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During an era in which race relations worsened to their lowest point in post-Civil War American history, the first Adventist church planted in the nation’s capital was an interracial fellowship, described in 1899 as a “living miracle of the power of God” that surprised outside observers. The church was central to a saga played out on the stage of Washington, D.C., introduced in Part 1, that challenges us to re-think Adventism’s racial past and how it has shaped the present.
After months of delay, William Henry Branson, world president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, decided he could wait no longer. It was time for action. Five months had passed, and the Supreme Court had not yet issued the ruling widely anticipated to overturn the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896.
Some Christians believe that racism doesn’t exist in America, and that talking about it will just create more problems. There are plenty of others, however, whose personal experience tells them that racism does, indeed, exist and that it is a problem in need of resolution.
When 2017 began I started a new devotional going through the book of James and found his call for practical, down to earth religion too strong to ignore. As my study of chapter one ended I asked God a simple question. "Help me find a cause, something to stand for this year. Something that can really impact the world with your love."
While repentance includes “confession,” it is also much more than that. Repentance is not only something we confess with our lips, but something we live with our lives. So, too, with corporate repentance. When we experience repentance on a corporate level, we not only admit past mistakes but also seek to rectify them—regardless of whether we were the ones who actually committed the wrongs to begin with.