Joining us this morning is Pastor Donnie Powell with Lily Baptist Church in Mobile. We recorded this interview last week. Here’s a look at our conversation:
Anchor: The death of George Floyd touched off weeks of protests and opened discussions on police use of force nationwide. Pastor, how have members of your congregation responded?
Guest: During this solemn hour in our country, the members of our congregation have united in prayer for our Country and our world. Because this is not just a US issue, but an issue affecting the entire world.
Anchor: What have you seen to make you believe there may be progress on this issue?
Guest: Throughout the past weeks I have seen the People of the world come together. People of all races, creeds, and colors are uniting in solidarity with the focus on human life being meaningful and purposeful, and this is great progress that we all are witnessing and this lets me know that as a nation, we have come a long way, but sadly we still have a long way to go.
Anchor: In the civil rights movements of the 1950s an 60’s black churches were at the center of organizing social change efforts. With the predominance of social movements through social media, what role do think predominantly African American churches play in the current movement?
Guest: Yes, in the ’50s and the ’60s the African America Churches did play a vital role in the movements, but here in 2020 it’s going to take all churches to do their part. We can not longer single out this church or that church because we all fall under the same banner of Christianity and we all should be held to the same standards of Christ which are to speak up and to stand up for injustice when we see it, no matter whom the injustice is against, because God created us all equal, and an injustice to one is an injustice to all.
Anchor: What are ways you feel people who are not, people of color, can help at this time?
Guest: I feel that people that are not of color can look beyond color, search their hearts, and use their moral compass to guide them. As for it’s time to speak up and stand up and be visible, and it’s also time to teach others to look at people and not see color, but to see a man or a woman like themselves. Like Jesus told Peter, “When you have been converted, go back and strength your brother”
Anchor: What is the most important issue you think needs to be addressed in this?
Guest: The most important issue that I believe needs to be addressed in this is that we need to put away our prejudices of people, especially those in law enforcement. I understand that your job is a dangerous job and you want to make it home to your loved ones, but on the other side of the coin realize that this is someone’s child, husband, wife, sister or brother and at the end of the day they want to make it home safe as well to their loved ones!