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  • Writer's picturePorsha Williams Gates

The Black Church Needs... a Renaissance

Or a revival. A Rebirth. A Resurrection.

Resurrection is a process that can only occur once death is present. For a community of believers dedicated to the “one Sunday morning narrative,” we have trouble with this death part. Somehow, we are afraid that everything that we have once known and everything that we have ever built, no matter how toxic it may be, will be gone forever.

The truth is that, for many, The Black Church (TBC) has caused significant harm as it has also healed.

For some, TBC has enforced the gender divide between men and women, disregarding transpersons and nonbinary humans. For some, TBC has enforced the sexuality divide, pushing queer people into corners and closest while exploiting their gifts and talents for the masses. For some, the TBC has encouraged the separation between generations by creating programming that displaces children from the sanctuary for a separate youth church.

Where are the children?

Where are the elders?

Where are the ancestors?

Now, be quite clear: TBC is not a monolith, and every shoe won’t fit the foot. However, there are enough shoes to open a thriving department store. I got shoes. You got shoes. All of God’s children have shoes.

As we consider where we are headed and where we are walking, we must consider the ways in which we have stepped over and silenced the people of the pews.

In full transparency, I don’t know what is next or what is up ahead for the future of TBC, but I do know these things: 1. It is time to heal and reckon with the damage that has been caused, and 2. Acknowledge that people are creating, crafting, and curating sacred space beyond the church's wall.

God is meeting people in the wilderness, and there is such a thing as a church in the wild. I hope TBC will repent for its sins as it seeks to rebuild anew.

The Black Church needs a Renaissance…

Or a revival. A Rebirth. A Resurrection

For more, take a listen to the corresponding podcast episode here:

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