Wisconsin in Black & White

Hon. Rev. Everett Mitchell on Black communities and church

Christ The Solid Rock Baptist Church pastor Hon. Rev. Everett Mitchell considers the significance and impacts of Black churches and faith to the spiritual lives as people face racism and hatred.

By Nathan Denzin | Here & Now

November 15, 2023

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Hon. Rev. Everett Mitchell:
Because it speaks to if the Black church is essential, because it speaks to the issues that people experience, right? It's not just come to church, come here a lecture, a lecture on, you know, some big theological concept and try to make it apply to your life. No, it is, we're bringing together pain and heartache and how do you use these principles to, you know, be a better mother, a better father, it's very practical. And the practicality of it allows for us not to run away from the complex things that we see in life. So whether it is politics or, you know, as you see on my wall, Black Lives Matter. You know, we, you know, we marched in the streets, right? You know, so when George Floyd was killed, even before George Floyd was murdered, we go all the way back to Trayvon Martin, when he was, you know, his life was taken. We would have walking around with Skittles and tees because we wanted to say that what you experience on the outside of the world should be brought in here so we could better understand how we deal with it, how we talk about it. And that's an intricate balance. And it, you know, you gonna make some people upset. You're gonna make some people happy, you're gonna make some people uncomfortable, but you're gonna make a lot of people have a sense of belonging because now they're no longer asking, "How does this fit into my spiritual life?" You've given them permission to bring it into their spiritual lives. Whereas I think the white church had, traditionally has had a way of, you know, bifurcating their existence, right? Such that, you know, they could be in church and then go out and, you know, reading this new book, you know, around caste or talking about lynching, how, you know, they would go Sunday morning, they would hear a sermon and then go out and brutally hurt a Black body. Like, you know, where's your God in that? And I think that is a significant shift in the swing of how we have conversations about the role that faith should play in trying to discern the rest of the world into your faith.

Statement to the Communities We Serve

There is no place for racism in our society. We must work together as a community to ensure we no longer teach, or tolerate it.  Read the full statement.