Pastors Join Forces To Bridge Community Divide

Sunday, August 23rd 2020, 5:39 pm
By: Tevis Hillis


As racial tensions continue across the U.S., two local pastors are attempting to unite their communities.

A four-year long friendship transitioned into a working relationship to bring their churches and communities together.

"Today, Rodney preached at our church," Council Road Baptist Church Pastor Rick Thompson said.

"We got together like families do, and we had a worship experience," Bethlehem Star Baptist Church Pastor Rodney Payne said.

Both churches joined in singing, praise, and listening to the sermon. Friendships and relationships between two different churches were forged.

"Rodney's worship team and our worship team combined and led worship," Thompson said.

"We come together, and now it is OK to meet someone who would have been a stranger, but now they are your neighbor," Payne said. "You have to be intentional with relationship building. You have to be intentional in growing,"

It is about being unified with one goal in mind.

"To make a difference," Payne said. "We are not naïve to think we can change the entire world."

"People gravitate toward where they feel the most comfortable," Thompson said.

"Pastor Rick (Thompson) often says you have to be willing to take the risk,” Payne said. “Our goal is to equip you and give you a safe place to take the risk of getting to meet someone outside of your people group.” 

The churches are not treating Sunday as a one-time event. They are planning to have a joint Christmas program scheduled for November.