The Black Church

The Black Church: Its Social, Spiritual, and Economic Impact

Our third topic of discussion focuses on the Black church and its affects the Black Community.

The 3 Questions

1. Is the Black church still the cornerstone of the Black Community?

2. Does the Black church have an impact on the morality of the Black Community?

3. Do you think the Black church is corrupt?


In many ways the Black Community owes its existence to the Black church and its leaders.  Always at the forefront of the march towards equality and citizenship in the United States, Black preachers were often the leaders of movements and the voice of reason when it came to what was considered right and fair in the eyes of all mankind.  However, with the passing of time, the once elevated position of being a Black preacher has been relegated to an afterthought for the more recent generation of Black youth.  The few that still have the attention of the Black Community have either been caught in scandal or spend time and resources struggling to stave off anything that may cause their reputations to become tarnished.  The Black Church has taken an even bigger hit, with less and less influence over its dwindling congregation, resulting in less of an impact on the entire Black Community.  Has the decline of the Black church helped in the destruction of Our community?

Please write in and response to our 3 poll questions or post some questions that you would like to see discussed.  These question and more will be addressed during the discussion found on YouTube beginning on  1/28/2014.  This video was filmed June 23, 2012.

The Black Church Part 1

The Black Church Part 2

The Black Church Part 3

6 thoughts on “The Black Church”

  1. 3 Answers:

    1. Not so much. I think individual experience is more so the cornerstone of the Black community. Blacks feel emotionally connected to the Black church because for many of us, that was our context from birth. We followed the traditions and teachings because we were indoctrinated during our formative years. However, for many of us, experience has provided new direction. Some of these experiences agree with the traditions and teachings we learned from the Black Church, while some do not. From my observation, many are choosing to allow their experiences to be their primary guide. In light of that, traditions and teachings learned from the Black Church are being reinterpreted or dismissed.

    2. Yes, it does, though it is in competition with other world views.

    3. No…and Yes. To determine if the Black Church is corrupt, I would first look to the Black Church leaders. Considering that, I rather say, “there are black church leaders who have made corrupt decisions.” Not all Black Church leaders are corrupt, so that distinction is important. Not all black people who ATTEND these churches are necessarily corrupt. Overall, in determining if the Black Church is corrupt, we need evidence. The first place one might look, is media coverage of popular Black Churches. However, what we see on TV isn’t full disclosure. Our perception COULD be off. Still, from my experience and observations from “within”, I do believe that corruption, especially when dealing with money, sexual practices, and “hate”, is the Black Church experience for many.

  2. I have an interesting view when it comes to church and religion anyway. But here are my short answers:

    1. Is the Black church still the cornerstone of the Black Community?
    To an extent. Church is a big deal for some, even those that just go on holidays.

    2. Does the Black church have an impact on the morality of the Black Community?

    3. Do you think the Black church is corrupt?
    YES. Not just the black church though, all of them. Most of it has gotten away from God and the Bible and is now focused on MAN and his opinions. Tradition is being misinterpreted as doctrine…

  3. I completely and wholeheartedly agree with Mike (post #1). Well stated.

    My personal sentiments: I grew up in the (black) church. I was very active and it was a huge part of my life. I currently don’t have a church home but I still attend church but not as regularly as I should. However, I do yearn for the (black) church that I knew and grew to love from yesteryears. Church has become big business – point blank. It’s completely lost its community appeal. As I visit churches in search for a church home I’m so thrown off by all the “extra”. Sunday morning service has become a big production. Black Christians appear to be in competition not only with themselves but with “the world” WRT fashion, music, swagger, etc. I believe the black church has lost a lot of creditability over the past few decades – due to various reasons (corruption, hypocrisy, condemnation, scandal, etc). Which goes to address to last two questions.

  4. 1. Is the Black church still the cornerstone of the Black Community?
    It’s unfortunate, but I believe that the more the black community “advances” in society, the further away we move from the church and religion. You might even notice this same trend in developing areas vs. more thriving areas of the country. Developing areas tend to rely more heavily on religion than other parts of country.

    2. Does the Black church have an impact on the morality of the Black Community?
    I believe so.

    3. Do you think the Black church is corrupt?
    Yes. The Black church along with other churches. I think people forget that church is a business. Sadly, it’s not just about saving souls. To get the most from your church, you have to read the Word for yourself, educate yourself, and stay focused on your ultimate goal.

