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Race in America A First Person Report from ATimeToSpeak

Written by Ed Stetzer Feed on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

A brief summary of #ATimeToSpeak at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN.

Four decades after Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed in Memphis, a diverse group of pastors gathered at the historic Lorraine Hotel—now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum—to discuss the state of race relations in America.

King’s dream remains unfulfilled, said Rev. Albert Tate, pastor of Fellowship Monrovia, a church plant near Los Angeles.

“We are here at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King was assassinated—not because we got it right,” said Tate, “but because we got it wrong.”

Monday’s event, called “A Time to Speak,” drew about 100 people to Memphis and more than 5,900 viewers to a webcast at

It was inspired by the national debate over race relations, sparked by the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York.

Evangelicals have been largely missing from that conversation, said Bryan Loritts, pastor of Fellowship Memphis, a multiethnic congregation.

“Where are the conservative evangelical voices?” asked Loritts in his opening remarks.

Loritts invited two diverse panels of conservative pastors and writers to Memphis for an honest and sometimes pointed conversation about race and the church.

Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research, served as moderator. He began by presenting new research about Americans’ views on race.

A recent survey of 1,000 Americans found many (75 percent) say the country has come a long way on race relations, said Stetzer. But more than 8 in 10 (81 percent) agree with the statement “We’ve got so far to go on racial relations.”

African-Americans in particular feel strongly about the need for change. Almost ...

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