At a time when it seems African-Americans are the worst hit in every category from unemployment to health care, and social and political representation, a group of black church leaders is re-emerging to help create a unified voice for the black community.
The Conference of National Black Churches, a collaboration between nine of the largest black church denominations in the country, is convening a meeting in Washington, D.C. this week.
According to Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, CNBC chairman and pastor of Grace Baptist Church (Mt. Vernon, NY), is a new manifestation of an intentional ecumenical relationship.
“The potential impact is unending,” Richardson said. “The next phase of the Civil Rights movement is emerging. We believe it will emerge more effectively if the black church was involved.”
The purpose of this meeting, called the National Consultation, is to bring church leaders together to determine the needs of the community and identify the priorities in the areas hitting the black community the hardest, Richardson said.
The CNBC was birthed out of an initiative called the Congress of National Black Churches some 25-plus years ago, Richardson said. Ten years ago the group became inactive and in February 2010 the Conference of National Black Churches was born.
Richardson said the need for such a partnership never subsided.
Some would agree that Richardson is right. There is a need in the black community, but whether or not the black church is relevant enough to fulfill that need is the question.
In February 2010, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. of Princeton University wrote an op-ed where he declared the black church is dead. One of his critiques was that the black church no longer stands at the center of the black community as they once did.
And Glaude is not alone in his critique.
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SOURCE: The Grio
Mashaun D. Simon