It’s Black History Month, and taking this opportunity to educate ourselves on the untold and neglected stories of history is an invaluable experience (even if you are reading this post after the end of February).
To that end, we are honored to present you with a rich conversation about the power, resilience, and inspiration of Black history and the Black Church.
In this episode of our podcast, Deep Spirituality Editor-in-Chief Russ Ewell is joined by Daryl Reed, Lead Minister of the DC Regional Christian Church. Their conversation explores the roots of the Black Church, key Bible verses addressing racism, and important lessons on diversity we should learn from the Black Church and bring into our spiritual communities.
One of many key takeaways from this episode is that we can continue the powerful legacy of the Black Church in our churches today. We can do this by creating diverse churches in which every person is empowered to use their God-given talents to make a contribution, much like the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:12-13:
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 NLT
We hope you enjoy this conversation and that it sparks future discussion about appreciating Black history, the Black Church, and the unique experiences of each other’s lives. Listening to and understanding each other helps us better appreciate cultures that are different from our own. In this way, we can embrace Jesus’ purpose to spread the gospel to “all nations” (Matthew 28:18-20) and build churches that inspire the world around us.
About our guest
Daryl Reed’s passion for proclaiming the gospel was fanned into flame while ministering to college students at Western Illinois University where also he received a scholarship to play basketball. Upon entering the full-time ministry in 1990, Daryl and his wife Charon have labored in many cities across the States: Ann Arbor and Detroit Michigan, Chicago Illinois, Los Angeles California, Columbus, and Cincinnati Ohio, and Washington DC. Since 2003 Daryl has served in the role of lead minister at DC Regional Christian Church.
As the grandson of a Church of Christ preacher, and as someone who was raised in the church, Daryl appreciates his deep roots within a restoration movement of churches that desires to advance New Testament Christianity.
Daryl has served on several executive committees for Christian conferences and conventions, including Vice President of the North American Christian Convention in 2014 and President of the Eastern Christian Conference of 2017. Since 2016 Daryl has been serving on the Board of Trustees at Mid-Atlantic Christian University, which is located in North Carolina.
Daryl and his wife have been married for 32 years and they have three sons. He is also working on a book called The Cloud, Not the Crowd.
Further reading about Black history and the Black Church
As promised in this episode, here is a list of books worth reading to become more familiar with the Black Church and Black history.
These books express the variety of perspectives necessary to understand the Black Church and Black history. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of those on the podcast but are critical to gaining a healthy exposure to different perspectives on Black history:
- Frederick Douglass, Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight
- The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
- Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
- Let The Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Stephen B. Oates
- The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne
- The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
- Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody: The Making of a Black Theologian by James H. Cone
- Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope by Esau McCaulley
- The Fierce 44: Black Americans Who Shook Up The World written by the staff of The Undefeated. This is an excellent book for kids.
Russ Ewell 0:20
Welcome to Deep Spirituality. We’re very excited today to have a conversation about black history and the black church. Now for some of you listening, you’re going, what’s the black church? Well, you’re going to learn about that today. And you’re going to learn a lot black about black history.
But to me Black history is the narrative or story of different people’s lives. And so, let me begin by saying this at some point, in every day, I sit in the shadow of a canvas painting of a lighthouse painted in 1984 by my maternal grandmother, Pauline Edwards, white, my paternal grandmother, celestial mule. She grew up suppressed and opress by the racism of the early 20th century, wiped the movie help.
My grandmother Pauline Edwards absorbed the painful denigration of racism as a maid in the south being from Tennessee. But she had the spirit of if you like Harry Potter, Dumbledore is Phoenix and rose from the ashes of racism, to become a florist and with the determination to make sure her children and grandchildren would be college educated, Faith infused and never, never controlled or crushed by the emotional, mental and spiritual, and physical destructiveness of racism.
My grandmother is Black History, and she was part of the black church. And even more than me, our guest today has an understanding of the power, resilience and inspiration of black history. And the black church. There are a lot of people out there today, some white, some black, some from various different ethnicities, who comment on issues like Black Lives Matter or black history. But all too rarely do African Americans who don’t have a point to needle, but have a desire to educate. It’s too rare that they get together.
And today our guest is Daryl read their rates passion for proclaiming the gospel was fanning the flames of ministering to college students at Western Illinois University, where also he received a scholarship to play basketball. I’m a little jealous about that. But we’ll get to that later. Upon entering the full time ministry in 1990, Darryl and his wife Sharon, have labored in many cities across the states, Ann Arbor, and Detroit, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, Los Angeles, California, Columbus, and Cincinnati, Ohio, and now in Washington, DC. And if you saw me stumble there, that’s because that’s a lot of great cities to be able to live in. Since 2003. Darryl has served in the role of lead minister at DC regional Christian Church, being the grandson of a church of Christ preacher. That’s right. I told you he had a lot more legacy than me. Being the grandson of a church of Christ preacher and having been raised in the church. Daryl appreciates his deep roots. Within a restoration movement of churches that desire to advance New Testament Christianity.
Daryl has served on several executive committees for Christian conferences and conventions, including vice president of the North American Christian convention in 2014. And President of the Eastern Christian conference in 2017. Since 2016, Darryl has been serving on the Board of Trustees at MidAtlantic Christian University, which is located in North Carolina, Darryl and his wife have been married for 32 years. And that’s quite an accomplishment in and of itself. And they have three sons. And I’m aware of those three sons that they have. And those are some pretty powerful guys right there.
And Daryl right now, I don’t know if he wants me to tell you this. But he’s working on a book. And it’s called the cloud, not the crowd. And when I think about my grandmother that I mentioned earlier, I think that she’s somebody who kept her eyes in the cloud, in order to overcome the crowds, racism. And so I want to welcome Daryl Reid. Thank you, Daryl, for being on Deep spirituality, and coming in here and helping my poor self talk about the black church and black history.
Daryl Reed 4:10
Love it, my friend, you know, I love you, bro. And super appreciate our connectivity in our relationship. You’ve been very integral part of the development of my personal faith.
