For another installment in my “The New York Times Has Interesting Stuff” series, you should check out this article about a historically white Southern Baptist church in Georgia that has recently become a truly international community. “We realized that what the Lord had in store for that old Clarkston Baptist Church was to transition into a truly international church and to help minister to all these ethnic groups moving into the county,” says one of the church members. This isn’t just “whites and blacks” multiculturalism, which is usually the only thing to come to mind when Georgia is involved. This is a group of immigrants and refugees from all around the globe.
Their transition is far from perfect or complete – the longstanding congregation had mixed opinions about “catering to foreign people” and it certainly is an amazing thing to see from Southern Baptists, who supported openly racist organizations until 1995. But overall I view this as an incredible victory for Christ’s Church as one big group. As the pastor reminds us, “Jesus said heaven is a place for people of all nations, so if you don’t like Clarkston, you won’t like heaven.”
Read: The World Comes to Georgia, and an Old Church Adapts (New York Times)