Pastor Puts Up Sign: ‘Black Folks Need To Stay Out Of White Churches’
Rev. Michael Jordan, of the New Era Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, recently put up a church sign that says: “Black Folks Need To Stay Out Of White Churches.”
Jordan, who is black, told AL.com that he put up the sign to oppose the white-run Church of the Highlands megachurch, which is starting a church in his neighborhood:
It’s a slavemaster church. I call it plantation religion, slavemaster religion. The white rich folks start a church and put a black pastor in charge of it.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, who is also black, tweeted his opposition to Jordan’s sign.
There is a spirit of racism and division that is over this city. It must be brought down. We have to change the conversation to what we need it to evolve into. “Darkness can not drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that.” pic.twitter.com/QuNGjqYrjS
— Randall Woodfin (@WoodfinForBham) May 15, 2018
Jordan told AL.com that the Church of the Highlands may get city funding at the expense of black organizations:
Now you’re supporting the white church coming into a black neighborhood? I think our young mayor is oblivious to what’s going on here.
Because of white flight and societal change where whites left the city, they did not want to be our neighbors, did not want their kids to go to school with our children.
They left the churches too. They sold the churches to us. White folks don’t want to be our neighbors. If you don’t want to be our neighbor, why do you feel comfortable putting a white church in the inner city?
Their response is we will have a black pastor. He’ll be a token. They’ll still control the sermons, they’ll still control the choir, the white administrative leadership will still run the church.
Blacks have flooded white churches and moved into white neighborhoods. It’s for status reasons. It’s a sense of self-worth. But 99 percent of whites won’t go to a black church.
The main campus [of Church of the Highlands] has gotten fed up with blacks joining their church, so they decided, “Let’s put you a church over there.”
I’ve been called a bigot. This is divisive, but you have to just tell the truth.