Russ Ewell 4:20
Well, one of the reasons I wanted to have you on is our friendship that goes through the years and we haven’t even been able to talk nearly as much as we wanted to the other day, a couple of weeks ago, or we could go we talked and I could have stayed on that phone. If I hadn’t had to go get my kids. I could have stayed on that phone for 24 hours. I think I wouldn’t have even needed to drink or eat. It was just so I mean, my mind was buzzing. And you’ve done that before for me in conversations. And particularly I can remember it’s been a long time now. It’s almost 20 years ago that you had a conversation with me and you opened my eyes. And you know, I grew up in Michigan in a city called Kenwood Michigan and it was great. I actually got a call from some of my friends a midnight call Some East Coast friends who went to high school with they surprised me and were you know asking me all this stuff and talking about all these memories we had they were getting together during a blizzard. But when I was talking to them I you know, I thought for a moment I go, you know, I grew up in a pretty much an all white community and I didn’t go to church I didn’t like church couldn’t stand church. Now, I said all that about my grandmother, but I was a project that she was not able to conquer. But I did not I, in the early part of my life, I lived in Kansas, I was in an African American community. But after the age of seven, I was in an all white community. The reason I mentioned that is because of my mother. At one point, I think I was a sophomore in high school, I’m not sure I’ve ever told you this. She my mother put us in the suburbs in in the best schools system that she could find. But she refused to teach there. And her reason was, there were too many white kids, and she wanted to teach black kids. And so she put us into school. And then she went and taught me in the urban area downtown. And so one day she came home and said you don’t have you don’t have any black friends, or you don’t have enough black friends. I go, okay, she goes, so I’m sending you to play basketball on the team downtown. I go, I don’t want to go down there and play I want to play with my friends out here. And of course, she said, this isn’t a democracy. I’m not running for election, you’re going out there. So she dropped me off in the toughest part of grabs Michigan called Camp Park the time and just dropped me off there. She knew the coach, she said he’ll meet you. And I got off this kid who did not as I would learn anything about my own culture, right. And what ended up happening was I got a great education and got better at basketball at the same time.
Daryl Reed 6:39
But my jump shot you got
Russ Ewell 6:43
when I think about you, I think about somebody who understands both sides of you of the railroad tracks. You understand the diversity of society, but you understand the importance of communicating, you know, about a African American life black life. And so what I wanted you to just do, and we’re going to get to some scriptures in a little bit, but I wanted you to start off by just letting people know what, what role do you think the black church and black history should play in helping us even understand our times today? Because we had a lot of consternation within churches in society. And it seems like a lot of times people don’t know how to talk about this subject together. And so I want to just start off by asking you because of your, your life, and your family legacy, which is rich, I first saw your dad, I didn’t even know your dad was a basketball coach. So I was reading on Facebook the post for either your brother’s birthday, are you remembering him? I can’t remember. And I read the whole thing. And I was like, How did I miss that? I’m sure you told me and it went over my head. But can you just start us off by just talking about that sort of freestyle for a minute? And then we’ll Yeah.
Daryl Reed 7:54
Yeah. First of all, great question. Obviously, you know, Black history is important, because history is important. I think just knowing history, right? So people have different lenses of which they view history, national lens, I think we have a heavy dose of that here in America, we view everything from this European centric view of manifest destiny in a new world. From somebody else’s perspective, it wasn’t a new world, right? It all depends upon the lens in which you view things. Right. So history to me is just reality. God has God has. He’s the only one that knows true history, because he sees a reality from his perspective. Right? Everybody else has this like a tunnel vision in terms of how they’re going to do history, because we know that whole phrase of the writers or history of the victor, so are the people that who are eventually end up as champions of whatever society are the ones that normally record what happens, yes, which allows you to be a skewing of history. And of course, I think that’s what’s happening within America. In particular, Black history is it’s not as if Black history is separate from history. There’s history. That’s not explained, that’s not told that’s there. But the spotlight has not been on it. So therefore, history can become a propaganda machine in order to facilitate the power of an oppressor. Black history is so helpful is because it can comfort people who need to be comforted in terms of looking for heroes or you know, people who you can look up to sometimes we don’t even know they’re there. They’re right. We know a little bit more about history sometimes inspire us to especially for people like myself like you, it can inspire us to know that somebody else overcame right but there’s there’s also that part of Black History though that That’s troubling. Is that shocking part of understanding of perspective that that humble reality? That’s leaves us feeling troubled, right? When we discover the pain of history, but really, those are all just reality. It’s just do we understand it? Do we see it? Do we talk about it? And isn’t it part of our knowledge base knowledge is power. And history is the key and have really unlocking that that knowledge.
Russ Ewell 10:29
I love it. You know, what’s interesting is you were talking and you were talking about the European centric nature of American history, particularly. I think I want to also acknowledge that in black history month, I think Black History Month is really a way to create diversity amongst the entire population, for instance, Asian history, I think there’s exactly there’s a there’s an element of that that isn’t celebrated or discussed enough. Latin Americans, and I think it’s hard sometimes for I grew up in all American state, Michigan, and you know, and I’m, I was made, I wanted to go into politics, I was so loved to America and still do. But it’s sometimes threatening or confusing for people to understand that if America in fact, is a melting pot, it’s if the churches are to reflect that melting pot mentality, then we have to learn how to say American history is is a there I use this term of rainbow it’s a it’s a collection of history that includes everybody. And there’s no doubt that the Founding Fathers I’m a big proponent of the founding fathers, despite the flaws in the misjudgments or bad decisions that people may feel they may, it was a morass, it was a miracle. Because to have a country with that tree, you have to respect that that miracle took place. But to leave out the different stories, the stories of women and the role they played Abigail Adams being one of my favorites, like Abigail Adams absolutely would have been a president. If we had had a different kind of society back then there’s no doubt in my mind, probably Dolly Madison too. But Black History Month, actually, again, we’ll go back to Michigan and my hometown, Grand Rapids, Gerald Ford was president of the United States, Gerald Ford comes from Grand Rapids, Michigan, he was the one who actually made Black History Month and official period in the United States. And he said about that, that it is time that we included neglected parts of our history. And I thought that was important. Another thing is Louis Gates, who’s written a book called the Black church, Henry Louis Gates from Harvard, he records in that book that 24% of every every African American on average, has 24% of their blood being European. He makes that point because he’s saying that the Masters ended up sleeping with the, the women and it wasn’t consensual. And so children were born, that were mixed. And so every one of the African Americans walk on in the United States has 24% European blood. That’s a story that needs to be told as well, so people can understand. It wasn’t just a little thing that happened with racism, it was a huge thing. One of the stories about Thomas Jefferson, and this is recorded in a tremendous number of books across a wide spectrum, is when people would show up at his Monticello, his estate, his farm, they would be shocked that all the slave kids look like him. And so I think there’s a lot of that that doesn’t get told, and there are people out there who will think well, this is political, you’re talking about the 1619 project. I don’t even I don’t care about that. I don’t, I’m not, I’m just talking about the fact that when you understand this kind of history, and you look at it, then you’ll be able to fast forward to today, and understand why people have such a struggle, that they feel still oppressed. And you can debate that on either side. But if you get history, like you said, you get a perspective, and you can understand that now, to set us up and continue going into our questions. I want to point out something the church should be the answer to all Yes. And I think sometimes when people talk about race in the church, they don’t quote some very important scriptures and I want to go through some for us and for strengthens 12. And in verse 12, it says, the human being first First Corinthians 1212 13. When you’re living it says, The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, summer Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized in one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same spirit. It’s important