Multiracial Church Services Between St. John AME Zion Church and Black Creek United Methodist Church in Wilson, North Carolina Seek to Unite the Local Community

Ken Jones, Tuck Taylor, Bill Myers and George Loveland sit in the chapel at Barton College. Brad Coville | Times
Ken Jones, Tuck Taylor, Bill Myers and George Loveland sit in the chapel at Barton College. Brad Coville | Times

Every Sunday morning, those who attend church separate themselves along cultural, ethnic and other lines. Even churches in the same denomination are often separated along racial lines. 

But a group of local people want to begin having nondenominational, multiracial services to embrace the idea of oneness in Wilson — a world church concept.

The Wilson group is made up of clergy and laymen who said they all believe in one God and there should be an effort for followers to be able to worship God together in harmony.

The first service will be held Sunday, March 30, at 5 p.m. at Barton College’s Howard Chapel.

The service will have different people from the area churches performing various functions during the service. Music will be from noted local musician Bill Myers and the choir will be from St. John AME Zion Church. Myers is looking for a youth choir to also participate in the service.

They want everyone to come regardless of their beliefs. They envision a congregation truly representative of Wilson’s diverse residents.

Fellowship will follow the services.

They plan to have these services every fifth Sunday and the locations will be different each time.

BEGINNINGS 

Ken Jones said when he first came to Wilson several years ago he wanted to attend a church that represented the whole community.

“When I first came here, I was looking for a church that had diversity in the ultimate sense — it represented the world,” Jones said.

Jones hasn’t given up on the idea and has been talking with others about the same thing.

The Rev. Tuck Taylor, who heads Black Creek United Methodist Church, said many people have come to her asking if there was a place where people of all races gathered together for worship.

Jones and Taylor began the discussions and then the other pastors and lay people joined them.

Taylor said they began meeting every other week talking about this “churches coming together” idea.

“We decided to take it one step further and plan the service,” Jones said. “I do think it is important because we all are not that different, but we do need to feel comfortable with each other.”

Jones believes as Christians people must get over feeling uncomfortable with each other and show others in the community how to work together.

“The spiritual community is the community that should make these changes,” Jones said. “We should not be accepting of separation. We need to respect the differences of each other. Not to change them, but respect the differences.”

Jones said it isn’t a great imposition to worship together.

“We just want to share one moment as if we were in heaven,” Jones said with a smile.

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Source: Wilson Times | Janet Conner-Knox

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