‘Without the Black church, we can’t express ourselves’: Church leaders talk the importance of the Black church
TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - As a believer of Jesus Christ, when you think of Black history some may think of the Black church. A place of worship, and a place of fellowship that slaves used as their safe haven in a time of despair.
According to a Harvard study, the Black church and Christianity were influences for Black people in leadership roles.
The Black church has nothing to do with color but everything to do with culture and tradition.
Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, the first Black church in Tifton, began in 1873 — just 10 years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Shiloh’s founders were either brought to Tifton or were enticed to come because of the lucrative saw milling industry that was being developed here.
According to research, the Black church was born out of protest and revolutionary reaction to racism in Philadelphia in 1787.
Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church is under the leadership of Senior Pastor Randolph Porter.
“Without the Black church, we can’t express ourselves. It is the heartbeat of the black community and it’s been that way traditionally since we came over here on slaves’ ships,” Porter said.
Songs like the Negro National Anthem is a pledge of unity. Porter said although the hymn was written in 1900, it’s still used in the Black community today.
“We can hum to ourselves when the bills are high and the problems are low and the pressures of the world are around us. We can hum them in our hearts, we can hum them in our minds,” Porter said.
Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church is the foundation for other churches in Tifton.
Through their outreach ministries and community involvement, Porter said they will continue to always hold their traditions to a high standard.
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