that we understand when people talk about the Bible supports the idea of, of divided groups of people being in silos and not with each other as was often said during the Civil Rights Movement, and even today, the most segregated hour of the week is Sunday morning. That’s not what the Bible teaches in Galatians three and verse 28. There’s no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female for you’re all one in Christ Jesus. So the Bible is telling us that there’s no longer slave or free, that as far as God is concerned, this shouldn’t exist. Now people may say, Well, why? Why didn’t God stop it? Well, God gives man free will. So he can tell us what to do. But that doesn’t mean we have to do it. And it doesn’t mean you’ll make us do it. But he tells us truth. And then in Colossians, three and verse 10, it talks about putting on our new nature and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him in this new life. Verse 11, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. And that’s not a scripture that should be misused, as history tells us to keep people in slavery. It’s a scripture to say, there should not be the separation by race, by religious background, you should be able to live together. And finally, in First Timothy one and verse nine, we know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious for the ungodly and sinful for the unholy and irreverent for those who killed their fathers and mothers, for murderers, first 10 for the sexually immoral and males who have sex with males for slave traders, liars, perjures, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which is interesting to me. What stands out to me in that passage is he talks about the fact that slave traders need the law, the law of God, that that’s against the law of God, I think what gets confused is over the years, the Bible was used. And this is recorded in a lot of books of history, about black history, the Bible was used actually to keep people into slavery. And we could talk about that later. But I wanted to set the table for all of us understand that the Bible does not support slavery, I don’t think that’s true in any way, shape, or form. And because it gives instructions to slaves, about how to handle being a slave is not saying it is for slavery. That’s my opinion, from what I read. And so when I look at all of that, I say, the church should be a place that is radically different than the world. But I think a lot of people to understand that I’m going to jump right in, because now I need you to help people understand, you have to understand why the black church needed to exist. Absolutely. And I think when you understand that, you’ll understand that it wasn’t that it wasn’t that oh, yeah, we just want to be separate from white people. One black people weren’t allowed to go, but to write it had a function in society, but you have the legacy of that talk for a minute about the black church, and we’re just going to have a conversation now. Okay, and we’ll move our way all the way to the 21st century, if we can. Right, we are the
Daryl Reed 17:49
black church, or I would say, you know, black Christians are the thought that blacks embraced as a people was a result of this, say, in America in particular, yes. When the oppressor starts off by questioning the humanity of a black race, that’s when you know, it’s a problem. Yeah, even within our books, whether it’s just racist judges, or, you know, or pronouncements from political podiums, that the saying that black people are not even humans, or even have a soul. That’s what the That’s how far the debate went, it was, Kim black people actually have a soul. So when you start off like that, you just dehumanize the the people just based on their skin color, right? That’s the bigger problem. So we’ve come a long way. So some slave owners actually felt like they need to baptize. And they actually blacks had a soul, so that they actually reached out to them and converted them. But all along there needed to be a black church because of segregation. Obviously, the whites could not worship together with blacks. And even in the most progressive situations, the blacks would either have to sit up on a balcony or outside to kind of see if they can hear it. This is a result of slavery. But but but the white man, the white slave owner, wanted his blacks, the blacks often to feel controlled, so that they would allow there to be a preacher, a black preacher among them, who could use the scriptures to kind of keep them in the same place, or at least make them a little bit more docile. But this goes all the way back to the very beginning. And so the black church just came from that even when blacks were freed after the massive patient proclamation, even in 13th amendment. The segregation kicked, where you couldn’t even be in the same building drink from the same waterfall. on. So there, there had to be a black church and I appreciate just the existence of blacks coming together. For community, I think they had to be a black church for dignity purposes as well. Just to feel less than to feel more that you’re human, the independence from why control the independence to gather together and to communicate, to laugh, to share, and to do community, these were this, this necessitated the the, the gathering of blacks meeting by themselves, right. So it is just a function of just faith. I know the blacks had a strong faith, they love the book of Exodus. And that’s why it was illegal to even teach a black to read, write. Some white masters felt like if they start reading the Bible, they’re gonna get to Exodus real quick, and discover potential freedom. And so that they outlawed actual blacks reading, learning how to read down so that they would not read the Bible know, the Bible is liberating God is liberating in that black church is one of the great liberators within society.
Russ Ewell 21:15
Well, you know, it’s interesting what you’re talking about, because, and you can, again, I’ll actually probably put a list of books in the show notes for the podcast for those who are interested, because I think sometimes people want to read books that are current, about what we should do regarding racism. And I’m not against that. But I think if we would go back in history, and inform, I think people could draw their own conclusions. And I think a real important book a black church to read is the one I mentioned by Henry Louis Gates, because he talks about it in that the Anglicans came in the, I think, 1701, right around there, they came to America as missionaries. And their goal was, we want to be able to save the souls of these slaves. And in that way, they were saying these people have souls. But the masters, the people who ran the plantations were very concerned, because they felt like if you come in here, and you teach these people about being Christians, one, they felt the church in Christianity was for whites alone. And it’s important that we understand that historically, that that that’s not something I’m making up, that’s not something coming out of my head. That’s a historical fact. But what happened is, the Masters would only agree to let them help the slaves become Christians, if they made sure that the slaves would remain docile, and submissive. So the Anglicans, feeling like, Hey, we’ve got to save these, you know, savages and, and that kind of thing, because for a lot of people they don’t understand. And I, I’ve written on this and study this when I was in school, because I study religion, graduate work I did. And in doing that, you learned that a lot of the missionary mindset was, to some degree condescending, these people out, there are savages and we’re going to civilize them with our Christianity. But the Anglicans had a good motive, but what they did is they begin to include in their teaching to the slaves, the ductility, the use, it’s right for you to be a slave. That’s the thing you need to do. And some went as far as to say, You’re the children of Cain and being black as the Mark of Cain, or some talked about ham, the other, the son of Noah, who was supposed to be the one over the slaves, he shepherded them. And so they’re the children of Ham. Because of that, it gets pretty intense because what some people believe, is that Cain went to the land of Nod, which a lot of people who say the Bible No, and the land of Nod was where all the black people were. And so that was the the bad place to be. They were the ones who really weren’t supposed. So there’s, there’s for a lot of people are wondering, you know, where does all that come from it, there was a real effort to turn Christianity into something that made slavery good. And so in a sense, the black church was the only way to give Christianity to black people that allowed them to see it in Israel way. And as you alluded to, once they discovered the book of Exodus, there was that aha moment of Wait a minute. And I had a quote here. From the book, I’ve alluded to Henry Louis Gates, his book on the black church. He quotes the Reverend Otis moss, the third, who says, never confuse position with power. Pharaoh had a position. But Moses had the power. Herod had a position, but John had the power. The Cross had a position, but Jesus had the power. Lincoln had a position, but Douglas had the power, Woodrow Wilson had a position but I to be Wells had the power. George Wallace had a position. But Rosa Parks had the power, Lyndon Baines Johnson had a position. But Martin Luther King had the power, we have the power. Don’t you ever forget it, sermons like that allowed African Americans to be able to hold up under the stultifying and oppressive nature of racism. And so we’re not talking if someone’s listening, we’re not talking about everybody’s racist, and nobody knows about black people. We’re saying it’s a there’s a rich, rich and powerful history here that explains how someone could go from being a slave to having educated children who now are functioning in society to more successful rate. But what I want you to do is tell me your a little more about your personal story, okay? Because I think that that, to me, is full of inspiration and explanation about the power of community.
