Only black churches? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

It seems that every Sunday over the past couple of months, some of the presidential candidates are shown in churches.

What seems curious is that it is mostly the Democratic team that is in church and it is almost ALWAYS in black congregations.

Yesterday, Kerry was at the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church here in Columbus (this church was pastored for many years by the late Henry Beecher Hicks, Sr., father of Hicks, Jr. of Metropolitan (?) Baptist in DC) and about three weeks earlier he was at Columbus' First Church of God. They have been in other black congregations.

On one Sunday, a whole slew of Democrat candidates showed up at my church and the pastor spent about 10 - 15 minutes introducing them and then said that if Republican candidates wanted to come, they would be welcome -- they did not come.

Question -- do candidates, regardless of party, also make such frequent appearances in white congregations? If so, I haven't seen any sign of it. Are blacks just more gullible or what?

-- Anonymous, October 25, 2004


It is a racist democrat party that comes to black churches as you describe. You will also notice that the message they deliver is different from the message they give the general public. Senator Kerry tried to imitate black preachers at the General Conference of the AME Church and nobody called him on it. How shameful. A few years ago, a politician came to my church. I told him he was welcome to stay (sit in the pew) and worship with us but I would not introduce except as a visitor because of IRS regulations regarding the Non-profit status of the church. He stayed and visited but no speeches.

Be Blessed al paris

-- Anonymous, October 25, 2004

I forgot to mention that they did not stay for the entire service as they had to leave to "pop in" at another black congregations. Someone had arranged a "tour of churches", so to speak for that day.

Unfortunately, they left before the offering, but one candidate did send a letter of thanks and included a check specified for the offering.

One other (white) official, not on the ballot this year, visits our church once or twice during the year - even when he is not on the ballot, and stays for the entire 2+ hours when he comes. On one occasion when I was visiting another (black) congregation for an evening service/program (billed as a lecture, but the speaker was a preacher/theologian - Dr. James Coan [I think that's the first name], this politician was present. He was formerly an environmental judge, but is now our City Attorney. He often attends events in the black community and was friendly and fair towards the black community in his previous capacity. He's one of several Dem. for whom I don't mind voting.

The others, we see only during campaigns.

p.s. -- Bro., I like your response.

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

You can stop them from leaving early . . . . or make them leave altogether: Greet them warmly and tell them to stay and worship this week (so the people will get to know them) and next week AFTER WORSHIP we will hear you. Warn them that they must come and worship before hand. Treat them the same way you would any other visitor, (complete the visitor's card, invite them to become a member of your church, etc.)

Be Blessed

al paris

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

Larry -

No need to guess about H.B. Hicks, Jr. Since 1995 Metropolitan Baptist Church (MBC) is the premier black Baptist Church in Washington, DC (it used to be Shiloh Baptist). In fact, an argument can be made that MBC is the premier black church in all of Washington, DC and that includes Metropolitant AME as well. Sadly, his congregation will be moving to subruban MD in the next year or two. This is a major set-back for Washington, DCAfter years of litigation and quarrels with community activists over zoning disputes, Hicks threw in the towel and decided to move to a location where land, space and zoning ordiances are non-issues. QED

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

While it had been my intent to refrain from the obvious political propaganda found in this string, unfortunately it has grown to the point that I must respond. For it turns out that much of it is over exaggerated or grossly inaccurate.

When is the last time persons on this forum have visited or worshipped in a predominately white church? When is the last time you have attended a town hall meeting, a local civic forum, a local NAACP meeting or simply a local PTA? When is the last time the pastors on this boards have exchanged pulpits with pastors on the other side of town or choirs have swapped choir lofts for a couple of Sundays in the year? I suspect that the answer for most of us is very few.

The reason I raise this issue and ask these questions is this. It is in all of these settings that the issues here are properly addressed. Since I once taught in the Catholic Schools and also worked in the churches of these schools; and since I also frequently attend Evensong, Prayer and Worship at the Episcopal Cathedral in the city where I live as well as sometimes attend Friday Shabbat in the Jewish Temple and Synagogues, I think I can shed some light on this.

In each of the above settings political issues are properly addressed and often the candidates are present as well. They also say the same things to white congregations that they say to blacks. However, since many of these churches are open each day at noon and each evening from 6:00 to 9:00 p. m., these forums are more often than not held during a potluck supper on Tuesday night or a Men’s Fellowship on Thursday evening from 6:00 to 9:00.

In the black church, however, too often this cannot be done. In many instances it is even difficult to find a speaker outside the church when special occasions occurs, “Cause I just have to be at ‘my’ church on Sunday at 11:00.” Once we get through clapping on Sunday, jumping up and down, exalting the preacher, the choir and the pew, we somehow forget that God is praised in all that we do. Thus, our churches are often locked and bolted for six more days. Even the proverbial church mouse would find it difficult to enter the church till a few of us gather at 9:30 next Sunday for Sunday School.

This leaves the candidates for election little choice at all except to come and address the black church on Sunday at 11:00 and race speedily from church to church before the service is ended and the doors are locked. Hopefully they can make it while the announcements are being read verbatim 30 minutes from the printed bulletin. But if they miss this golden opportunity they are left with no choice but to interrupt. Because there is little chance of meeting this group of constituents again, once the sermon has ended, the collection is lifted and the doors are locked and shut at 2 O’clock.

Granted there are extenuating and economic reasons that, in the black community, this situation exists; but they are also issues of which the black church needs to be aware, address, find solutions for and if possible alleviate, rather than ignoring, criticizing or making excuses for them.

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

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