Black, White Pentecostals Mark Historic Lynching With Unity Services

by | Apr 14, 2009 | Charisma Archive

altApril 14, 2009 — Leaders from the Assemblies of God (AG) and the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) are crossing racial divides this week to mark the anniversary of an infamous Springfield, Mo., lynching that occurred more than 100 years ago today – the same day the Azusa Street revival began in Los Angeles.

Dubbed “A House No Longer Divided,” the three-day preaching event began Monday and is designed to foster unity among Pentecostal churches in Springfield, where three African-American men were murdered by a white lynch mob on April 14, 1906. The same day, William J. Seymour, who was African-American, began holding revival services in a run-down mission at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles, sparking the modern Pentecostal movement.

“April 14, 1906, was witness to both the darkness of humanity and the light of God,” said Darrin Rodgers, director of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, the official research center for the AG and a co-sponsor of the event. “It is important that we not only remember, but also overcome, our painful history of racial disunity. A House No Longer Divided offers an opportunity to tell the world that, just like at Azusa Street, ‘the color line has been washed away in the blood [of Christ].'”

The event is also co-sponsored by Timmons Temple COGIC, Kingdom Movement Ministries and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, all in Springfield. Speakers include leaders from both the AG and COGIC. The services will be held at Timmons Temple tonight, and at the William J. Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary tomorrow.

“The city really needs it,” said John Wheeler, who came up with the idea as a way to build bridges across racial and denominational lines. Wheeler is a student at the AG’s Central Bible College and the great-grandson of COGIC founder Charles H. Mason.

“Walls have been set up,” Wheeler told Charisma. “I just believe that this can be the beginning of breaking down those walls.”

Although Rodgers disputes the claim that the AG broke off from COGIC in 1914, he said racist practices were at work within the denomination. Rodgers noted that from 1939 until 1962, the AG had a policy against ordaining African-Americans and encouraged them to join their sister church, COGIC, instead.

“That attitude of separate but equal was a reflection of the evil structures of society of that time,” Rodgers said. “We have taken and continue to need to take measures to overcome that.” (Read Rodgers’ article on the AG’s origins.)

Wheeler said he believes one day COGIC will no longer be predominantly black. “I can see that day,” he said. But beyond seeing every church become multicultural, organizers say they want to see ministries fellowship with one another and work together to meet the needs of their community.

“Right now, cross-racially we don’t do much with each other,” said Elder T. J. Appleby, pastor of Timmons Temple COGIC. “There’s very little, if any, kind of interracial fellowship. Even if we’re not thinking that there are negative racial divides, where people are having negative feelings about a different race, we aren’t coming across the racial line to fellowship and … do things together in this community.”

Rodgers said he hopes A House No Longer Divided will be more than just a single event. “We hope that this will not only allow us to get to know each other better but to establish a continuing, ongoing relationship between our bodies, not just between individuals but between organizations so that maybe we can better relate to each other in the future,” he told Charisma. “We don’t know exactly what the future holds for us, we just believe that God’s going to be there, and this will lead to great things.”

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

Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Read Time: 4 Minutes, 27 Seconds From the very first tent stake we drove into California soil, until now, there has only been one dream. And, after two years, that dream came true in Roseville. Roseville is the victory we have yearned for. It confirms that an era of...

God’s Strategy for His End-Times Church

God’s Strategy for His End-Times Church

Read Time: 2 Minutes 23 Seconds In this webinar, Grant Berry discussed the strategy the Lord is releasing for His end-time plans to reform His Ekklesia/church. God is revealing different focuses of this strategy to various parts of the body, especially as it relates...

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

Read Time: 5 Minutes, 2 Seconds A river is a source of life. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Jesus told His disciples that if we believe in Him, "rivers of living water" will flow out from within us, from our hearts. "Anyone who believes in me may...

Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: Trust That He is There

Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: Trust That He is There

Read Time: 2 Minutes 42 Seconds It’s very interesting how the Holy Spirit will use things that you’re going through to not only prophesy to you, but also to prophesy over the body of Christ. In listening to other people and hearing what’s been coming out of their...

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...

RECENT ARTICLES

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...
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...

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...

Pin It on Pinterest