Bishop L. Lawrence Brandon, pastor of Praise Temple Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral here, stands behind the motto, “We’re better together.”
Brandon recently participated in a session aimed at formulating solutions to the nation’s racial divide. The event, “The Reconciled Church: Healing the Racial Divide,” took place at the Potter’s House in Dallas on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.
“I was very excited to be invited to attend the Reconciled Church and to attend the closed session between pastors across America,” Brandon said. “I was able to meet and greet several pastors from mega churches — from San Diego to Miami.”
The session was spearheaded by Bishop Harry Jackson, international presiding bishop of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches and founder of High Impact Leadership Coalition.
“We have been guilty of not dealing with the race problem ourselves,” said Jackson. “We are part of the problem, and that’s really the first step.”
Jackson was in Ferguson, Mo., when the grand jury made its decision in the Michael Brown case.
“I was in Ferguson when they they blew up everything during the riots and I really felt as I do now that the church has to get its act together,” Jackson said. “At the time you had a lot of law and order folks and you also had the people of color who are obviously justifiably upset at the death of this young man but the reality is, the problems go deeper.”
Jackson said the decision to have the session stemmed from the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases.
“We felt we needed to have a forum … and we needed to be somewhere away from Ferguson, away from Staten Island, and not have the baggage of those places,” he said.
Jackson said the session was a coming together of who’s who in the Christian world.
“We have to stop the madness in terms of race problems within the church,” he said. “We’re divided on so many levels but we also believe there are some people who are doing practical work.”
Healing the racial divide in the nation is possible by following specific steps of unified action, which Jackson refers to as the Seven Bridges to Peace.
“We have seven bridges to peace and essentially these bridges are places where churches can work together to solve this problem,” Jackson said.
Brandon said it’s important to be proactive instead of reactive when such incidents happen.
“Of course, with these incidents we’re reacting,” he said.
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SOURCE: USA Today
Sherry P. Shephard, The (Shreveport, La.) Times