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2 churches spread 1 message of unity

2 churches spread 1 message of unity
2 churches spread 1 message of unity
Posted at 3:15 AM, Oct 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-15 23:18:56-04

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Two  local churches are coming together in hopes of creating change in Montgomery and, on a larger scale, the world.

Church leaders from Landmark Church and Southside Church of Christ hosted a unity worship event with both congregations. The goal was to bring together people of different backgrounds in hopes of breaking down barriers of difference and finding common ground. 

“We’re a predominately white church and Southside is a predominately black church – we both have some mixture – but we’ve begun to partner together around our town. We think the most important thing we can do is worship and pray together,” said Buddy Bell, minister at Landmark Church.

During the event, members of both churches sat together in small groups to pray and worship. Leaders at both churches say they feel like it’s time for the church to step in and bring people together. 

“We believe that Jesus is the greatest unifier of all time. We find that if people can be unified in him then regardless of ethnicity, regardless of cultural backgrounds - we can find unity together,” said Tim Anderson, Jr., pastor at Southside Church of Christ.

Members of both churches say division in the city, state and country is at its peak,

“I’m 52 years old. I’ve never seen this type of division in my entire life and I was born during the civil rights movement,” said Ron Simmons, Project 1 Coordinator at Southside Church of Christ.

“The church is splintered. The church often mirrors the world around us. We want that to stop,” said Wes Kohring, Connections Minister at Landmark Church.

Both congregations recognize the rich and at time painful parts of Montgomery's history,

“When you go to the capitol and you stand on those steps – up the steps is a star where Jefferson Davis took the oath of office in the Confederacy. Right there in that place is where George Wallace said segregation now and forever. Right at the bottom, they wouldn’t let him on the steps, was where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke after the Selma to Montgomery march. We believe right outside the capitol there is a lot of history. When you look at the division in our world, we believe the answer is Jesus,” said Bell.

And just as Montgomery helped spur change in the past – they hope the event starts another wave,

“When you think about the civil rights movement and all the history – it took a concerted and intentional effort for people of all ethnicities, all races, to come together. We need to do that today,” said Simmons.

“It’s bigger than Southside and Landmark. I see people across our community wanting Montgomery to be the place where history changed again,” said Bell.

Both churches have held unity events on a smaller scale. This is the first joint worship service at the capital.

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