  5. First I just want to say I think this an excellent topic.

    1. I think the idea of religion and the concept of the “Black Church” has always been, and will continue to be a cornerstone of the Black community. Growing up I not only was forced to go to church, but also to participate in the service as a member of the usher board. At the time I can remember wishing I was somewhere else, but looking back on it now, Sundays during service of one of the few times that the community I lived in got together as a whole to voice opinions and concerns. It also served as place where community service originated. I’m not trying to imply that my story of a small church orientated town is the template for Black America, but I think similar accounts of the church being the focal point of a community is not that uncommon in Black communities across the country. The Black Church is seen as a place that we can call our own and feel the freedom to express ourselves as we see it. The church and the leaders within have been overwhelmingly important to our struggles as a people from slavery to segregation. Monumental men such as Dr. King and Malcolm X developed a base following that gave rise to there message for unconditional freedom via the backbone of the Black Church. We need not forget that. It might be easy to dismiss the important role the Black Church plays in the generation of today partly because so many have strayed away from attending, but also because our current cadre of leadership emanating from the church. Important figures such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have personal shortcomings that have dampened their credibility and connection with the Black Church community as a whole. But I still contend that the Black Church remains a cornerstone of our community due to the shelter it provides for interaction and the universal idea that the Black Church can bring a certain sense of cohesion to us as black community as whole in the most turbulent of times.

    2. I think this is more of a generational question. For those in my generation and below I would have to say no. Just because we have no united struggle in which to use the church as forum to gauge our moral behavior off of. Our parents and especially our grandparents were apart of a struggle that was nation wide even if they didn’t actively participate in it….. the struggle for equal rights. We don’t have such a united front and I think for some, the link between church and the concept of moral/ethical behavior are as distant from their mind as jumping into a icy lake in the winter.

    3.No I dont.
    I think people in certain black churches take advantage of the the trust of the black church community…. a trust that they didn’t earn…. a trust that has taken both years and lives to develop. Its easy to walk into a “Mega Black Church” and say to yourself “wow!” Jumbotrons fill the rafters and expensive Lincoln town cars fill the preacher and his family’s designated parking spots. Obviously I’m joking, but you get the point. Some of these churches and pastors have earned items like these through hard work and they deserve their success. But we all know that there are still others out there that have chosen to scar the very community that has entrusted them and prey upon those that are only doing what the GOD and the bible have asked of them…even when they don’t really have it to give. This is obviously nothing new, as have seen this type of behavior time and time again. But it might be easy to place blame on the system at work here inside the Black Church, and not the individuals responsible such due to the seer about of fraud being commented. I caution against such an idea because the real victims in all of this is the Black Church community itself as they are the ones left behind to rebuild the trust and reputation of its congregation in the aftermath.

  6. 1. Is the Black church still the cornerstone of the Black Community?

    I would like to say that it is, but it’s not. Back in the day the Black church was one of the few places that a Black person could have a leadership position and have there opinions and true feelings voiced and expressed. However nowadays, I feel that the church has become more about politics, money, status, etc. I too feel that the leadership is extremely shallow and that we don’t have a MLK or a Medgar Evers that can standup for not only the Black Communities but for all the world. This decay has come as a result of less people going to church as well as the decay in morals by people who represent the church. Why would a non-believer want to go to church with people that they feel are hypocrites because they see no difference between the way they live and the way the church goer lives? This coupled with integration, which allowed Blacks the ability to rise a little higher than just speaking for the Black Community from the Trustees Board or the pulpit, has not only turned the Black church into a punchline but has also help destroy the Black Community as a whole.

    2. Does the Black church have an impact on the morality of the Black Community?

    I believe that the morality of the Black Church goes hand and hand with the Black Community. When the Black church was the cornerstone of the Black Community and was making moral stances based on both the Word of God and humanity, Black people did damn near the impossible by giving white folks a conscious. At least enough of one to make politicians enact laws. However as our moral stance became more and more Americanized and individualized, opposed to the it takes a village ancestry that we came from, the more making money became more important than helping your brother or sister or community. This has not happened in a vacuum but rather in every phase of life within the Black Community. Which includes one of the biggest casualties of this attitude, the Black church.

    3. Do you think the Black church is corrupt?

    I believe that the religious aspects of the Black church are corrupt but not the spiritual aspect. Religion is the man made rituals and the over emphasized and under analyzed aspects of the Good Book. For example, how some of these preachers will try to influence the way their congregation votes by bringing in their own political views to their message and then quote a verse that highlights how the pastor is the shepherd and the congregation is the flock and that they need to support them even if they personally disagree with their interpretation. However, I believe that the spiritual aspect is still in the right place for the most part. All preachers aren’t Eddie Long or Pastor Manning and not all aspire to be on television or drive fancy cars. Some still do serve their community through prayer and action.

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