“Building Bridges” — A Worship Service at Mother Emanuel AME Church

It was my honor to participate in a multi-denominational worship night themed “Building Bridges” at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.  This gathering was hosted by the South Carolina Baptist Convention on Tuesday, November 13, 2018.

 

 

 

Order of Service (note the times that each element appears in the recording)

  • Invocation (46:00)
  • Choral Anthem – Hear My Prayer* (49:20)
  • Welcome to Worship – Marshal Blalock – President of SCBC & Pastor at First Baptist Charleston (52:45)
  • Congregational Hymn 
  • Welcome to Mother Emanuel – Rev. Eric S. C. Manning – Pastor of Mother Emanuel (1:03:04)
  • Testimony – Rev. Anthony Thompson (whose wife is one of the “Emanuel 9”) (1:09:00)
  • Choral Anthem – Order my Steps
  • Sermon – Dr. Ronny Floyd (1:35:20)
  • Congregational Hymn
  • Sermon – Dr. Walter R. Strickland II (2:06:40)
  • Choral Anthem Total Praise*
  • Prayer – Dr. D. E. Green, president – National Baptist and Missionary Convention of South Carolina (2:38:10)
  • Congregational Hymn
  • Presentation of Thanks to Mother Emanuel (2:46:58)
  • Congregational Hymn
  • Benediction

* Choir composed of members from Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church & First Baptist Church Charleston

 

Race and the Political Divide in the Church

As the American cultural landscape change at a frantic pace, churches and denominations need to become more unified (and by consequence more diverse) to remain true to biblical Christianity.  One of the major stumbling blocks that have impeded unity in the church is the intersection of race and politics.  I’m growing more convinced that the Adversary is using the political process in America to keep the race religion and politicschurch divided and our nation is left without a clear picture of the reconciling power of the gospel.

In essence, this divide (and others) in the church are an affront to what the gospel of restoration (Eph. 2).  In the midst of his run for the presidency of the SBC, J.D. Greear invited me to raise what I thought was an important issue for the church and our denomination to work through in the days ahead. Of course course I picked the three issues that have quickly turned a conversation at dinner or a reunion with friends into a heated debate: race, religion, and politics.  I hope it is helpful, follow this link to the blog.

Milestone (click this link)

Milestone (In the SBC)

Jamie Dean contrasts one SBC triumph, the likely appointment of the denomination’s first African-American president, with the racially oriented black-eye dealt by longtime SBC statesman Richard Land.  Dean was gracious enough to include me in the conversation.  Although my contribution was small, I am honored to be included in a dialogue of such importance.

Please note: As you reason through these matters, I would like to thank Richard Land for the humility he displayed in his 5 part apology (http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=37795) he made on May 9th.  It was always my desire to speak the truth in love while giving Dr. Land the space to begin restoring broken fellowship.  Land’s recent remarks show his desire to listen to those he offended and own the consequences. Now those who were hurt by Land’s remarks must respond to our brother with humility and accept this genuine apology. With the testimony of Christ as my example, I accept Dr. Land’s apology. Let’s learn from the recent past and move forward together for the Gospel’s sake.