Just Call Me Henry

H. Curtis McDaniel | April 9, 2015

In an earlier pastorate where I served a wonderfully mature congregation in Montgomery, Alabama, I still remember the night when a spiritual breakthrough came. Several leaders in our church were moved to initiate a sister relationship with one of the leading black churches in town. We approached the pastor of the Beulah Baptist Church with love and good faith, hoping that he would agree to partner with us in encouraging mutual times of sharing and fellowship between our congregations. 

Let me reiterate: this happened in the Heart of Dixie, home of the famous bus boycott, several important marches, and the pivotal early ministry of Martin Luther King Jr. that blossomed into a national crusade for equality and freedoms for all peoples, regardless of their skin color. At the time we initiated this bold move, racial tensions were still as fierce and troublesome in many ways as they are now across our country.

We were greatly encouraged when Beulah’s pastor, the Rev. Osby, received our initiative with genuine optimism and heartfelt hope. Over the course of several months, pastor Osby and I along with four lay leaders from each church met monthly for dinner at each other’s campuses. Both groups agreed that the only agenda for the first three months was fellowship…

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