Daryl Reed 25:58
Well, I think I’m just so blessed. And I, oh, God, I think that’s kind of my my view of my life is I’m just a product of my family’s faith. Just let you know, I have, I grew up with both sets of my grandparents, way into the fourth my 40s. I had really that’s still alive, right? So and they both were strong, strong Christian families growing up in the church. So a mom’s side and my dad’s side. So. So I’ve had a rich history. All I know, is church, you know, I was one of those who went to church Sunday or Sunday school for Sunday, for regular Sunday sermon. And then we would go back home, watch the Packers beat the bears, and then go back to church that evening, for Sunday night service, and then Wednesday night service. And sometimes it’d be a gospel being taken up all we just grew up in church, I grew up in church, but it was on both sides of my family. Wow. First of all, well, just to have two sets of grandparents, married for 50 plus years, all their lives and have those images of my own mom and dad raising me in the faith. And in the church. It’s just, I’m just a product of their faith. But even more than that my grandfather was a pastor, a minister of a church in Milwaukee, and my grandmother was one of the founding members of really what we can point back to Now historically, as probably the first ministry that was geared towards reaching African Americans in the city, or in a state of Wisconsin, way back into the late 40s and 50s. Really, so up until that point, the the within at least the restoration movement, churches of Christ, there really wasn’t any black church or ministry. But my grandmother, and along with some other people said, You know what, let’s start. They were going to this other church. But then his white minister, who ended Monroe, Holly and incredible minister said, How about we start a work in a third ward, which is a predominantly African American part of the watch Wisconsin, and they’re right there. And my grandmother’s apartment, was a Bible study group that eventually grew and became the church. So I have a rich history of the African American church experience in the city of the state of Wisconsin in the City of Milwaukee. Tichenor. So that’s kind of my my faith background, my which is inter woven within family background, and, and gave me a vision and a dream for myself. My grandfather wanted me my, my grandparents wanted us to be preachers. I’ve an older brother, as well. And he always gave us a vision to go into the ministry, we could be preachers. He never wanted us to take over his church. He always said, You know what, when you guys come back from college and things like that, you’re going to be able to go and start your own church. So he always put that in the back of our mind all along. But there was one thing, normally the normal ministry path for people would be to go to a school, but preaching a seminary, something like that. But I had an uncle that went to one of those schools, and I’m a little kid. And when he came back, he just seemed to be a little bit more weird. He says, Daryl, I know Greek. I know, I know, Hebrew. And I’m just a young teenager saying what Remind me never go to a preaching school. Because I’m just gonna come back more weird, like you talking, you know, like, I know other languages and things like that. So I never really had it in my mind, to want to go and get formal training.
Russ Ewell 29:36
So you found that you found that unrelatable it was
Daryl Reed 29:39
unrelatable it wasn’t cool. I’m a Hooper. Right? Yeah, it was just gonna blow my groove. Right.
Russ Ewell 29:48
You’re not You’re not actually saying anything about people going to preach schools or whatever. You’re talking about your personal experience. You’re going to my experience. Yeah, well, the
Daryl Reed 29:57
irony is I’m an I sit on the Board of Trustees Have a preaching school. So there’s
Russ Ewell 30:05
Daryl Reed 30:07
I still desire to want to minister some kind of way. But it was in my college years why? Where I went off to school. And usually this is that that that critical faith moment when you leave the nest and you leave your family and you go to school, what do you do with your faith? The only church that that was like the church I grew up in was this little little white church in the outskirts of the city. And I was in Macomb, Illinois, a little small, little country town. In order to get there, I would have to walk about two miles to go to church, but I did because it was my habit, right. I went to church and you know, for wisdom with the church. On Sunday, I asked the basketball coach, can I can I not have practice on Sunday, or at least have a little bit later. So yeah, church ministry even wrote a letter, my basketball coach, Daryl, be excused so he can come to church. But the church was all white, it was all country. And that was it was it was really people were over us. Some of the guys were just laborers. They had dirt underneath their fingernails. Yeah, they sung completely different, they taught differently than I did. It was it was a shocking experience, interesting to go to that all white church. And here I am really a celebrity because I’m a starting point guard for as even as a freshman on the basketball team. And here I come into their church, spiritual, desiring, and wanting to grow. And that experience was one of the turning points in my life, because I saw the power of simplicity. And I saw the power of love. I saw the power of the gospel, and how some of those external things really don’t matter. When it comes to helping somebody grow in their faith, because that little church pulled me in, they fed me they love me, wow. And my face skyrocket. And one of the stories that happened even my faith story was one of the ministers came to me and said, Daryl, I would like to actually start a little small group Bible study in your dorm room. And, and, and I totally forgot. So on a Thursday night, he came to one of the dorms. It was like, that is one of these tower dorms. I live in the 17th floor. And of course, we didn’t have cell phones back then. So he called me up from downstairs, it says, Daryl, I’m here, but ready to have that small group Bible study, and I totally forgot. And I panicked. And so I told my roommate, his name was Homer. He was from Iowa, said, Homer. You can’t leave. Stay right here. We’re gonna have a Bible study. And then I went up and down the hall. And I told all my friends to get in my room real quick, whereby we have a Bible study. It was best ballplayers, football players, but a time he got we actually had to go to the common area to have our first Bible study. So before that, he got to the 17th floor, I had a room full of people to hear my minister share a Bible study. That’s been any said next week, Daryl, Daryl is going to do the same thing. What? What I saw what happened though, was he just opened up the Bible. Yeah. Talked about Jesus made a couple applications. He read from a version that was not hard to understand. Yeah. And I saw what happened, people were intrigued. And then from that one little us Bible study group, a campus ministry was born. And but I eventually was able to go into the ministry, they hired me as an intern, and that it just took off, we had just what sometimes we have almost 100 People in the student union, right, coming to Bible studies, basketball players, football players, people just, they just came flocking. And that’s when I got the vision. That, you know, I don’t have to necessarily know Greek, at least at that time, since then, everybody studying all these languages, to have an impact on people’s life. And I also saw the power of the gospel of how it transcends race, that it doesn’t matter what you look like and outside, we all have the exact same needs within. So you know, we all have the same problem. It doesn’t matter which color your skin is, we have the same problem. And we all are desperately needing the exact same solution that’s found in the evidence as a Christian, and faith in Jesus Christ. So that framed my my world, picture world growing up in all African Americans situation with strong family members. So I had a foundation but then going to a completely different culture, saying God changed me. And then give me vision for what a simple Bible study can do. And a heart of anyone.
