Constructive Action Encouraged at Black Church Leadership and Family Conference Amid National Turmoil

Anthony Dockery, pastor of St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church in La Puente, Calif., urges black leaders and laypersons gathered at Ridgecrest, N.C., to use God’s “rules of engagement” in affecting change after police-related violence in Baton Rouge, La., St. Paul, Minn., and Dallas. Photo by Diana Chandler
Anthony Dockery, pastor of St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church in La Puente, Calif., urges black leaders and laypersons gathered at Ridgecrest, N.C., to use God’s “rules of engagement” in affecting change after police-related violence in Baton Rouge, La., St. Paul, Minn., and Dallas.
Photo by Diana Chandler

Appeals for pertinent action amid turmoil following the killings of two black men and five white policemen were issued July 12 during a conference designed to strengthen black churches and families.

As more than 800 gathered at the Black Church Leadership and Family Conference July 11-15 at Ridgecrest, N.C., leaders peppered sermons and seminars with advice drawn from Scripture.

Using the conference theme of LEAD, an acronym for launch, engage and advance into destiny, speakers used the biblical story of Nehemiah as a framework to encourage constructive action approved and empowered by God and not defined by individual and personal agendas, nor limited by human strength.

Anthony Dockery, preaching from the theme of “engage” during the July 12 evening worship service, said Christians must engage our Christianity, culture and community to effect change in these perilous times. Not only that, but Christians must follow certain “rules of engagement,” said Dockery, pastor of St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church in LaPuente, Calif.

“You see the affliction, you see the pain. Baton Rouge, you see it. Dallas, you see it. Minneapolis, you see it. San Bernardino, you see it. Orlando, you see it. Paris, you see it. Everywhere you go, you see it,” Dockery said. “You see the brokenness, you see the hurt, you see the peril…. What’s going to help things to change, what’s going to help things to be better? It’s going to take Anglos, it’s going to take African Americans, it’s going to take Latino, Hispanic all of us coming together to facilitate change.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Diana Chandler