The shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston is heavy on my heart because 10 years ago I, too, stepped into an AME church as a young white man. I didn’t know anyone there and was anxious about how I would be perceived. But the pastors and members showed me hospitality that forever changed my life.
I went on to become a member of the AME Church and learn from its rich heritage of faith in Jesus in the face of suffering and injustice. I joined the choir, attended prayer meetings and Bible study, and preached my first sermon. Every step of the way, the congregation fully welcomed me as a brother in Christ, and we became family. They celebrated our wedding, officiated by our AME pastor. They witnessed us dedicate our four children to God. They affirmed my calling to pastoral ministry. And after nine years of worshiping together, they sent us out to bless our community beyond the AME Church. [Read more…] about Learning from our Brothers and Sisters after Charleston