Pastor Furman Fordham and Pastor Ken Wetmore are two of more than a dozen Adventist pastors who have opened up a new dialogue between white and black Adventist churches. It began with the pastors, then moved to their church members, and finally reached out into their community of Nashville. “Imagine Nashville” is a large-scale, open-ended project that shakes off limitations and seeks to create genuine conversation and understanding between congregations and individuals.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2018/02/16/two-nashville-pastors-bring-black-and-white-together
It is so hard to eliminate a bureaucracy, so I favor exploration of opportunities to de-racialize the white and black conferences. A reasonable goal would be to retain the two conferences, (both of which are plausibly needed because there are so many churches), with each conference embodying a substantial degree of racial diversity. And then you can declare victory: We no longer have racially-segregated conferences; we just have two different conferences, both of which are racially diverse.
I applaud this initiative of these two visionary pastors.
Seems rather odd anymore to have a “black and white” discussion and gathering with that focus. All ethnic groups should learn to “bury the hatchet” and quit digging up an old grave, especially a christian church.
Here in the South Georgia portion of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference [which is all of Georgia and the Eastern half of Tennessee] there is a convocation usually in Macon in the Spring. The attendees are essentially from a line drawn from Columbus, Ga, Macon, GA to Augusta, Ga. to south at the Gulf.
There are a lot of non-White SDAs in the Ga-Cumb. Conf. and attend the convocation at the “white” church in Macon [which happens to be about 50% non-white].
Incidentally, we baptized 3 non-white persons just today [2/17]
The Idea of having 2 Conferences, but NOT designating along racial or skin color lines seems like a wonderful idea here in the South. Then which ever congregation one belongs to, that would be the Conference one would receive mailings from.