Podcast hosts Rev. Sharon Williams, Rev. Russell Ewell and Rev. Fabian Gonzalez discuss some of the things they learned as they interviewed members of the historic Black churches of the Missouri Conference throughout this season.
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.
St. Louis, Missouri. Union Memorial was founded in 1846 on three foundations: Love which is a God-given light from heaven, a spark of that immortal fire which angels share. Faith which binds us to the infinite. Hope, the balm and life-blood of the soul. Union Memorial is unique in many ways, such as hosting W.E.B. Du Bois in 1913 and being the second largest structure of its kind in the United States (a hyperbolic paraboloid shell). The congregation at Union Memorial has a long, proud heritage of community-based social justice.
Kansas City, Missouri. In 1907, Asbury Chapel and Burn Chapel consolidated to form one church: Centennial Methodist Episcopal Church. In this episode, Rev. Jason Bryles (Centennial’s pastor since July 2016), Paula King (member since 1962), Ramada Davis (member for 48 years) and Donald Rogerson (member for 70 years) discuss Centennial United Methodist Church’s the history and influence on its community — beginning at its founding, continuing through the civil rights movement and into today.
St. Louis, Missouri. After the 1917 East St. Louis Race Riots in Illinois, much of East St. Louis’s Black population fled the death and destruction and sought new economic opportunities across the river into St. Louis, Missouri. This birthed a new Methodist congregation under Rev. Martin Luther Jackson at Good Samaritan Methodist Episocopal Church. The goal was peace and shelter in a new urban environment. Despite hardships, the congregation is still alive today. Listen in as Pastor Ivan James and longtime church members discuss the life, times and legacy of Samaritan UMC.
Pitt's Chapel is a testament to strength in adversity: beginning in times of slavery, through the lynchings of innocent Black men and the subsequent shift that brought Springfield from a population that was 25% Black to the under 5% it is today. Current pastor Rev. Tracey Wolff, Kim Jones, John Huddleston and Charlotte Hardin talk through the history of Pitt's Chapel from its onset through tragedy and onward during the civil rights movement into today.
“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.
The Faith and Race Podcast is designed to help faithful people of all colors host constructive dialogue about faith, race, and the church. Every episode has a specific focus to help us intentionally think about the intersection of history, institutions, scripture, prayer, race, and justice. The audio recordings will bring diverse insights and experiences into churches, homes, and hearts across Missouri and beyond.
In this episode, we listen to a live panel with Revs. Will Willimon and Willis Johnson. Rev. Will Willimon is the former dean of the chapel at Duke University. Rev. Willis Johnson was the pastor of Wellspring Church in Ferguson when Michael Brown was killed by the police and for the uprisings that followed.