Visiting A Black Church

What’s it like in a black church? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In trying to see how different people do worship, I had brought up the idea to my pastor of going to a black church which he thought would be a good experience for me. This morning I went to one. It’s been the first time I’ve been checked at the door, along with everyone else, to see what my temperature was.

When I went in, one of the first things I noticed was a picture hanging right above the pulpit that was of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus. The picture was quite colorful and stood out. I also saw something on the wall about Covid Busters which surprised me as well since most churches don’t want to have anything remotely political in the sanctuary. There was also an American flag standing in the sanctuary.

There is an amazing unity in the place as well in that everyone seems to know everything that is going on and the mood will switch from a quiet solemnity to a sudden jubilation apparently seamlessly. No one can say that the black church is lacking in excitement when they get together for worship. Also, this is a group that I can tell strongly emphasizes community.

When the time came for giving, there was a great excitement at that. I know God loves a cheerful giver, but I did not understand what was going on. I have seen too many churches where that seems to be the emphasis a lot of times. I’m not saying that was going on here, but I do see that happen often.

The sermon was certainly full of a lot of passion. I didn’t really agree with what was said in the interpretation, but the excitement was present and the congregation would often join in response. As I said, the black church emphasized community greatly. I do think that is something that is lacking in many churches I have been to.

I can also say I was the only white person in the room, but I don’t think anyone treated me any differently because of it. I was just another attendee that day. I had someone come up and give me a pin with a pink ribbon on it that I saw was for something with I think health awareness, which I had no problem wearing while I was in the congregation.

The service was also longer than many others that I have been to. I saw on the website that I needed to be there at 9 AM and I don’t think we got out until it was 11 AM. Most churches I have been to have had the whole service last for an hour at the most.

The worship style wasn’t for me, but I was thinking about how it is great that we serve the same Jesus. Racial issues often come up in our context and for a Christian, we should remember that we are all one in Christ. If you think we have a race problem, the best way to deal with it is to spread Christianity. Now that is not the reason to spread it as Christianity is not to be a means for a political end, but it is a result of it.

We’ll see where I go next week.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)


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