Celebration of Black History Month, Part II   Leave a comment

I’m sorry that this post is being put up a week after the end of Black History month. Things have come up, and I just haven’t been able to post. Sadly, this will only be a two-part series, not the grand seven-part series my mind envisioned.

Daniel Alexander Payne lived for 82 years in the 1800’s in Charleston, South Carolina. His parents, who were both free blacks, died when he was just a child, and he was raised by his grandmother. Despite the severe setbacks of being black in the South and growing up without his parents, Payne taught himself Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. He later received formal training at the Lutheran Theological Seminary and, upon graduation, became a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME).

I’m not too familiar of the current reputation of the AME, but Payne set a strong foundation for that denomination with his high view of Scripture. He gave a comprehensive view into his biblical worldview in the following quote:

“An individual man or woman must never follow conviction in regard to moral, religious, civil and political questions until they are first tested by the unerring word of God… If a conviction infringes upon the written word of God, or in any manner conflicts with the word, the conviction is not to be followed. It is our duty to abandon it. Moreover, I will add that light on a doubtful conviction is not to be sought for in the conscience, but in the Bible. The conscience, like the conviction, may be blind, erroneous, misled, or perverted; therefore it is not always a safe guide. The only safe guide for a man or woman, young or old, rich or poor, learned or unlearned, priest or people is in the Bible, the whole Bible, nothing but the Bible.”

The African-American church had such a great foundation of men who relied on the Word of God. But tragically, much of the African-American church has fallen into moral relativity, cultural Christianity, and a social gospel that seeks after prosperity on earth. Fortunately, the Lord has kept a remnant of African-Americans brethren and African-American church leaders who are after God’s own heart. I don’t claim to know all of them, but I want to highlight and extend thanks to a few that I know of.

Thabiti Anyabwile
I have to thank Thabiti because all this information is from his book. 🙂 And I’ve listened to some of his thoughtful and well-crafted sermons, and I am very thankful for not merely his preaching ministry, but for his books which have given me some insights into the African-American church. Thabiti is currently the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands.

Carl Hargrove
Pastor Hargrove is a seminary professor at The Master’s Seminary, and I had the privilege of hearing him preach a couple of times while I was in college.  The man has a great preaching style, but his presence doesn’t overwhelm what is truly of greatest importance–the message of God spoken through His divine Word. Hargrove is currently the senior pastor of Fairview Heights Baptist Church in Inglewood, CA.

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Posted March 8, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

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