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Old Posted Jan 29, 2017, 3:22 AM
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Oakland’s black churches struggle as African Americans leave

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Originally Posted by Laura Newberry
From the sound flowing from Beth Eden Baptist Church in West Oakland when the congregation and gospel choir join in a joyful crescendo, a passerby could be fooled into thinking the pews inside are packed.

But on a recent Sunday morning, that sound was being made by fewer than 50 people in a church that can comfortably seat 400. And less than a decade ago, it did. Longtime congregants recall the days when people spilled into the aisles.

“When I was a kid, you couldn’t even find street parking on Sundays if you didn’t get here before a certain time,” said Aisha Jordan, 39, whose grandparents began attending Oakland’s oldest African American Baptist church in 1941.

Beth Eden isn’t the only predominantly black church in West Oakland where attendance is dwindling, and Jordan’s story helps explain why. The Oakland native has watched lifelong friends disappear from the church at 10th and Adeline streets after leaving for less-pricey locales such as Antioch, Pittsburg, Stockton and Sacramento. Six years ago, she left too, landing in Novato after living in San Francisco for a bit.

The departures are part of a transformation of neighborhoods that were once nearly all-black. In 1980, Oakland’s African American population numbered 159,000, or 47 percent of the city’s total. Thirty years later, it had shrunk to 109,000 — 28 percent.

Some of those who left town try to maintain a connection to their old churches, making it to perhaps one or two services a month. However, that’s not enough to maintain the financial foundation of churches that rely on tithes and offerings for their survival.

Aida Carpenter (left) during church service at Beth Eden Baptist Church in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, November 27, 2016.
Photo: Scott Strazzante, The Chronicle

Source: http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/a...n-10828939.php
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2017, 3:32 AM
lio45 lio45 is offline
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Out of curiosity... would a non-black Baptist church typically refuse to accept a new faithful and enthusiastic worshipper/parishioner due strictly only to that new person happening to be black?

(Genuine question; and if the answer is "no, of course not" then why do we even need "black" churches nowadays?)
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2017, 4:55 AM
Ant131531 Ant131531 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Out of curiosity... would a non-black Baptist church typically refuse to accept a new faithful and enthusiastic worshipper/parishioner due strictly only to that new person happening to be black?

(Genuine question; and if the answer is "no, of course not" then why do we even need "black" churches nowadays?)
To be fair, African American churches generally have a different way of worshipping than regular white American churches..... More active/gospel like.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2017, 5:10 AM
mt_climber13 mt_climber13 is offline
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They should be spending more time in school and higher education. Church teaches hate( if not explicitly, which many certainly do, then always implicitly). Divvying up into groups of dogmatic beliefs always leads to bad results for humanity.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2017, 6:20 AM
ChargerCarl ChargerCarl is offline
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Originally Posted by wakamesalad View Post
They should be spending more time in school and higher education. Church teaches hate( if not explicitly, which many certainly do, then always implicitly). Divvying up into groups of dogmatic beliefs always leads to bad results for humanity.
...no
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2017, 6:44 AM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is online now
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This thread won't be on this board long. Skybar, here we come.

As for lio45, it's with anything in life, you can show up but be looked at as an outsider. If I visited up in Saudi Arabia or Japan, I'd expect mistrust and stares. You can call it racism or natural behavior.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2017, 7:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Ant131531 View Post
To be fair, African American churches generally have a different way of worshipping than regular white American churches..... More active/gospel like.
MLK remarked that the US was most segregated on Sunday mornings when everyone was at church. There was a moment in the 70s where integrating churches was a big priority. This would lead to the rise of Billy Graham but it also lead to the rise of Jim Jones' ministry.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2017, 7:41 PM
mhays mhays is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Out of curiosity... would a non-black Baptist church typically refuse to accept a new faithful and enthusiastic worshipper/parishioner due strictly only to that new person happening to be black?

(Genuine question; and if the answer is "no, of course not" then why do we even need "black" churches nowadays?)
A black friend brought me to his church once, as a white guy. It was a very welcoming experience. This was an area that was early in the same demographic shift the article talks about (long ago). I'm a total non-believer, but while not saying that of course, my sense was people wanted me to join up forever.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2017, 8:18 PM
pico44 pico44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wakamesalad View Post
They should be spending more time in school and higher education. Church teaches hate( if not explicitly, which many certainly do, then always implicitly). Divvying up into groups of dogmatic beliefs always leads to bad results for humanity.

Insane. If it weren't for religion we'd still be hunting muskrats and fighting off neighbors with clubs.

Stop being an idiot
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2017, 5:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wakamesalad View Post
They should be spending more time in school and higher education. Church teaches hate( if not explicitly, which many certainly do, then always implicitly). Divvying up into groups of dogmatic beliefs always leads to bad results for humanity.

Blanket statement.....Yes, many churches do promote doctrine that's perceived as hateful, but there are many churches out there that also promote progressive/liberal values. Not as many as I'd like to see, but they're out there.
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Old Posted Feb 19, 2017, 7:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Out of curiosity... would a non-black Baptist church typically refuse to accept a new faithful and enthusiastic worshipper/parishioner due strictly only to that new person happening to be black?

(Genuine question; and if the answer is "no, of course not" then why do we even need "black" churches nowadays?)
Most white Baptist Churches belong to the Southern Baptist Convention, I believe, and that organization was founded on a pro-slavery platform in 1845. It does not officially preach segregation today, but because of its history few black Baptists are very interested in attending its churches. In general, because of its history as a southern institution, the Baptist church both has a lot of black members AND has a history of more racial division and segregation than other denominations.

Why do "we" need black churches? If you were black you'd probably know the answer. If you aren't, as I am not, "we" need to surmise that black people feel more welcomed and comfortable worshipping with people like themselves and their desire to do so is enough reason to provide a place they can. On the other hand, as some have pointed out, there are people on both sides of the racial divide who feel comfortable worshipping in diverse groups and for them there are churches as well, certainly in the Bay Area which is home to a premier example, Glide Memorial Church which has a famous black pastor but is attended by many whites and blacks.
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