Race and religion are hot topics in Bessemer this week and the conversation stems from a sign outside of Greater 14th Street Baptist Church.
“We’re 99. 999 percent African American,” said Pastor Carl Hill, Jr.
Hill said the church isn’t ashamed to say it. In fact, they’ve made it crystal clear, posting the words, “Unapologetically Black,” on one side of the church billboard outside of its doors and in the view of thousands of drivers a day. The other side of the marquee says “Unashamedly Christian.”
“It seems like the history of our society has placed in us to keep quiet about our rich heritage and quite honestly we don’t have to. I don’t think we need to be apologetic for being an African American church. We don’t have to conform to just saying we are Christians. We are African American and this is the skin we were placed in,” explained Hill.
He said they are promoting their heritage not hate.
“We are not being divisive. We are just saying we are black people and we are just as proud of the saving grace of Jesus Christ,” Hill said.
But not everyone sees it as so black and white. Hill said he’s received phone calls, emails and even Facebook posts about the sign outside of church.
“I don’t think I would be a part of church like that,” said Bettye Floyd.
She said the church is a place that should be inclusive and this message could exclude some.
Source: WBRC | Jamiese Price