The power of the gospel: Can black churches survive turbulent times?

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  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    May 29, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    I dunno .. how about asking the same question about "white" churches?

  • Clifton Palmer McLendon Gilmer, Texas
    Sept. 2, 2011 7:52 p.m.

    If the black churches in Greater Deseret are anything like the black churches in Shelby County Texas where I grew up, no one need have any fears that they will not survive hard times.

    The black adults I knew in the late 1950s and the 1960s were more committed to their religious beliefs -- in theory AND in practice -- than most Caucasians I knew.

    Now that I have said that, it occurs to me that I have not considered whether the churches in question can attract and hold the interest of the rising generation. I do not have enough information to address that subject -- but I sincerely hope the churches can attract the young people, because the youth of any group are the strength and the future of that group.

  • friedeggonAZstreets Glendale, AZ
    Aug. 29, 2011 11:20 a.m.

    Thanks for writing this article. I had no idea how much these churches did for the African American and minority communities. Such a wonderful example of charity.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Aug. 29, 2011 9:33 a.m.


    I wouldn't agree. I think the best example you could cite for your argument would be 3 Nephi. First, one has to accept that this account was based on an actual history. Still, even putting that matter aside, the repetition taught there was over a very short interval, a few days at most. It doesn't compare to the years of psychological acculturation that is developed by building a habit of Church attendance, that places little emphasis on value. Jesus of the New Testament actually demonstrated little repetition (unless your going to try and argue for his prayer in Gethsemene while his apostles slept), but rather spent his entire ministry preaching and appealing to the spiritual senses of his hearers. I think if one accepts the New Testament, then they ought to recognize that Jesus believed strongly in the power of teaching.

    Secondly, your comment is an odd concession that teaching/preaching "doesn't work for anyone". If it doesn't work, than what exactly is the purpose to your religion??

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 29, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    "Parents need to start children in the church at an earley age until it is just what the family does on Sunday. Kids need a job in the Church to hold their interest! "

    I completely disagree. Let the kids grow and mature to 18 or so years of age and then they can make their own decision. What you're talking about is indoctrinating them when they're young, naive, and ignorant. Let them find their spiritual way for themselves.

    When it's "just what the family does on Sunday" it's not real anymore .. it's just a mindless habit.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 1:29 a.m.

    Not sure that the description of the church's newer facility on state street is fair. It is not a palace, but very nice. Sorry to see the designation "black church" even though I know it is hard to describe in different terms. The age of segregation in this country is over, so that part of this tradition in my opinion should end both with the "black church" and the "white church".

  • Chase Saint George, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 4:51 p.m.

    Mormon Cowboy-

    ...Because that's not going to work for anyone. My 2-year-old daughter ONLY prays because of repetitious example.

    The lord taught by repetitious example, in some cases RATHER than appealing to spiritual senses. Law of Moses is an example. (see Hebrews 9:1,10).

    Each of us are at different spiritual points in our lives. People generally respond to spiritual appeals when they are prepared, or ready.

    I'm certain my 2-year-old daughter would not properly understand any attempt I could make to appeal to her spiritual senses. So, for the time being we'll prepare a solid foundation of prayer through observation and repitition. At some future point she'll have her own testimony of prayer IF and WHEN she chooses. It's harder to teach older dogs newer tricks.

    For certain, the Lord himself instituted example and repitition. I think you would agree.

  • annewandering oakley, idaho
    Aug. 28, 2011 1:30 p.m.

    Mugabe, it makes a person wonder if the struggles that they have gone through are a big part of what has held the community together. In an odd way maybe this is a sign that things are improving and their general community is enlarging to include those outside the black community.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    Reverend Davis is Christianity personified. He has been a force for good for so many years that it would be difficult to imagine the Salt Lake area without him. If people turn their backs on religion it will not be because of a lack of commitment on the part of religious leaders like France Davis. May the Lord continue to bless you, Reverend Davis, as you go about doing His work.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Aug. 28, 2011 10:01 a.m.


    It's just that fault perspective that is causing the loss in membership numbers. Rather than trying to drill Church attendance into a child's brain through acculturation, why not try and appeal to their spiritual senses by giving them a reason to attend. In other words, those who care should try and refocus on the validity of the Christian message and paradigm.

  • sue1951 MAY, TX
    Aug. 28, 2011 9:52 a.m.

    not very many churches outside of ours(LDS) have callings to keep people attached. And a lot of people are paid for their service. Don't know about these particular churches. But i do know around our area, the pastors and youth leaders are provided with a home, utilities, cars and money. Most people around where i live are treated the same as jobs go. And if you don't work there it is because you didn't apply.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    Aug. 28, 2011 8:39 a.m.

    It is obvious that the person who wrote this article know very little about the resilience of Black people. Their ancestors survived slavery. Most of the population survived when there were no laws to guarantee them their rights. And, the full gospel of Jesus Christ has only been available to them within the past 30 years. So, what else do the Gentiles have to bring to the table of the African People, that would prevent their survival?

  • South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 7:39 a.m.

    Another unfortunate victim of an increasingly liberal government. Who needs church when all blessings flow from the government. Sad. The breakdown in community, family, etc is all related.

  • Larry Willard, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 6:31 a.m.

    Parents need to start children in the church at an earley age until it is just what the family does on Sunday. Kids need a job in the Church to hold their interest!