Russ Ewell 34:45
Yeah. So I think what’s interesting about your story is one I think that depending on where people are from, it’s you’re talking about multi decade, marriages in your family and parents Parents, you’re talking about a strong family, a center. And a lot of times people who I remember when I went to Hong Kong to speak for my best friend, Scott Green has passed away years ago. He said, I want you to come to Hong Kong to speak because people here in Hong Kong, think most black people are criminals. And I go, I Oh, what why is that he goes, because he said, Well, they want the only news. They get a CNN International. And it’s usually some crime that’s being committed by black people that shows and so they think that and I said, you really. So I went there. And I spent, I don’t know how long I was there multiple days or part of a week. And I talked to a number of people and I spoke a few times. And they came up to me something kept me goes, I had no idea they were black people like you, you know that like that we’re educated or whatever. And so sometimes one of the issues I think that comes up in churches, is people either don’t have experience with another ethnicity or color. They’re not excited. I’ve experienced Asians I certainly didn’t growing up in Michigan, they don’t have experience with anybody Latin. And then we make we get these stereotypes in our head, or these caricatures, and we think they’re real. And so it’s important. I think that during Black History Month, people understand it’s not just talking about the Nat Turner’s in the Frederick Douglass in the Martin Luther King’s of yesteryear, but it’s talking about the Daryl reads of today, whose families are not riddled with some of the caricature statements that well, you know, black families are only single mothers, black families are only poor. You know, there’s it and I think it’s important that, that that be known and understood. And then a watch you now as I hear you talk about church, I was the opposite. I stayed away from church I ran from it didn’t want to be a part of it. I thought it was ridiculous. In college, I was in my dorm room. And I went, I was at Boston University. And so I was in my dorm room. And we were all talking and somebody said, Hey, does anybody believe in God? I think they were asking that legitimately. Like, this is a curious subject. And there and we everybody went around again, with a thought I said, I think I’m an agnostic. I don’t know, maybe, maybe not, I don’t know. And my view of Christians was, they’re not great athletes. They’re not great academics there. And those were two important things for me. And they’re not very cool. And they’re unrelatable. And why would I do that to my life, and the only value religion has to me, is I want to go into politics. And so I know, I’ll probably have to pick one. And so I sat down and went at the time I was at a school with with a lot of Jewish friends. And and I work for the Hillel, which was the Jewish cultural center of the campus. And so I thought about Judaism, and I was like that, that I kind of respect that. And I respect the people I see in it. But then I read and I study I went well, the the number of Jewish people is too small for me to get elected everywhere. That I went, Wait a minute, the Catholics, the Catholics, there’s a lot of Catholics, I go, maybe I need to be cat. So that’s how I saw religion. So to hear you talk about it in the rich part of it. And of course, your starting point guard as a freshman, I now have concluded a couple of things. One, if I had been more spiritual, I would have played college basketball. So now I understand the problem. But no, I think it’s important that that even you understand that your story, while familiar to you, is not familiar to a lot of different people. And it’s just like living in the Bay Area. One of the cultures I enjoy the most is the multifaceted Asian culture, whether it’s Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, whatever, you know, whatever it may be that and not just the food, I’m not talking about that. But the way of life, the spirituality. And I think when you’re able to meet people, and that’s why church is so important, man, I’m gonna dive right into diversity here. That’s why diversity is so important. And one of the things that strikes me is you went to a church that was rural, as an African American from, you know, a significant city, Milwaukee, and you were able to say, I walk two miles, and I’ll sit and listen to people who I’m going to make a little bit of a judgment here. Don’t Understand me, culturally, I really don’t know maybe know how to how to how to interact with me on a social way that would be more natural for someone from a bigger area bigger city with with more diversity, but it worked as you said it worked because it was spiritual. But here’s what I would ask the question about today in the 21st century, and not everybody has your good heart. Okay. So
I think it’s really important that churches take a look at a couple of things. If you have a lot of churches, and you don’t have Asian leaders who lead the whole church If you don’t have Latin leaders who lead the whole church, if you don’t have black leaders who lead the whole church, then what happens is, and I’m going to be just very straightforward here, then it becomes difficult for people to really have diversity, because diversity doesn’t happen, just because you have people in the pews of all races and ethnicities, diversity happens when the people up front represent a variety of groups. And what I have noticed is that there’s you know, I’ve, I’ve listened to some people during the stretch here, where, you know, people are sort of having an awakening about black lives matter in which I’m glad they are. But I kind of thought that a while ago, you know, when I was growing up, I was like, hey, my life matters. And, you know, I’m glad, I’m glad. And and I know some of you will be offended by that, but I’m glad people are doing that. But the thing is, I think that the real test is, are you in a church that is willing to say, We ought to have an African American leader, not as the assistant not as the background player, but as the actual leader? Or are you in a church is willing to have an Asian as the actual leader? Even if your congregation is predominantly white, or even predominantly black? Or whatever it may be? Are you willing to have somebody who’s a different race? Be up front, I don’t think diversity can happen. Just because when you take the photo, there’s a lot of there’s a few different people sprinkled in, I ran for student council in an all white pretty much predominately white school. And my mother who told me Oh, I don’t think you should do that. I go, why not? She goes, because white kids aren’t gonna let a black kid to be the president of their school. And I, I knew my friends and I, I may have been diluted, but I knew my friends. And I was like, I, you know, I think I can do this. And I did win. But that was a case where and I respect the city, I grew up men, where kids went, No, that’s not true. We’re more than willing to do that. But I see sometimes in churches, there’s a patronizing of the idea of Black Lives mattering. Because people are not ready to say, hey, you know, we’ve had, you know, this guy lead and that guy lead, but the people making the decisions are never of color. And so I just think, Black History Month, it’s great to talk about black history. It’s great talk about Black Lives mattering. But I think most important thing is if if you don’t ever have African Americans, as leaders of corporations, and we do if they never become president, or senator or congressman, if they never become, you know, the head of small businesses, then you haven’t gotten it done. And and people may say, Well, these people have to earn the right. Okay, I’m, obviously I’m totally in earning the right I’ve been trying to earn the right all my life. But you also have to have receptivity to the idea that there is no diversity, unless you’re willing to say the persons making the decisions can be of that color. And I know in the 70s and 80s, when I was coming up and first became a Christian, I don’t think that was understood. And I’m not sure it’s understood. Now, I don’t want to put you in an awkward position. But what do you think about no?
