• 55°

Ministers issue challenge for change in Rowan County

By the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship of  Rowan County

To the community of Salisbury and Rowan County, we the Interdenominational Ministerial Fellowship (IMF) greet you in the love of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. 

It is the providence of God that has our community, country and the entire globe considering what each of us individually and collectively will do to defeat the evils of racism and other injustices.

As cries for justice, fairness, equity, equality and reform powerfully reverberate in the streets of cities locally, statewide, nationwide and worldwide, we are taking an uncompromising stand against racial oppression and injustice.

We’ve seen and experienced the ungodly and unbiblical injustices that have permeated the lives of people of color with the beginning of “explorations” that displaced the original natives of this land — to the forced deportation of enslaved Africans to this land beginning in 1619. 

In the last few weeks, our nation has experienced a wave of grief and shock due to the murder of George Floyd. This senseless death ripped the scab off a wound that needs surgery not a Band-Aid.

Enough has been enough for a long time.

We believe and know that God is concerned and vocal about social justice. 

Throughout scripture, social justice was central to the prophets and to the gospel ministry of Jesus.

Jesus denounced injustice, ministered to the destitute, empowered the meek, and gave voice to the forgotten. 

Systematic racism and inequality must be admitted, acknowledged and addressed in our nation and indeed the world. Denial is no longer acceptable.

This country was built on racism and it is time to rebuild it with love, equality and justice for all. Love must cancel out hate. We must treat every human being with dignity and respect. As Jesus says in Mark 12:31, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We have to stop seeing people as black or white, Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, Catholic or Protestant.” For we are one and precious in the sight of Jesus.

We challenge ourselves, as the IMF, and others in the faith community to stand on the front lines of fighting for change and setting things right. We stand with this community and the nation to root out racism and seek social justice at every level; we believe that we can overcome it.

It is with these understandings and our knowledge about the plight of the people who are impacted by social injustice that we will: 

• Bear witness to the Gospel that unequivocally proclaims social justice for the beloved humanity of God.

• Educate people about the underlying structures of systemic racism, especially educational, health care, judicial, economic, religious, civic and governmental systems.

• Teach truth and empower lovers of God’s social justice to move beyond passive support and become active allies of black and brown people.

• Call for accountability and responsibility by refusing to accept indifference (“It’s not my problem”), claims of innocence (“I’m not a racist”), denial of responsibility (“I don’t see color”), minimizing the issue (“All lives matter”), and/or deliberate helplessness (“There’s nothing I can do”). 

• Work across denominational/religious lines, racial lines, cultural lines, economic lines, political lines and communal lines by standing in solidarity with, lifting the hopes for, and amplifying the voices of Black and brown people who have experienced suffering, pain and violence. In other words, all who endeavor to secure justice, liberty, life, and wholeness.

We believe that if each person can be held accountable for their actions and their own heart’s content, we can begin to heal all of the community of Salisbury, Rowan County and all other areas affected through our actions and prayers as well as be an example for others to follow.  We do believe that “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

Sincerely, The IMF of Rowan County, NC Inc. Churches:

• Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Rickey Johnson.

• Solid Rock Church of God, Pastor Samuel Washington.

• Word of Life Family Worship Center, Pastor Martha Starks.

• Progressive Outreach Ministry Park, Pastor Nasby Mills Jr.

• Dorsett United Church of Christ, Pastor Rick Galloway. 

• New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Vincent Patrick Jones.

•Fairview Heights Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Clarence Marlin.

• Mt Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Nilous Avery.

• Faith Temple Triumphant Ministries, Pastor Henry Diggs.

• At The Cross Ministries, Pastor Debra Ellison.

• First Calvary Baptist Church, Pastor Leamon Brown.

• Mission House, Pastor Anthony Smith.

• Mt Calvary Holy Church, Pastor Eric Susong.

Comments

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs

Columns

Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers

Business

Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class

Sports

Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow

Nation/World

States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

Nation/World

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

News

NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time