The A.M.E church and race : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I volunteer as a chaplain at a nursing and rehab center and on mondays our church does a second service. They are a lively bunch and several have joined our church. As I was leaving I was asked to visit a man with Aids, I was told he was angry and did not want visitors. I knocked and asked if I could come in, he said yes. He is scared and angry and was surprised a minister came to visit. He is white, but more importantly he is a child of God. I go to him because Jesus would and he is my brother. I am A.M.E because God called me to be A.M.E he specifically planted an A.M.E church in a town that is 99 percent white. It has been an amazing journey for the mission statement of our denomination for me is a road map of what we are to do. My church is black, white, native american, mexican, bi-racial. I grow with Jesus when I minister to ALL of God's people that are hurting. I tell my congregation that because we as Black people were excluded and thrown out of church we will not do that to others whom we encounter. I believe it is time for us to focus on a church that welcomes all people. White people are not the enemy, the enemy is satan who uses racism as a tool to divide the body of Christ, what do you think are we showing the love of Christ by reaching out to all people regardless of color?

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2002


Rev Rogers,

We are indeed showing the love of God by reaching out to all people. I am reminded of a message I heard years ago. The preachers was warning against being picky about who we choose to minister to. We took us to the scripture when Jesus was teaching his disciples to be fishers of men. When they pulled that fish up, there were all kinds in the net. That's how it should be as we launch out and throw in our nets. Whosever will, let him come.

In Christ, Carmen Rose

-- Anonymous, August 20, 2002

Well the famous songwriters Stevie Wonder and Paul McCarthney said it this way "Ebony and Ivroy live together in perfect harmony side by on my piano keyboard oh Lord why don't we??" We can work with each other, we can play with each other and yes it has become acceptable for us to marry each other, but when it comes to worship? This area is the only area in which we are still segregated. Satan knows this. If he can keep us apart, "a house divided shall not stand" then we will not fulfill the mandate God has given us. Back iin the day of the Azuza Street outpouring of the 1900's Black white ans all races came together not for a "race summit" or a meeting on race issues but under the moving of the Holy Ghost. (When we research the history of Azuza the outpouring took place in a Methodist church. I truly believe that in this end-time out pouring of His spirit will first take place in the Methodist church. That's another topic at a later date) But in the latter part of 1905 Frank Barton and others (white men) wanted to seperate from the movement, when they should have stayed with the movement.Dr. William Seymore (a black man who is noted as the Father of Modern Pentecostalism in America) and Charles Mason (the founder of the Church of God in Christ Churches Worldwide) blessed these white minsters to seperate to form Asembly of God Churches, which should have not been. "Thus, with the blessing (Seymore and Mason) of seperating the one church that God had formed with the Azuza outpouring, created a "bastard" movement in the body of Christ." (Bishop Carlton Pearson, 1995) In 1906 Azuza Street Outpouring died. In the 1940's of the Healing revivals with Oral Roberts, A.A. Allen and others God was trying again to bring the races together but man wanted to his own thing. Then in the 1970's the Charasmatic Movement and birth of Christian television, bring once again the races, but did we listen? See when man operates in his own spirit and not in the spirit of God, it is witchcraft and the Word says that witchcraft is a form of rebellion agains God. We need to check ourseleves. He has already given us examples on how to come together. We need to follow it.

