The New Church

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2009 at 10:05 am

Yesterday’s Michael Baisden radio talk show addressed one of the greatest institutions within the African American community–the church. The church proved to be a safe haven for newly enslaved Africans on foreign American soil. The church was a central figure in the modern civil rights movement. Whether real or perceived, the influence of the church, as an institution, has lost some of its influence, some of its reach within the African American community. But on the Michael Baisden show (podcast 8-05-09 hour 4), many point to the minister’s behavior in the pulpit as to why the political and social impact of the African American church has been reduced. While on Baisden’s series, Pimps in the Pulpit and coincidentally the name of a forthcoming book by Shannon Bellamy, Bellamy calls certain pastors’ behaviors as “rockstar” behavior. Because of questionable behaviors by these leaders, Baisden questions how these pastors’ behaviors have performed a disservice especially to children. Whether Bellamy’s characterizations of certain pastors are accurate, the perceptions of misbehaving pastors are damaging to the once highly looked upon institution within the community. The church, as an institution, faces significant challenges, but as we move further into the 21st century, there are significant opportunities for the African American church to right the perception of a declining institution and return to a stable, mobilizing influence in the community.


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