What Happened the Day a White Woman Preacher Walked Into an African Methodist Episcopal Church

Sarah Griffith Lund
Sarah Griffith Lund

What happens when a white preacher girl walks into a Black church? It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. What happened when this white preacher girl walked into the late Trayvon Martin’s church in Sanford, Florida? What happened the day after the not guilty verdict came out of George Zimmerman’s trial?

It happened to be a Sunday, the Sabbath day, a day for going to church (as is my custom). Yet this Sunday was different. It needed redeeming,nbn my neighborhood without fear, needed redeeming.

I needed to be with God and God’s people. I needed to be with Trayvon Martin’s people. I googled “Trayvon Martin,” “Sanford,” and “Church,” and was led to Rev. Valerie Houston and her church, Allen Chapel AME (African Methodist Episcopal). It was a 45 minute drive from my house.

My son was born in Sanford four years ago. In 2012, when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon in the heart…my heart stopped for a moment. Forever my son’s birthplace would be associated with the insanity of this tragedy. Now like me, whenever I mentioned my birthplace of Whittier, CA (Nixon’s hometown) he too, would get eye rolls and the reminder of aborted justice.

The day after the verdict, I felt God leading me to worship in Sanford because I knew that God was not finished yet. The trial may be over, but God’s work for justice in our country is far from over.

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SOURCE: Sarah Griffith Lund

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