The Church and the Racial Divide

The Church and the Racial Divide

By Ellen Brady
I was born and raised in the deep south in the 1950's.

Life for me was good back then, until the 1960's , and then things began to change in our country. The "Sexual Revolution" had started, the Vietnam War was going on, racial tensions were beginning to be broadcast on television. I was so distressed and confused.

Now, you have to know that I had never met a black person, or an Asian person, or a Hispanic person. I lived in a totally white world. I never went to school with anyone who wasn't white. Of course, I heard the talk amongst the adults in my life, and I heard all kinds of racial slurs and jokes. It pierced my heart. We would go places, and everywhere, including the beaches, were segregated. Restrooms, water fountains, and restaurants had "White" and "Colored" signs up. I could never understand this.

Then, we began to see the unrest and what they called "riots" on TV, of course, I was afraid. But at the same time, it was confusing. I can remember as a child and as a teenager thinking "This is so wrong!", but fear was instilled in me.

My perception of black people was one of fear - not hatred. Fear of what?? I couldn't really say. Everyone around me had this fear, so I better have it, too.

An incident occurred in my church when I was about 12 or 13 that really scared me. We had riots and violence in my city and this one particular Sunday, the Pastor told us that a mob of black people were coming to our church to start trouble and we were to sit quietly and let the men take care of it. So, we had men - with guns - stationed at all the doors to protect us. From what? Nothing ever happened and we finally went home.

I always had it in my heart that this attitude was from Satan and that God was not pleased with what was taking place. I remember seeing Governor George Wallace standing on the steps of the capital of Alabama making a very racist speech and in my heart, I knew that what he was doing and saying was wrong, but I had no basis or means to change anything.

When I was 19 years old, I left home and went to Missouri for college, and my eyes were opened to what was wrong. I met a black person, an Asian person, a Hispanic person and I could see that they were people just like me.

Over the years we have ministered in five churches and we have, most of those years, had people from all kinds of countries and races and now I know that what I saw and heard as a child was wrong. We are all human beings with the same blood (from Adam) and we are all made in the image of God.

What we are witnessing on TV now brings back all of those memories I had as a child and they aren't good memories. So when I saw this Bible Study that we are about to start, I knew we needed to do this. I talked to Pastor and he agreed. It's titled "The Church and the Racial Divide".

Now, Satan would have us Americans to be divided in every way possible. Families, churches, in our politics. This is so counter to our Savior, Jesus Christ! So, this study will NOT be political in any way. We will see from God's Word how He loves every person, no matter the color of their skin. And we, in the church, must not be divided. We must be united, as in our own church name - Unity Baptist Church.

We want to invite you to be a part of this study:
Ladies - Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m. beginning September 22
Men - First Saturday of the month from 8-10 a.m. beginning October 10

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