-- Anonymous, August 20, 2002

Elder Crawford thank you so much for your historical observations they are indeed pertinent to this discussion. God is pouring out his spirit upon his children, all of his children and he wants us to receive it and come back to him. Discussions about race should be happening in church as we are praying together with our white, asian and other sisters and brothers. In my church we have prayer buddies during the service, everyone has a partner that prays for them in church and during the week, I do not want anyone to leave church without having someone pray for them, no matter how big our church gets we will always have prayer buddies in the service. I watched a black man who was being evicted pray with a white woman who had recently gotten divorced. I found out later in the week the black man and his wife found an apartment, you see the white woman was a realtor and knew of an apartment in her building and other apartments in town. She is lonely and now she has friends that she can visit. If the black man had been in an all black church, or the white women in an all white church, they would never have met and God's miracles would not have happened that day. Today as I was about to get into my daughter's car outside of a restraunt we had just eaten I heard some spanish music blasting from the car next to ours. I said to the driver "wow this reminds me of new york city, my ex home town." He grinned, he is puerto rican from bronx, new york!! He asked me if I knew of a church, because the ones he visited were dead and prejudiced. His words not mine, I almost fell to the ground. For his car was right next to my daughters. I told him I was a pastor and invited him to our church. When I got home I quickly called the director of our men's ministry to let him know about this family for they live in the same town as our director. I keep thinking of Richard Allen preaching to blacks and whites. I keep thinking about the families of my church who now have a place to worship because the A.M.E denomination is here. I praise God, this bulletin board, our denomination and my great Bishop for saying yes go and do the lord's work. Next year our church is planning our first revival meetings two in the summer of 2003. We are going to two of the indian reservations, we don't want to do a revival so we can hear good music and preach to those who already know God, we want to go to those who are wounded, broken, alcoholic. We talk about reparations for african americans, but we must remember our native american sisters and brothers, who were killed. It is the grace of God and the power of Jesus Christ that heals, talking, rallies, legislations will not work unless it has the power of God behind. Elder Crawford, I agree with you, I feel a great awakening and movement withing all the methodist denominations. My sister you are wise and I love you!

-- Anonymous, August 20, 2002

At the Dallas Promise Keeper's rally I felt that the African American church was under-represented. I saw virtually no Asians, but many Hispanics. Well, it is Texas after all. Praise God for this great state and its people!

I found the under-representation of some groups strange considering the huge effort PK has made to reach the different ethnic communities. Not only do they preach racial reconciliation, but they stand ready with huge amounts of resources to evangelize and disciple men. They have lots for youth, mentors, and pastors, and stress that the resources they offer are especially needed in minority communities. They also work hard to be non-political, though the feminist and homosexual communities absolutely dispise them for their moral stands (I consider that something like an endorsement from the Lord).

On the way home we were discussing the rally, and we noted the emphasis on Christian unity, especially between races. When I said I thought the African-American community was under-represented considering this, an African-American man in my church said that it's because those churches often prefer to host their own events.

My pastor agreed, and told how an African-American pastor in our city- wide prayer group can't get any city-focus from his church. Their focus is mostly inward. It's sad to see prayer warriors in our city participating without their pastors, but it's even sadder to see a pastor without his people.

That also caused me to think of one of our inner-city ministers in Dallas, who ministers to hundereds of minority kids each week. When asked if he worked with any of the local churches, he said that he had been approached, but was told that his ministry had to change to an Afro-centric emphasis. He had to refuse the cooperation, preferring to maintain a focus strictly on the Lord.

I see two approaches to Christian and racial unity here. PK talks about race a lot, but doesn't focus on one group. The inner-city pastor prefers a color-blind approach. Either approach can work. What it takes though, is a move away from a focus on a specific group or culture.

While in the Air Force I attended a church that was about 50/50 African-American and white. Race was rarely mentioned and we had a great time. Later I was church shopping, and found myself in one with an Afro-centric emphasis. They preached the Word, but it was one of the few churches I've ever been where I felt out of place. My wife and I gave them two visits, and never returned.

Either celebrate everyone, or celebrate no one.

-- Anonymous, August 23, 2002

I just recently started attending an AME church. I am the only white person there, but was invited by a friend, the mother of 2 children on my sons' baseball team (my husband is the coach, and he is black). The people there make me feel very welcome, and I am now sining in the Praise Team at the church as well. I grew up in WV, around many prejudiced people and I never believed that way at all. I believe we are all God's children, just different shades of skin. Before I started going to this church, I went to several different churches, but when I found this one, it had what I was looking for as far as the preaching and the music. I just praise God that I was welcome there. I believe God is working hard to bring down racism. Evil is still out there, but God will be victorious.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2003

Hi, Christie, welcome to the board and welcome to our great denomination. Keep posting and let us know what your church is doing. Again we are blessed to have you as part of the ame family.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2003

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