Daryl Reed 43:23
Well, I would say, What has been the right Ecclesiastes, he says, has been done before. There was nothing new under the sun. And you could go all the way back to the beginning of the church to see this dynamic, right. So here’s Jesus, he gets these Galileans he trains them for the ministry. And then he could he all throughout his ministry, he’s he shows this care of the Gentile. He reaches out to them. But they’re all Jewish. He even Commission’s them, as the spinales, Word says, go, go make disciples of all nations and that word nations there is ethnos or is where we get the word ethnicity. So Jesus trained these guys, he charges them he sets an example about loving everyone, even the parable of the Good Samaritan, it highlights a Gentile, right? He says, go make disciples of all nations don’t hold back start their Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the ends of the earth. You know, they didn’t do it. Because of deep seated biases, stereotypes right and racism, right, Peter, the one who had the keys, right? Before Jesus gave the keys, the Peter unlock the doors to the kingdom. And Peter struggled with prejudice against the Gentiles. This was deep rooted. And this is having Jesus as your disciple or your mentor, your teacher, it took God to give Peter a vision to really personally have a personal one on one visit with him to say, Peter, don’t call anything I’ve made a unclean, if I’d made it clean is clean, right? And then right there at the door, his story is total Acts chapter 10. The first Gentile comes knocking and saying, you know, we would like to hear what you have to say to us. But this thing about how the struggle is real, let’s just say that struggle of overcoming biases, prejudices, superiority, thinking, that’s deeply seated within us, it’s not just going to take just a surface attention. It’s going to take some intentionality, to dig deep, to discover and uncover our hidden racism and biases. And this is where we have to be humble, and learn if Peter had to be rebuked and had to learn. And he is the the, the though the, you know, the the apostle Jesus gave the case to Jesus, his best friend, how much more do we need to learn that, you know, the problem of prejudice and discrimination and superiority in the Bible was not necessarily connected to color, as much as connected to the racial category of Jewish Gentile. But that same parallel can be seen today. So I would say two different pros and sisters who struggle with a superiority mindset in terms of I’m better than nobody comes out and says that, but if we just intuitively just look at how we were raised the environment, we were around what we saw in television, what we’ve heard all of our lives, we have to basically admit, at least society has influenced me to have a negative opinion, right, of African American. And that we have so in order to overcome that there’s has to be a greater intentionality, to want to know God’s perspective on things. And in the same same thing within being in the oppressed group. I don’t preach against white supremacy, as much as I try to empower people and preach for a P preach against black inferiority, right? Because I think some of these things just won’t come out of the heart. Unless God does a surgery on the inside of a human being. And that’s something only God can do. Yeah, that’s something that only God can do. If someone desires to be like our love, like,
Russ Ewell 47:26
yeah, like, you know, my experience formed by God, my experiences, and you were afraid to Galatians two and the pressure that was brought to bear on Peter, Peter, is that Peter was hanging out with the Gentiles. He was having a good time. I don’t know if he’s even barbecued ribs or what, but he was having a good time. And then jobs. Yeah, and but then all of a sudden, the, that the Jewish, you know, folks showed up. And as we talk about being Jewish, I think it’s important to understand this is not about anti semitism, because that’s a historical thing. And in Christianity, it’s about different cultures and different groups within an organization. And I think that that’s how you have to think about it, because that’s how God wants us to think about it. But sometimes they’re even a great leader, like Peter can be subjected to the peer pressure of, hey, you shouldn’t be accepting these people. You shouldn’t be adding these people in. You know, and I think it’s an uncomfortable conversation. I’m not a person who believes that all white people are racist or not, or whatever. I don’t, I don’t buy into that. I think people need education. And I think people need relationship. And unless you know, somebody, you’re gonna, and you can be that way about anybody. You know, I didn’t grew up in rural America. Well, my wife says, I grew up in rural America, actually. But I went to school in Boston. So maybe I separated myself from it. But when I look at rural America, I go, that’s not a familiar thing to me. And so I have some presumptions, assumptions about a person in rural America, how they might think or how they might be, and they’re oftentimes wrong. And I think what we have to do, I think, is understand one, the world has changed. We’re in the 21st century. So I actually think the millennial generation, generation Z Generation X, these generations are done with all that. So a lot of the question comes will the baby boomers and the older generation X understand that, regardless of what you do, like I always find it fascinating. When I’m talking to kids in the Bay Area, which has a population of African Americans is probably below 8% Now or around 8%. I always find it fascinating when I run into kids who are white particularly and their favorite music top to bottom is rap. And and an African American rap artist, which I don’t deny that that’s that’s a that’s a powerful cultural force in America today. And oftentimes, people are like what in the world you know, with with depending which which person you listen to, you may wonder what in the world is going on, you know, Kendrick Lamar performed at the Super Bowl. And when I was watching, I sat there and when I go, I wonder what people are unfamiliar with. Kendrick Lamar thinking about that right now, because it was one of the great performances that a Super Bowl, but I just he, he lyrically is so complex and deep and, and edgy, and, and prolific and profound, which is why he got his Nobel Prize or for for art, like Bob Dylan. They’re the only two musicians. I think it’s the I think it’s the Nobel I didn’t know that. Yeah, they’re the only two musicians to ever win it Bob Dylan and Kendrick Lamar. But when you listen to it, you go, the ability and I’m not a big rap fan, okay? But the ability to listen to something that you don’t have an education, with, you don’t have a familiar with. That’s the beginning of understanding and knowing whether or not your mind is open to the idea of a multicultural environment. I believe that there are essentially three kinds of people in America today and maybe in the world. There’s monocultural, bicultural, and multicultural monocultural people whose only friends are their race whose only experiences are there are their food, their music, bicultural people have had some exposure to another culture, they can actually talk communicate and feel comfortable in two cultures, you know, so it could be black and Latin, it could be white and black, it could be Asian and white, it could be whatever. And then multicultural are people who are, they’re comfortable and have dexterity in every culture they kind of come in contact with. And even if they’ve not been familiar with it, they make themselves familiar with it. And to me, the scripture on that is first Corinthians nine, I become a Jew to the Jews, I become someone without the law of those without the law, I become weak for the week. In other words, it Paul was a multicultural guy who you throw him into any room. And he’s he’s, if you’re talking about Kendrick Lamar, I can I can do that. If you’re talking about Josh Groban, I can do that. If you’re talking about James Brown, I can do that. If you’re talking about Bruce Springsteen, I can do that I can talk about anybody and love it at all. And I think sometimes as Christians we understand, it’s the power of creating diverse churches, that allows us to continue, and this is a I’m going to draw a conclusion, the legacy of the black church because the black church, in my view, and I actually wrote on this in college, okay, the black church, His purpose was both a social, spiritual and political, but in many ways was to give opportunity to black people to marshal their talents and overcome this sense of inferiority to be able to make the contributions that that God had made them capable of making. Absolutely, I think what should be happening is, every church should have a mindset that I want to give every white person, every Asian person, every black person, every Latin person, etc, etc, every opportunity to marshal all their talents. And if you can’t create a culture, where anybody can be in it, then you’re in a monocultural church. And if you’re in a monocultural church, you’re not going to be able to help the most people possible. Or you may be in a multicultural church where black and white, but that’s not going to reach you have to be in a mature bicultural churches black or white or Asian or Latin. But you have to be in a multicultural church to change the world. If you look at statistics, I think a recent statistic I saw was Scott Galloway. He’s one of my favorite thinkers. I think it’s like it used to be the 90% of people had a connection to a Christian church or when or whatever, it’s now 40 is now 47%. I think that’s a directly attributable to the fact that when people go to church, they don’t see people that look like them. They don’t see people that talk like them. They don’t see people that understand them. So as we talk about black history in black, the black church, I think we’re really talking about the possibilities that exist for giving underserved parts of the community. ostracized parts of the community, women, you know, that’s a big deal. Can women be part of that diversity? I believe they can. And there’s a lot of confusion, and you have a very strong wife and strong leader. So you already know about that. I know she’s in charge. And, and that’s the bottom line. And both of us were sent here by our wives, and they prepared us for this. But I think I feel pretty strongly that that that I don’t I’m not saying every church, you know that no church can be black or Asian. That’s not really my point. I think people have to pick and build the way they build. But if you want to reach the maximum number of people, if you want to reach me with 8 million people essentially in the Bay Area, you’re pretty up there in the DC area if you couldn’t include the whole, you know, 95 beltway thing with Virginia, Maryland and, and DC. I think churches have to ask the question, Am I really building a church that can reach everybody? And and that’s just one of the things on my mind and I what do you think?
