In Trayvon Martin case, racial divide runs through churches, too

The Orlando Sentinel reports Sanford, Florida’s churches have come to see how they have been divided by race in the wake of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case, and how leaders of those congregations have responded in dialogue with one another and with civic leaders as they call for healing.

Pastors on both sides — black and white — agree on some things. One is that God has a hand in what is going on and is using Sanford to uncover problems that exist in every city. The second is that for the death of Trayvon to become a transformative event for Sanford’s race relations, it must start with the churches.

“We know if there is no unity within us, you won’t see it in the community,” said Pastor Harlan Walker, senior pastor of Word of Faith Ministries in Sanford.

Sanford finds itself in the unwelcome spotlight of a nation watching it work through the problems of race common in every city. It is both unique and ordinary.

“Sanford is a microcosm for America,” said Father Rory Harris, rector of Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Sanford. “We are a broken community, and we need to step forward to show spiritual leadership.”


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