Unity in Christ: White Church-Black Church

There is [now no distinction in regard to salvation] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you [who believe] are all one in Christ Jesus [no one can claim a spiritual superiority]. Galatians 3:28 AMP

The Unity

The main focus of my ministry has always been, and most likely will continue to be, Unity in Christ. The only exception I might see is language, otherwise, God never told us that we should have Black churches, White churches, Asian churches, Hispanic churches but Unity. (Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1) We as Christians have a duty to put an end to the racial tensions that are now, not creeping, but speeding toward a boiling point and sometime in the future a possible civil war. Please NO! 

Churches, even today in the USA, are still mainly segregated on Sunday morning. ( Today, 86 percent of American churches lack any meaningful racial diversity. It is still true that, as Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observed, “the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.”) When we talk about racism, I still see the church as a major contributor, yes, The Christian Church. We may not think of our church being racially bias, but churches are, to this day, setting an example for all. This is true even if individuals don’t attend or believe, they still can see what the church looks like, and acts like. I typically don’t use the word racism or racist, I would rather say, being racially biased. We all have biases; some we realize we have and others we pretend don’t exist or choose not to acknowledge. Whatever those biases may be, we are all guilty, on every side of the coin. Biases are another topic that I may look at in a separate article someday, since I struggle with a number of biases.

We Are All Guilty

Black churches are guilty, White churches are guilty, we are all guilty if our churches are not teaching diversity or encouraging other races to attend their services. And as I said, we are all guilty because of our biases. If we profess to preach God’s word, but are only offering His Word to a select few (whatever my kind may be), then we are truly missing the point. ( Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19) It should be the goal of every Christian community to actively seek anyone who wants to hear the word of God, regardless of racial bias. The Christian church has the power to change plenty, overcome these biases, if we actually desire change this is something that is totally in our hands. God has already sanctioned it. There is no Black or White Heaven, we should get used to it while we walk this earth. Our souls have no color.

Being raised as an Army Brat, my world was mainly racially diverse from a young age. My family was always Baptist, but the chapels, on the military bases where my dad was stationed, pretty much served as a meeting place for most religions. We went to the Protestant services, and my Sunday School classes there consisted of almost every race of kids you could think of. I truly believed that this is the way church is, this is how God planned it, and it felt like what God wanted. Off base my family attended Black Baptist churches, and to me, something just was not right. At the time I didn’t think too much about it, but as I grew older, things began to hit me in the face. Was this what God truly had in mind? Is this what I am supposed to accept?

I am of the age to where I can remember real segregation, having to use a certain restroom, drinking from the Colored water fountain, all there in my mom’s home town. Still, I didn’t understand racial bias at that time, since we did not spend much time in my mom’s hometown until my dad retired from the army. By the time of his retirement, I was entering high school, and wow, what an awakening. Some made fun of the annual spring race riot, really nothing more than insults, but it got my attention. I was fortunate (God’s Plan) to be asked by a white friend ( David Gilland ) to attend a MYF get together (Methodist Youth Fellowship) between my junior and senior years, just out of the blue one Sunday afternoon. As he was passing my house, I was sitting in the front yard wondering where my life was headed. This just wound up being the biggest turning point in my life. That night, on my knees, I actually connected with Jesus which essentially started my ministry. By my friend not showing any racial bias toward me, this also became my mission. I wanted to attend church the way God intended it to be, all of us in Unity. Unity of all races in Christ. (“God has a purpose and calling for each individual and that each one is as important as the other. Robert S. Herndon, “WHAT DOES JESUS HATE?”, this from my good friend and former roommate’s book)  Robert (Bob) inspired me in many ways, and it was great sharing a room in college, so I believe this, Unity, to be my purpose.

God Is Not Pleased

God is not pleased with what we are doing at this time in history, and we as the Christian church need to step-up and lead, instead of being led by racial biases that are only driving a deeper divide. This is exactly what evil wants from us, to fight among ourselves and cause only destruction.(For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. James 2:10) Change is not easy, however God’s path is always the right path, maybe not the easy path, but we need to be willing to seek that path. He does not want division; we are all equal in His sight. Let’s look to be truly Christ Like.

Racial biases will not go away until we are in Heaven, but the Christian church can strive be a leader in change, not only in the USA, but throughout the entire world. If we continue on this current path, there can only be destruction, destruction that can be avoided if we speak out and act now, all churches. If your church is mainly segregated, It would be great to choose at least one Sunday each month to specifically invite members of a congregation, not like yours, to worship with you. And as well, you can also return the favor with a number of your members visiting them. Someone needs to make a move. Are we convenient Christians, or are we immersing ourselves in His Word completely? The more we give, the more we receive, and always give God the glory.( And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 )

Share your thoughts and feelings here. Let’s chime-in!

Rev. M Silas Boyd



4 thoughts on “Unity in Christ: White Church-Black Church

  1. Silas, that is definitely the word for the hour. We as believers need to look at things the same way we will be looking at them in Heaven. True worship is happening a lot across the world right now. It is wonderful to see believers rejoicing in Jesus together, not focused on things below, but things above; looking at Jesus, the ultimate unifier.

  2. Very good word. My family is a mix & I figure we are ALL spirits. Spirits have no color. We are what we are on the inside…broken or whole, rejected or accepted, many wounds in all of us. The body of Christ is supposed to respond to those things on the inside, not looking at the color of this skin. We are called to love. When I read this, I thought, if I visited the black church near my home, would I be the only white one? Would I care? Would the message change? You have me thinking. Not so much about inviting others to join me, but what if I join them? Hmmm…

  3. Comfort zones. Blacks weren’t allowed to attend most white churches, at least in the south. Don’t know about other areas of the country. So blacks built their houses of worship. Some faiths allowed blacks/browns to worship with them, but we not allowed to hold positions: Elders, Deacons, Teachers, Preachers. The military bases, where we lived and worshiped, were not segregated. The cities we lived in were. Over the years and as more freedoms were allowed, the comfort zone of growing up in those separate houses of worship just stayed as the norm. I’ve always felt welcome in attending United Methodist, Catholic, and Non Denominational houses of worship. I’ve not always felt that welcome in white Southern Baptist Churches. I’ve also observed that most any black church is welcoming of whomever attends their services. I’ve said that it’s comfort zones, however, there are also generations of family ties in most smaller black churches. I’m guessing it’s the same in smaller white churches. Nevertheless, you’re right. We need to come out of the comfort zone andreach out to each other. Bring new folks into all of our little families. Another thought provoking article Rev. Boyd. Blessings!

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