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From the editor: About our recent coverage of racial issues in Churches of Christ


If my inbox is any indication, some Christians — particularly White ones — think we talk too much about race.

“Please cancel my subscription. I’m tired of your racially divisive articles,” one reader said in a recent email. “Get back to the TRUTH. There is only one race, human. Your publication has become too racist for me and my family.”

That writer did not cite a specific story.

We will not allow a few naysayers to deter us from reporting on important dialogue in our fellowship concerning racial reconciliation.

However, the note came as the June edition of The Christian Chronicle — featuring in-depth news coverage and an editorial related to the first anniversary of George Floyd’s killing — arrived in mailboxes.

Certainly, I welcome thoughtful feedback on the Chronicle’s content decisions. Our small staff of dedicated Christians does its best to honor the Lord in our journalism, but we are not perfect. Far from it, actually.

At the same time, we will not allow a few naysayers to deter us from reporting on important dialogue in our fellowship concerning racial reconciliation.

That dialogue is what brought me to the Broken Arrow Church of Christ, about 15 miles southeast of Tulsa, Okla., last Sunday.

Before the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, I emailed Tim Pyles, the Broken Arrow preacher. I was curious if he knew about any massacre-related news involving Churches of Christ.

Reluctantly, Pyles responded that his church, which is mostly White, planned to host a joint service with the North Sheridan Church of Christ, which is majority Black.

“We really haven’t promoted this as a ‘thing,’ if you know what I mean, because I really just wanted it to happen naturally and comfortably,” he told me.

In other words, they weren’t doing it to draw attention to themselves.

They were doing it to bring glory to God.

Ministers Tim Luster, left, and Tim Pyle pray at a joint assembly of their Tulsa-area congregations.

Ministers Tim Luster, left, and Tim Pyles pray at a joint assembly of their Tulsa-area congregations.

That’s the kind of news we like to cover, and I appreciate Pyles and North Sheridan minister Tim Luster responding favorably to my decision to write about it. 

I pray that most readers will value our reporting, too. (Read the Broken Arrow story.)

Erik Tryggestad, the Chronicle’s president and CEO, notes that not all the response to our recent coverage has been negative. In fact, our nonprofit publication added a few new subscribers, he said, “and our donors have been very generous — especially recently.” 

Praise God for that!

BOBBY ROSS JR. is Editor-in-Chief of The Christian Chronicle. Reach him at [email protected].

 

Filed under: editor's note George Floyd Inside Story National Opinion Race race and church Race relations racial reconciliation Racial reconciliation and the church Top Stories Tulsa Tulsa Race Massacre

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