Season 3, Episode 5: Social Justice and Taking a Stand at St. James UMC

About This Episode

Kansas City, Missouri. St. James United Methodist Church launched in 1973 when two small churches combined. Listen in as current pastor Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Cleaver III, Robert Silvan and Leola Evans share about the history and experience of the Historically Black Church.

In This Episode

00:00: Church History Narration
4:30 1950s Change of Kansas City Landscape and the Beginning of St. James UMC
7:30 Taking A Stand and Doing Something About It
18:00 The Merging of a White and Black Church
22:20 Involvement in Politics
24:30 Raising Awareness in Younger People
26:00 A Long History of Involvement In Social Justice
28:30 Birthed Out of a Need for Social Justice and Action
30:30 The Congregation of St. James
35:00 How Would You Identify St. James
38:30 Leadership Demographics
44:00 White Flight and Neighborhood Churches
48:00 Disappointments with the Larger Church
54:00 Ivan Newton
60:00 Kansas City Police
65:00 Refocusing the Worship Effort


About This Podcast

The Faith and Race Podcast is designed to help faithful people host conversations about race, faith and the Church. Every episode has a specific focus to help listeners intentionally think about the intersection of history, institutions, scripture, prayer, race and justice. The audio recordings bring diverse insights and experiences into churches, homes, and hearts across Missouri and beyond.

“The Saints Before Us” is the theme and focus of season three of the Faith and Race Podcast. It draws on both Hebrews 11, and its description of the cloud of witnesses, and Ephesians 4 with its directive to equip saints for the work of ministry. The phrase “saints before us” invites listeners to consider the duality of its meaning: In that, the new season of the podcast focuses on Missouri’s Black United Methodist Churches and highlights both the work of the saints that came before us and offers an invitation to the saints currently before us to carry that legacy.