Daryl Reed 54:52
I will say that’s, that’s so onpoint and in as we define church, it’s gonna come down to community. It’s gonna come down to the pockets of area.
Russ Ewell 55:02
Okay, good. Even.
Daryl Reed 55:03
So even within the say, Metro large metroplex, but the DMV, the DC regional area, right? There’s still pockets of the city that I’m probably not the most gifted person to reach. Oh, good point, because, because I might sound differently they could, okay, you’re obviously not from around here. Yeah. So we’re going to need just people to reach people, within their own communities. And then that’s the church, I like to say, the community that you can fit within your house, or a gathering that we’re, you know, everybody’s name. That’s the kind of functioning unit of community that got everything Stein love it, if those communities can partner together with broader communities. So whenever they get together in a big giant stadium or a big convention center, then and you see the diversity, that’s different, but the leaders have to do that. So. So the leaders have to get to be connected relationally. And then that mindset that heart set, will permeate even communities within a smaller geography, a new geographical section, I use this mindset, I used to be critical of the church, because, you know, that I grew up in because it was all black. But then thinking about looking back on the church that I grew up in, I was like, you know, it’s an all black side of town. Yeah, it’s for me to judge them by saying, Well, how come? You guys don’t have ages or this? Well, that’s because it’s a local church. Beautiful. However, when that the issue, though, I think God’s gonna judge is, what’s the heart set behind that leader? Gods are going to be the one that really is going to be able to identify, Is there racism? There is the basis there? Is there exclusivity there? Is there a stereotypical sense of we don’t want other people right? Or is there a connect with a broader Body of Christ? So sometimes, I think when we look at the body of Rick Morrison, he said, It’s gonna take all kinds of churches, to reach all kinds of people, I love it. I thought that that statement was, is freeing for me, because it allowed me to embrace who I am, and to not feel like I’m deficient in my ability, because I’m not as effective with this particular community. I’ve let that go that I probably had that in the first part of my ministry, right? But now I’m just like, You know what, I just want to reach everybody. Now, I’m not limiting the power of the gospel, I’m going to share with somebody who’s homeless, and somebody who’s doing a lot think is, you know, a politician, somebody who is Asian or Latino, even if I can’t speak their language. I’m trying to give him some material. But I think that’s what God wants. He wants to know, what’s the heartbeat of that leadership. And that leadership team has that heartbeat, God’s Spirit will connect the dots and help a local congregation. Commission.
Russ Ewell 58:07
I love it.
Daryl Reed 58:09
So what that did for me was, it launched me to embrace who I am as a leader, and the specialty of my leadership. I have a natural bent towards young people who, who? I wonder why. That’s my kind of sweet spot in terms of who I prefer to reach out to who desire to connect. I’m a coach. So I love grabbing people and coaching them up and inspiring them. But somebody else is completely different. Yep. They have to embrace their uniqueness and understand how they have a specific ministry assignment within the the community at large as well. But when we all get together, I should be able to connect, especially leaders, we should be able to connect with anybody and everyone. And if you have a larger church, sphere of influence that we have to that much more intentionally invite our pulpit to show that kind of diversity or whoever’s on stage to show that kind of diversity. Russia, you were one of those for me, if I remember changing over to more of a discipling evangelistic congregation, I made a switch, but I remember going to Boston in the 80s. And then I saw you up there. That was I didn’t know who you were, but it inspired me and inspired me like Messina. What here’s this Boston gardens, multiracial, multicultural assembly of believers. And here’s this black man up there just leaving songs fired up. And then when you said that you had a class that you were going to be teaching that was going to be preparing people to possibly go to Africa. Man, me and my brother, we signed up for that. Let’s, let’s go to rush euros class. It was Just a picture of who you were to see you communicate the senior conviction. Sometimes it’s just that example, that could trigger somebody else to keep on going. But that only happens if we put ourselves in an environment to be vulnerable enough to be used by God.
Russ Ewell 1:00:19
What I love about what you’re saying is, and I’m learning, I’m learning from you. And I want to make a point of that is that on many occasions, there are gifts, and even genetic predispositions. That got us in a place where we uniquely can reach a certain group of fetus. I was an agnostic. So that’s probably why a lot of the time I think about people who don’t believe and don’t like church, and don’t want to have anything to do with it. And so I think I come from that is the academic say that situatedness. And what you’re saying is, we want diversity. But it doesn’t mean someone doesn’t want diversity, if their churches all Asian, or if their churches are black, because it may depend on the language they’re going to speak. It may depend on the part of the country they’re in. And they just have to make sure they’re examining to say, are we doing this to be exclusive? Or are we really doing this because we believe this is our unique contribution to being able to advance what God is trying to do. And I love that because I do, I’m in a big church, that’s where I go to church, for those listening, I go to a bigger church, that’s metropolitan, it’s everywhere, in all these different places that are all different races and all that. But if I used to be at different I was in DC for a while, as you know, but I wasn’t at one point in Dorchester, Massachusetts. And when I was there, we had a mixed group, but it was more black and white. There was that was that was it. And it’s because that’s who was there. I worked in Roxbury mass for a while. And that was pretty much black. And so I get your point. And I think this goes to probably back to the black church idea that whether it’s an Asian church or a black church, sometimes you need a church in that community that does the job for that community. And then it’s going to get us diversity by partnering with they’re connecting with other groups. And I’m learning from you because the average church is exactly right. Yeah, the average is 75 people. So it’s not going to be like the church where I’m at. So that that’s a really good point.
