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I Shall Not Be Moved: Racial Separation in Christian Worship

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0761837152
ISBN-10: 0761837159
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Terriel R. Byrd is Associate Professor of Religion and director of Urban Ministries Studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He has more than eighteen years' experience as a senior pastor and has served as campus minister at two universities in Ohio.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: UPA (June 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761837159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761837152
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,065,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By K. L. Mahanes on July 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Dr. Byrd challenges the segregated church in America as deviant to the model of the church presented in the New Testament. If his challenge were fully accepted, the pervasive racism in our society would be eradicated beginning within the churches, which is where so much social change has originated. The author writes not only out of an academic background of teaching at a Christian university, but out of his experience as a pastor of a black church in the inner city. It is this that makes his brief but penetrating book so valuable. He is not writing as a theorist but as a practitioner.
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Format: Paperback
The book is written in simple, but convinving prose, with some easily managed jargon,that advocates the church, with its phenomenal reach and influence, become the ground floor of racial reconciliation in America. The author suggests that if the Church can overcome its traditional role as safe haven for family traditions and religious customs, it can increase its relevance and leadership influence by becoming social forerunners of racial harmony. I agree that the church has a significant responsibilty to bridge differences in our society and racial differences are chief among those that can and should be championed by the church.
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Format: Paperback
The Author did well at identifying and detailing the historical accounts and events that gave way to today's separatism in Christian Worship. As an Afro American member of a predominately white church, the book substantiated the reverse separatism I experience Sunday after Sunday. The book was a spiritual inspiration to Love as Christ Loves and to allow that love to permeate beyond tradition, ethnicity, or ritualism. Most importantly, the book is a call for Unity in Worship, a call to move beyond the norm or status quo.
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In this provocative little book Terriel Byrd attempts to answer the question of how and why? -- even after the incredible gains of the civil rights movement -- that in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. "Eleven o'clock Sunday morning is still America's most segregated hour, and the Sunday school is the most segregated school of the week."

He compellingly lays out the origins and history of racial separation in the American Church starting from colonial times. I was surprised to learn that early on in the colonies it was common for blacks and whites to worship together. It was only as slavery became entrenched that a distinct "white church" and "black church" arose. Byrd writes:

"Slavery, it's shameful facts, its historical, social and economic inequalities, its damaging impact on the souls and on the psyches of black people, gave birth to the independent black church. Each of these influences was a dominant factor in the rise of sustained institutionalized separate worship communities."

It's a shameful fact that many of our denominational histories can be traced back to the evil of slavery. Just in recent years we've seen denominational leaders struggling to come to terms with this legacy. Yet the separation by and large continues, and as Byrd points out, most Christians have come to accept it as the norm. In the chapter Sacred, Secular or Merely Sinful, he makes the argument that it's not normal and in fact is a scandal on the church's witness to the world.
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