I know three things about the Hill District: it has a long history, is full of many churches, and is an African American community.
I attended Warren United Methodist Church, one of the many historic African American churches in the Hill District. On Sunday, July 12, 2015, we lifted our voices in praise to God. After the service, I met many of the members and visitors, some of whom I’d met many years ago. Many thanks to Don Blinn–the senior pastor, Arletta Williams–lay liturgist, and Emma Greene–former pastor for a warm welcome.
With Dr. Percy Reeves, pastor of Sanctuary
In this world where segregation and racism remains painfully strong, I often wonder about the desire by many for a diverse church where people of different ethnicities serve and worship together. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be part of just that church. Yet in reality getting to more diverse churches and worship remains an obstacle.
So in the interim, I often return to what is familiar to me: an African American church like Sanctuary Charlotte Church. In some ways, my experience there reflected traditional elements: call to worship, an offering, a sermon, and a benediction. These elements were clearly stated or alluded to.
Sanctuary Charlotte Church combined these traditional elements with contemporary worship creating something new. I experienced a joyous service in the African American tradition with call and response and vibrant music but in very modern ways. Technology abounded but enhanced rather than veiled the Word and worship.
Photos by Dianne Glave