LISTEN: One Way Passage, Part 2; The Church & Education; Reconstruction and Retaliation, Part 10 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #41 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Our Scripture verse for today is 1 John 1:9 which reads: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, “Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens.” He continues discussing statements which are frequently heard in the black church which he calls “innocent but dangerous.” The third such statement is: “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold.” Lee June says, “While these words are from a song, they are often uttered in other contexts and can have both a positive and negative meaning. The negative side of the statement exemplifies itself when one desires to show how special their relationship with Jesus Christ is and/or their dependence on Him. This desire is admirable. However, many times when the person utters these words, he or she is simultaneously flashing a gold watch or ring or is wearing a gold or silver necklace or arm bracelet. The person may also be driving a luxury automobile and have an expensive house. This statement can be detrimental when one does not see the contradiction in what one is saying and modeling. It can thus convey bad theology and suggest to the believer who is not well-grounded or mature to believe or feel that material possessions are in and of themselves bad, or it can imply that the Bible is totally against riches. While Jesus warned against riches, He did not reject riches (silver and gold) outright.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase any one of these books from our website.

Our first topic for today is titled “One Way Passage, Part 2” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

To further illustrate the living hell that slaves endured, some captured females were in their first or second trimester of pregnancy and these mothers were forced to deliver their children in this deplorable environment. A lot of Africans screamed and moaned to the point that these sounds were considered normal to the European captain of the ship; thus a woman could die after a natural and normal birthing of a child because no one would or could assist her with the removal of the placenta. Often, the crying babies’ screams could not be heard over the screams of the adult sufferers. Ship workers did not want the responsibility of taking care of a baby, and African babies were often thrown overboard despite the pain and agony the mother would feel.

European ship workers complained about the smell of the African while on the slave ship, despite the African’s inability to wash, bathe, dispose of bodily waste, and appropriately bury dead bodies. There were brief interludes on deck, for exercise, which was necessary for the prevention of bed-sores and stiffening of the joints. Smallpox and flux, the diseases associated with filth, were among the most common and often were lethal.

Despite difficulties with language, ship captains learned to export slaves from different tribes with different languages so as to avoid mutinous collaboration among the slaves. Despite the many precautions to avoid a rebellion, some Africans managed to successfully hijack ships. But very few could navigate the Ocean, and these ships were lost at sea. Other Africans committed suicide by either jumping off the ship or by rebelling to the point where the slave trader shot him dead. Many Africans died from disease and heartache, and many of the dead were left lying next to a living African for days. The death toll associated only with the middle passages is estimated in the millions. No one knows for sure because ship captains did not want their reputations tarnished by reports of them not having control over their ship, their crew, or their cargo. Therefore, the alteration of records was a widespread practice.

If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.


Our second topic for today is “The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation, Part 10” from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier.

— We continue looking at The Church and Education

The impetus among Negroes to build institutions of higher education was due primarily to their need for an educated ministry. But the desire on the part of the masses for an educated ministry was far from universal. The masses of Negroes were still impressed by the ignorant and illiterate minister who often boasted that he had not been corrupted by wicked secular learning. Soon after the “invisible institution” of the slaves was integrated into the institutional church, it was feared that a schism would occur in the African Methodist Episcopal Church as the result of the conflict between the ignorant and intelligent elements in the church. Nevertheless, the African Methodist Episcopal Church succeeded in establishing a number of so-called colleges and universities. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church also established schools. The Baptists had to depend upon local efforts. In South Carolina the Negro Baptists who became dissatisfied with the white control of the college for Negroes finally established their own school.

If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.


Our third and final topic for today is from “The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook” by Dr. William A. Banks.

Today we are looking at part 10 of Chapter 4: “Reconstruction and Retaliation — 1866 to 1914”


Writing in 1903, W.E.B. DuBois summarized: “The Negro church of today is the social center of Negro life in the U.S., and the most characteristic expression of African character. Take a typical church in a small Virginia town: It is the ‘First Baptist’, a roomy brick edifice seating five hundred or more persons. Tastefully finished in Georgia pine, with a carpet, small organ, and stained-glass windows. Underneath is a large assembly room with benches, This building is the central clubhouse of a community of a thousand or more Negroes.

“Various organizations meet there — the church proper, the Sunday School, two or three insurance societies, secret societies, and mass meetings of various kinds. Entertainment, suppers, and lectures are held besides the five or six regular weekly religious services. Considerable sums of money are collected and expended here, employment is found for the idle, strangers are introduced, news is disseminated and charity distributed. At the same time, this social, intellectual, and economic center is a religious center of great power.

“Depravity, Sin, Redemption, Heaven, Hell, and Damnation are preached twice a Sunday with much fervor; and revivals take place every year after the crops are laid; and few indeed of the community have the hardihood to withstand conversion. Back of this more formal religion, the Church often stands as a real conserver of morals, a strengthener of family life, and the final authority on what is Good and Right. Thus one can see in the Negro Church today, reproduced in microcosm, all that great world from which the Negro is cutoff by color prejudice and social condition.”


If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

Let’s have a word of prayer.

In closing, allow me to say that like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people whom I grew up around said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. For example, joining the church, being baptized, doing good things, or being a good person does not mean you are saved. I wrote an article about this matter titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, understand that a horrible punishment eternal Hell awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon the Lord in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you do that today, then you can truly sing in the words of the Old Negro spiritual: Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty I’m free at last.

Until next time, may God richly bless you.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.