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White, black churches in Georgia join to ‘Feed the Hungry’

In racially divided Augusta, Ga., two predominantly white and three mostly black Churches of Christ came together to feed the needy.
 The coalition of churches — Central, South Augusta, Grace Street, D’Antignac Street and Meadowbrook Drive — served more than 1,000 people in a recent event called “Feed the Hungry.”
“It was one of the more beautiful examples of cooperation I think I’ve ever been a part of,” Central minister Scott Patterson said.
However, the most significant thing about the event was not the number of people who received a hot meal, said Johnny Kinsey, a Grace Street deacon and a key organizer.
“The main thing is seeing people work together,” Kinsey said. “That is the key.”
Organizers said the congregations not only overcame doctrinal divisions in planning the event but also worked against a backdrop of racial tension in Augusta.
It’s a city of 200,000 that 63 percent of residents believe is racially divided, according to a survey by the Augusta Chronicle newspaper.
“The city council is always at war, and most of the time it has to do with issues that are over race, or at least, there’s kind of an undercurrent of race,” Patterson said.
Despite the racial tension in the city, organizers hope the event will continue to serve as a unifying force. “I think this is something that can help us all work together for a common goal,” Kinsey said.
The coalition hopes to repeat the event again next year and expects to have three more churches involved, ministers said.
“The goal is to get every Church of Christ here together and working, maybe have a worship service together one day,” Patterson said.
Church leaders plan to meet in January to discuss plans for future cooperative projects.
“Our aim is to continue to progress in a unified way, to accomplish many other things in 2008 and beyond,” D’Antignac Street minister Roland Cumbee said. “So, hopefully, this is the starting point for many other cooperative projects that we’ll do.”

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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