In a story of surprising theological depth, the Richmond Times Dispatch examines the question of why American churches are racially segregated, and whether one can truly experience the diversity of God’s creation in self-segregated churches.
Two Episcopal priests make an appearance, as Katharine Calos writes:
“Multicultural worship is an image of the kingdom of God, and in the kingdom of God everybody is included — black, white, gay, straight, young, old, liberal, conservative,” said the Rev. Wallace Adams-Riley, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where Mark M. Gordon, CEO of Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center, recently became the first African-American senior warden.
The church, where Confederate leaders worshipped 150 years ago, also has an African-American minister on the staff in the Rev. Melanie Mullen, downtown missioner.
“That history means we feel that responsibility and divine call even more,” Adams-Riley said. “That’s one more way we get to embody what it means to be God’s people.”
So why are most American churches racially segregated?