Daryl Reed 1:02:26
I remember I learned this lesson where my buddy Carlos and I were talking, we had a situation where we were studying the Bible with somebody who was ex con, he was a murderer, etc, confessed to murder. And you know, some drug dealers, and we were like, puzzling me like, Man, how do we reach this part of the city? Really? What do we do? Do we have to? So we talked to one of our Baptist minister friends? And he said, Darryl, Cardinals, why are you guys trying to do that somebody else is more uniquely qualified, wow, to reach that guy. So that shook shook us because we had this pressure that we have literally got to be a church that can minister to every single population need within this metropolitan area. And it was causing too much stress, too much pressure. Because that’s not that wasn’t our natural bit wasn’t our natural fit. But we will start when we step back, we stepped back and we said, You know what, there’s other people who are doing a great job already. How about we partner with other people who are ready ministering. And we still have a desire to have our own local influence, but then that part of a ministry assignment, but let’s, let’s see what God is doing outside of our local church, and then let’s partner with other people. And then that way, we can appreciate other people’s uniqueness. And
Russ Ewell 1:03:52
yeah, you can learn from them. Absolutely. I think, I think for those listening who are not if you’ve made it this far in the podcast, for those listening, who have not, who don’t consider themselves to be religious, maybe agnostic, and maybe you’re hearing a lot of going, Man, this a lot of church politics, a lot of complexity, not really, what it is, is just the same kind of organizational behavior that has to take place in Fortune 500, and fortune 1000 companies, because everybody has to deal with it. And sometimes you’re putting a branch of your company, if you’re Microsoft, or your apple, you’re putting a branch of your company in Japan, well, if you’re putting a branch of your company in Japan, that company has to be shaped and built differently than if you’re putting it in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, or Grand Rapids, Michigan. And that makes a lot of sense. And we can learn a lot from organizations that are not Christian, because they have to deal with these issues in and navigate them. And sometimes they navigate them better than churches navigate them because they’re not as guided by their emotions as they are by the dollar. And sometimes the dollar produces great rationality and logic. You know, the thing that I walk away from this and it’s, it’s we could go on and on and on the thing I walk away from This time understanding and we decided you and I decided we would, we would we would wander about and let whatever come in, come up. If someone’s listening and wondering what should I get out of it, what you should get out of it is not whether I’m right or DeRose. Right? You should get out of it, how to have a conversation, how to have a conversation that appreciates black history, how to have a conversation that appreciates black churches, how to have a conversation that takes the lessons and the experiences of our life, and applies them to now, and really how to understand, I think, how to dream. One of the things that didn’t get to escape talks about in his book, The Black Church, is that the black church, some people wonder if it didn’t do more to hurt African Americans than it did to help because it taught docility and it taught submission and it taught weight. And he says, Well, you know what, if you look at the wide spectrum of what accomplished, there’s no question that what the black church allowed is the black culture to never die. And what all the forces came against it, it was the black church that mobilized for civil rights for the voting acts of 6465. It was the black church that that that allowed leaders like, if you go back as far as Nat Turner’s you go back as far as Frederick Douglass, if you come up to Martin Luther King, and even if you look at Barack Obama, and though his connection to his church was, you know, sort of politically controversial, it was him trying to find his way spiritually and figure out what do I think about all this, that influenced him. And I think that’s important to remember. In the same way, I think for people that are Asian, for people that are a Latin, I think it’s important that that those voices be heard. And in Black History Month, I think it’s symbolic because blacks were made slaves, and were oppressed, like no other group other than perhaps the Jews during the Holocaust. And it’s important that in a month, like February, every year, we take the time to say, You know what we recognize it, we see it, and we want to know more. But at the same time, we also can recognize, oh, we don’t know much about Chinese New Year, which happens to occur in the Black History Month. And so maybe we should be thinking about Chinese Americans and what their culture is and what they’re like. So I learned this from this conversation, I learned also, that it’s important for someone like me to remember that the average church in America is 75. So demanding that that church, be multicultural, and have all these sophistications, when it may be in an area that’s pretty much one race or one language that’s unreasonable and perhaps irrational. The key is for them to find their niche and work that niche, but remain open hearted to anybody just like that church that grabbed you. Back in the day, that was very different than you but produced an explosion of spirituality because of the love the care, the concern and the vision they had for you. And so when I come down to this all what I think about Daryl and what you made me think about today is dreaming. And Langston Hughes live 1901 In 1967, one of the great poets and writers of our country, an African American who wrote in in difficult times wrote this holdfast to dreams. For if dreams die, life is broken winged bird they cannot fly. Hold faster dreams, for when dreams go. Life is a barren field, frozen was snow. And it’s important for us listeners to remember that ultimately Black history is about dreaming, beaten down, oh, press kicked to the side, lynched, beaten, raped, pillaged, held back, like a phoenix, they rose, like my grandmother, like your grandparents. And as a result, people like you and I are able to get college education and do more to make America better. Instead of you know, wallowing in the defeats of the past. If you’re out there today. And you’re thinking about these things. Go back and read Ephesians chapter two, verse 1118. It’ll show you even more about the citizenship diversity that exists in the church. And for all of us out there who are wondering why are so few fewer people going to church, maybe you can take some nuggets from this that we’ve learned from Darryl, the things that I’ve shared about diversity, about special specialization, about niches that help us understand a lot more people’s lives will be made better by Christianity, not that we’re against all the other religions, but it’s Christianity uniquely changed and made possible why for African Americans today, and we have an inspired legacy of Booker T. Washington, James H. Cone, web voice, so many others. Daryl, thank you so much for being on deep spirituality. And we hope all of you listening, enjoyed our conversation. And don’t forget to go to deep spirituality.com. To get more information, go to the show notes, in case you’re living in the DC metropolitan area. You can actually be able to, I think for the rest of February, they’re still you’re still using your live stream right Darrel
Ray, but then in March, you’re going to start probably going to in person services together. I put a link in our show notes if you’re interested in joining Daryl and getting a chance to see him in person. I can verify that his Beth basketball skills are incredible and I now I have complete regrets that I didn’t turn to God earlier because I might have been in the NBA, but I’ll just have to live with disappointment. Again. Thanks, Daryl.