On the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, evangelical Christian leaders from across America gathered at The Potter’s House in southwest Dallas to begin healing the nation’s racial divide, with churches at the front line in addressing issues of poverty, education and criminal justice.
The pastors and church leaders — black, white and Hispanic — will urge President Barack Obama to include aspects of their plans in his State of the Union address next week. But theirs isn’t a political agenda, the leaders said. It stands high above politics and rests on a central truth of the Bible — that all people are created in the image of God.
The organizer of “The Reconciled Church,” Bishop Harry R. Jackson of Hope Christian Church in suburban Washington, D.C., and the host of the event, Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Mountain Creek, said a faith-based approach to dealing with America’s deepest problems is the only real way to solve them.
“The way to think about what the church can do is two things,” Jackson said. “The church has been divided into the black dynamic church and the white dynamic church. We need to come together. The second thing is we need to do our part — the church’s role, government’s role and the role of the business community.”
“We need to serve our communities across racial and political lines,” Jakes said. “The heart of our faith centers around giving and serving and helping people.
“In John 1:14, we’re told ‘The Word was made flesh.’ We want the word we preach to be made flesh in our communities, around this country, to influence the national conversation about ideas and solutions rather than pain.”
It was particularly fitting that on MLK’s birthday, his daughter Bernice King and his niece, Alveda King, took key roles in the conference.
“Most people, when they talk about my father, often forget that he was a pastor and all he ever wanted to do was be a great pastor,” Bernice King said. “I believe this summit is a wonderful way to commemorate the birthday of a powerful pastor who served the world.”
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SOURCE: The Dallas Morning News
Michael E. Young