Kay Mueller, who attends the mostly white First Baptist Church of Evanston, Illinois, was talking to her friend, who attends the mostly black Second Baptist. Her friend told of Second Baptist’s annual homecoming service where they celebrate and remember the founding of the church. What Kay found surprising was that Second Baptist’s history involved her own church. In 1870, tired of being relegated to the balcony, several black members of First Baptist walked out and formed their own congregation.
But what is remembered as an empowering moment at Second Baptist was hidden history at First Baptist—that is, until Mueller took the facts to her board. Consequently, First Baptist drafted a “Resolution of Reconciliation,” confessing its sin and offering an apology, which was formally read and presented to Second Baptist in 1990. Since then, the churches regularly exchange pulpits and choirs.
During one exchange, Second Baptist’s pastor, Hycel Taylor (the subject of our cover photograph), preached on the sinful state of today’s race relations, an excerpt of which appears in our institute “The Myth of Racial Progress” (beginning on p. 16). Coordinating the institute was another Second Baptist parishioner, and also our newest senior news writer (though a long-time CT contributor), Andres Tapia. Knowing of Andres’s long interest in interracial concerns, we asked him to put together a forum of African-American church leaders to tell us what they want white Christians to know. We think the results are impressive, culminating in an issue that will be talked about for years to come.
What more could one ask from a senior news writer?
MICHAEL G. MAUDLIN, Managing Editor1
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