Unity: a history of race and the American Church and one woman’s story of moving from the old paradigm towards the new – Nicole Dickens

“11 am Sunday mornings is the most segregated time in America”
Martin Luther King, Jr., 1960
“11 am Sunday mornings is STILL the most segregated time in America”
Condoleezza Rice, 2017
Unity is something God expects of His Church. It is bred out of holiness – another thing He expects of His Church. Yet we, the Church of America, fall painfully short of this end goal largely due to a history of which we aren’t even aware. As the saying goes, “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.
Compelled to see the Spirit of Unity overtake my Church, my people, and my nation, I have been burdened with the desire to understand what it is that truly divides us – the Church in America – for the purposes of overcoming it. What I’ve found thus far has been surprising, shocking and disheartening. I realize I have spent a good portion of my life unconsciously living out of the paradigms of brokenness within the American church. Yet this same journey of discovery has filled me with HOPE that the Church in America, my Church, can and will overcome that which divides us. I would like to humbly share with you my discovery – both personal and collective – as a step towards unity; We cannot overcome what we cannot name. If the Church in America does not move towards unity, it will be impossible for the nation to do so.
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