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The Next Iteration of the Black Church

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

The Church needs Black pastoral leadership.

On Sunday, September 25, something truly remarkable happened in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. At an AMC movie theater in one of the largest shopping malls in the Greater Milwaukee area, hundreds of people gathered to hear a message about racial justice.

The fact that they gathered is not the remarkable part—this seems to be happening everywhere in America these days, usually in response to a deadly encounter between law enforcement and the Black community or due to the recent election results. The remarkable part about September 25th is that the gathering was at a brand new church led by a Black church planter.

The congregation was multiracial and multiethnic (yes, there is a difference), and this was the church’s first Sunday service. One of our Nation’s most segregated cities may never be the same due to the launch of City of Light Church.

The next iteration of the Black Church has arrived, and it is surprisingly multiracial.

Let’s rewind to the early 1960s. In the Civil Rights era, the Black community found a unified voice in the pulpits of Black churches. The theologically rooted “sacred” and the publically protesting “secular” pieces of the Civil Rights movement found common ground in the sermons preached in Black church pulpits and in subsequent Black church mobilization.

Biblically-based sermons focused on racial justice led to Christian feet in the street. Eventually, Black Christians were joined by white Christians and Christians of other races. At its apex, the Civil Rights movement was a truly multiethnic and multiracial coalition.

Over time, however, we lost the passion in our pulpits and the feet stopped marching. With the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it seemed that ...

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