Racial divide remains in Dallas. A recent study conducted by Lake Research Partners found that the city’s residents are hopeful of the future, but are looking to leaders to pave the way. These leaders would include those in public service, but also churches and religious organizations.
Last year at Movement Day in New York City, two pastors shared the stage for a keynote address. They stood as physical representations of Movement Day’s call for church unity. This one act, organized by Movement Day Greater Dallas Executive Director Jon Edmonds, has triggered a movement of cross-racial church engagement and unity in the city of Dallas.
Pastor Bryan Carter (pictured above, left) and Pastor Jeff Warren were intentional about forging a friendship after having met at Movement Day Greater Dallas in February 2015. They have many things in common: both pastor a large church with dynamic outreach ministries; are relatively young; are married with children; are highly successful and widely esteemed; and sold out in their personal walk with Jesus Christ. One is black, the other is white. Their churches and community are on opposite sides of Dallas (Park Cities Baptist Church is on the north side, while Concord Church is on the south side). Beyond the personal aspect, the two pastors wanted their communities to relate with one another.
Last April, on Palm Sunday, both pastors swapped pulpits and preached at each other’s churches. Members of their worship ministry also joined them. For more, read the Christian Post article that featured this story.
Needless to say, the pulpit swap was a success.
Since then, as Bryan & Jeff’s personal friendship has grown, church friendship is also developing. The women of Concord and the women of Parks Cities Baptist have started a book club. 200-300 women meet quarterly to discuss diverse perspectives. Having started at PCBC, they now are alternating church venues. From this, other personal friendships have blossomed. The two childrens’ ministries are now fellowshipping together. These results are promising signs for the future of increasing church unity in their city.
This Easter, Bryan and Jeff will lead 50 other Dallas pastors in a bi-racial pulpit swap. This will make Dallas history.
Their end goals? To bridge the racial divide in Dallas. To close the gap. More cross-cultural church collaboration in Dallas. The unification of the Body of Christ, and the eradication of racial divides.
The gospel moves at the speed of relationships. Through the work of these two Movement Day partner churches and Movement Day Greater Dallas on February 5, 2016, Dallas has promising times ahead.