Black, White Churches Unite in Alabama to Win a Divided City

by | Nov 30, 2000 | Charisma Archive

In Birmingham, churches want to move beyond yesterday’s civil rights violations by forging an era of reconciliation

On the north side of Birmingham, Ala., a rap group recently performed at a local park, grabbing the attention of hundreds of people who watched from a flatbed trailer loaded with loud speakers. The music echoed through the area, stirring excitement and a

curiosity and interrupting the everyday routines of the neighborhood, one of the city’s poorest.


Later that day, the rappers were replaced by preachers–both of whom are part of Birmingham Harvest 2000, an evangelistic outreach that stems from several area churches–black and white–that have joined together to minister to Birmingham’s inner city.


Mark Correll, pastor of The Cathedral of the Cross–one of Birmingham’s largest churches–says his congregation has been a part of Harvest 2000 since it began. He calls it a “yearly quest to help those around Birmingham.”


“It inevitably helps all the churches involved as it deepens the commitments of regular churchgoers to the Lord’s work, right here where they live,” Correll said.


This partnership crosses both racial and denominational lines and is a sign that a much different Birmingham has emerged in recent years. Even as Harvest 2000 took place this year, former Ku Klux Klansmen Thomas Blanton Jr. and Bobby Frank Cherry sat in a Birmingham jail, both of them charged in connection with the 1963 bombing that killed four black girls in the city’s 16th Street Baptist Church.


Their arrests–which occurred only recently–have renewed memories of Civil Rights-era cross burnings and deep-seated prejudice that many here would like to forget. That notorious history will come to life again this month when Blanton Jr. and Cherry stand trial.


Blacks and whites coming together in a gathering like Harvest 2000 would not have happened in the 1960s, when prejudice and racism ran high in Birmingham. But today’s pastors are more hopeful and place a value on new relationships, saying the horrid past is being erased gradually with positive changes.


“Prejudice and bigotry die slowly,” Correll said. “But the catalyst to its death are leaders in government, in pulpits, in local politics and churches who will take a stand and be willing to change history, not merely repeat it.”


David Wooten is pastor of New Life Assembly of God in Westover, Ala., a mostly white suburb of Birmingham, and Arthur Johnson is pastor of Doers of the Word Ministries in the mostly black area of Birmingham’s inner city called Avondale.


“Churches aren’t going to come together until leaders come together,” Wooten said.


Johnson agrees: “There is no superiority or inferiority at Calvary. There, we’re brothers.”

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Have We Departed From the  Simplicity of Christ?

Have We Departed From the Simplicity of Christ?

Recently I heard a pastor say the following: "When I was pastoring and saw little fruit, I began to call those with potential to reach others for Christ to our home and to mentor them one on one. That's where massive growth happened in the people." Local pastors and...

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Read Time: 3 Minutes 7 Seconds “When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard of it, he went down to the stronghold,” (2 Sam. 5:17). When David heard that he was under...

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Read Time: 3 Minutes 56 Seconds God is good. And He has a good plan for each of our lives. No matter what may be going on right now, God’s plan is unfolding. In the meantime, Romans 12:12 tells us to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,”...

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Read Time: 2 minutes 26 seconds The term "gaslighting" has gone viral across social media this year and Merriam-Webster chose it as their word-of-the-year, saying searches for the word spiked 1,740% in 2022 alone. We're breaking down what the Bible has to say about...

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdzLoS3wCM During a recent visit to @HungryGeneration, Pastor Vlad Savchuk asked Bill Wiese to comment on his personal experience applying the Word of God to his own life and health. These same principals hold true for all who read and...

RECENT ARTICLES

Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Read Time: 4 Minutes 2 Seconds When I first became a believer in 1970, my mother was one of my first “converts," giving her heart to Jesus as soon as I shared with her the beauty, the power and the...
I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

Read Time: 1 Minute 32 Seconds The last six years have been the best of times and the worst of times. I’ve seen more death, destruction, disease and devastation than I care to remember. I’ve also seen the hand of God move in extraordinary ways. Indeed, sometimes I...

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 41 Seconds I was remembering a time when my husband and I were praying over friends who had been in a situation for many years that had caused deep trauma to their souls. As we were praying for them, I became aware of an angel standing over them...

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

Read Time: 4 Minutes 50 Seconds Do you believe the Lord is concerned about your emotional and spiritual health? He is. He wants you to know how to improve your emotional and spiritual health to be resilient in turbulent times. One of the most powerful things you can...

Pin It on Pinterest