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Mighty Like a RiverThe Black Church and Social Reform$
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Andrew Billingsley

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161793

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161793.001.0001

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Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian

Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian

(p.170) 13 Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian
Mighty Like a River

Andrew Billingsley

Oxford University Press

Visitors to the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago are likely to be struck by the appearance of a beautiful oil painting that hangs in the vestibule. The sign underneath the painting reads, “We Are Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian”. The painting, the slogan, and their prominent placement in the church indicate that this church has boldly confronted one of the four major challenges confronting the church today, namely, how to be authentically black and authentically Christian at the same time. The ten elements of a black value system were adopted by the congregation with the admonition. Eight specific elements of a dynamic black worship program are discussed, namely bringing the message, making a joyful noise, experiencing the Holy Ghost, spirited prayer life, engaging Christian education, a faithful set of auxiliaries, especially usher boards, a sustained pattern of financial giving and expanding program of benevolence.

Keywords:   Trinity United Church of Christ, Christian, black value system, black worship program, Chicago

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