist? Going out of your way just to pick a friend of another color?