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Pastor and Activist

Gerald Durley can tell you plenty of stories about the "movement": marching with Martin Luther King, Jr., leading sit-ins to protest Jim Crow, getting arrested multiple times in pursuit of equal rights for African Americans.

Today as senior pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church, a congregation of 1,000 in the heart of Atlanta, Durley seeks to bring to the church the same passion and conviction that inspired so many to march three decades ago.

"The church of Christ in the modern day is called to do the same thing that the saints of the early church were called to do," Durley says. "They were called to point people to Christ and save souls. I think that is the primary mission. And the apostles and first-century believers were doing that. But by the same token, we, as did they, have an obligation to meet the everyday needs of the people. Jesus was our great role model. When people were hungry, he did more than preach to them. He took five loaves and two fishes and opened up a restaurant ...

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