When the National Committee of Black Churchmen (NCBC) looks at the power levels of the National Council of Churches, it sees white. Therefore, by “whatever means necessary,” militant blacks aim to take over general secretary R. H. Edwin Espy’s job and many other top NCC executive posts—now. If they are defeated at the NCC triennium at Detroit this month, they intend to preside at the NCC’s funeral.

That is the gist of an ominous eight-page “message to the churches” issued several weeks ago at Berkeley, California, by the NCBC at its third annual convocation. Of 350 registrants, fewer than fifty remained at the end to vote on the paper. The NCBC is an ecumenical coalition of militant black churchmen, mostly ministers.

Blacks must now “resort to unusual forms of pressure,” the document declared, because “months of fruitless negotiations” have failed to enlist church funding for the Black Economic Development Conference (BEDC).

Most denominations to date have officially shunned the BEDC because too many church members see red at the mention of James Forman’s Black Manifesto, the BEDC’s program guide. It was at Detroit eight months ago that Forman seized control of the first BEDC meeting and read his manifesto, which outlines nine major black programs with a price tag of billions of dollars in demanded “reparations” from white churches.

The NCBC “message” condemned the NCC as “a sorry example of institutionalized white decision-making power.” It continued: “If … racism and white negativism are … so vital a part … of the NCC that it would choose to destroy itself before acceding to these just ...

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