50 Years: Racial Reconciliation and the Church
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FORT WORTH, Texas — A poignant moment at the recent third annual “Unity” areawide worship gathering came when a combined chorus sang.
The Lubbock Christian University chorus joined with the Fort Worth-areawide unity chorus to sing “Let It Rise,” Botham Jean’s favorite hymn, and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.” Sammie L. Berry, minister of the Dallas West Church of Christ, Jean’s home church, offered a few words of encouragement in memory of the Harding University alumnus and led a special prayer for racial unity.
Jean, 26, a native of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, was shot to death in his own apartment Sept. 6. His high-profile death refocused national attention on police shootings of unarmed black males by white police officers.
An estimated 1,200 to 1,400 Christians attended the racial unity event organized by Fort Worth-area congregations, Southside Church of Christ minister Steve Cloer said.
“Around 40 to 50 participants led the worship service that was primarily songs, Scriptures and prayers across racial unity lines,” Cloer said. “This was done in English and Spanish.”
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