A few weeks ago, we attended Sunday morning church service at United Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church. This is a small, pre-dominantly African American church in South Winston. What led our new church plant, City Park Church and our core team to attend here today is what God has divinely put together in the past few weeks. A member of our core team, Nadia, mentioned to our pastor (Toby) that she was the personal assistant to the previous campaign manager of the mayor in Winston-Salem. She thought he would be someone who might be helpful in giving us ideas on how to serve the people in the “pocket of lostness” of the Acadia area. Toby quickly arranged to meet this man, excited at the possibility of knowing an insider of the community, a figurehead, a “gatekeeper.” After all, what better way to reach the community we planned to serve, than to know someone who knew it best. As Toby entered the building to meet with Mr. Shaw, he was pleasantly surprised when the man immediately asked Toby what he could do for him. Shocked, Toby humbly and honestly told him he needed a building for the new church plant to have a place of worship. Within seconds, Mr. Shaw was on the phone, arranging a meeting to have Toby meet with his pastor about the church building he himself worshiped in on Sunday mornings. What an answer to prayer that has been.
A relationship has begun between the pastor of this church and Toby and the conversations that have occurred have been a beautiful demonstration of the grace and love of Jesus Christ. It is exciting to think about all the possibilities that God could do with a partnership of an African American church and City Park Church. As Pastor Anthony quoted Reverend Martin Luther King this past Sunday, “the greatest place of division is found at 11am on a Sunday morning,” referring to the divide between the races found in churches today. We tend to associate and even worship with only those who look like us. One of City Park Church values is to be a multi-cultural church in hopes of reaching all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. After all Jesus did say, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Acts 1:8).
We had the privilege of participating in a worship service at UCMBC where culture and color was set aside and hands and hearts were joined together. The music was joyful and the word of God was boldly exclaimed. Differences were put aside and unity of believers, friends and family came together with the common purpose of worshiping the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ. The service followed with a delicious southern Sunday meal of fried catfish and chicken, and all the “fixins.” Conversations and fellowship were held in the fellowship room as well as the upstairs and downstairs classrooms of the church. Everyone left with full bellies and hearts that were even more full.
We praise God for the blessing of new friends, a Pastor, and Church who are already reaching the community of South Winston. We look forward to deepening our friendship and partnering with them to further the Gospel and kingdom of our Lord.