04 October 2005

reformed african-americans

This looks interesting: Reformed Blacks of America. Given the sometimes mixed history of Reformed and Presbyterian churches in America in relation to the African-American community, it is good to see a growing presence of blacks in Reformed churches.

Among the churches listed at this website is Christ Liberation Fellowship (CLF) here in Philadelphia, a church that is a daughter congregation to the church where we are members. CLF is pastored by the Rev. Lance Lewis, who my wife thinks is "the bee's knees" (her wording), starting from the time she attended a Sunday School class he co-led with Kevin Smith (who now pastors Mt. Zion Covenant Church outside of DC). Lance's ministry was one of the main reasons Laurel remained at Tenth, particularly his way of taking a Reformed understanding of Scripture and putting into real lived practice.

Xavier Pickett who co-founded the "Reformed Blacks of America" organization and website is apparently a seminary intern, attending Westminster Seminary, and a theology team ministry leader at Christ Liberation Fellowship.

This website also puts me in mind of a book we added to the church library in the past year or so, entitled Being Black and Reformed: A New Perspective on the African-American Christian Experience by Anthony J. Carter (P&R 2003). Carter is the founder of Cyrene Ministries, which began as the Black Alliance for Reformed Theology and exists to carry the doctrines of grace as understood within the Reformed tradition into African-American cultural contexts. I've only skimmed over the book before we added to the library, but it came highly recommended and we've received positive feedback from those who have borrowed and read it. Carter has a blog called "Non Nobis Domine."

I look forward to seeing the ongoing fruits of these exciting ministries.