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“After Charleston Massacre, Uneasiness For Black Churchgoers”: This Sunday, I’ll Be Keeping An Eye On The Front Door

The Black Church is one of the most welcoming places on Earth. The Black Church will take you in when others turn their backs, doors are locked in your face, and no one else seems to want you around.

So when a white person enters a Black house of worship and quietly takes a seat, that person is immediately accepted as someone seeking God or, at least, as a person curious about what’s going on inside that particular church.

Either way, African-American worshipers are expected to make room, and provide a seat in the pews, or at the table, or wherever the gathering is taking place.

That’s the way it is and it has always been.

What’s more, and it’s not said aloud, we are glad when a white person decides to join us in fellowship to worship the same God since, on so many other occasions they find reasons to keep us at a distance.

But as a result of the slaughter at Mother Emanuel A.M.E Church in Charleston, at this coming Sunday’s worship services, things may be a little different.

Oh, the choir will give voice in song, and the preacher will teach and preach from the Gospel. The ushers will pass the plates, and the doors of the church will be opened to all who have not entered and joined as members before.

But this weekend, something else will enter the minds of even the most loving, forgiving, all-embracing congregants.

That white face that we have never seen before, that man who nods but doesn’t seem to warm up to the people around him? This question will enter the mind: Could that individual be a Charleston copy cat? Could he be a visitor with the same white-hot, anti-black fury burning within him as that within Dylann Roof, who, with his gun, ended the God-given life of nine souls?

I am a member of a predominately African American church-St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Foggy Bottom here in Washington. It’s one of the oldest black churches in our nation’s capital.

This weekend, I will join my rector and fellow congregants in prayer for the nation, for the people of Charleston, and my family and fellow worshipers.

But this Sunday, as God is my witness, I’ll be keeping an eye on the front door.

 

By: Colbert I. King, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, June 19, 2015

June 21, 2015 Posted by | African Americans, Black Churches, Emanuel AME Church | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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