An African-American Pastor, A White Church, And A Growing Latino Population Have Come Together

Crawford & Karen Loritts

Today, Tony Morgan wrote an incredible post entitled This Church Doesn’t Want Black Members.  Tony tells the story of a church staff member who was dismissed for baptizing African-American children in a Caucasian congregation.  This has rightfully produced a significant amount of outrage on his site.  It will make you sick.

I would like to contrast that incredibly misguided and overtly racist decision with what I experienced at church this weekend.  But first, a little background.

I attend the wonderful Fellowship Bible Church located just north of Atlanta in Roswell, GA.  We have historically been your classic suburban “white church”.    However, in 2005 a forward-thinking group of elders hired the incredible Crawford Loritts as Senior Pastor.  Crawford is pictured here with his wife Karen.

Crawford, being African-American, followed God’s leading to shepherd our white congregation.   I deeply love this man and it is a joy to sit under him each week.  Not surprisingly, our church has become more and more culturally diverse…and we could not be happier.

Recently in a continued effort to reach our changing community, our church launched Que Fellowship en Espanol which is dedicated to reaching the growing Latino community for Christ.  This ministry is exploding and has already grown to two services. 

As a result of Crawford’s leadership and the intentional acts of service designed to build bridges to different races, I would now estimate our congregation is about 65-70% Caucasian.  I pray that number continues to drop.

This past weekend was a wonderful celebration of what God has done in this area.  Nothing unites people for Kingdom purpose like baptism services.  Here is who was baptized in the first service alone:

  • One African-American Child
  • Two Caucasian Adults 
  • Two Latino Adults
  • Two Additional Caucasian Children

What a picture of contrast to the church Tony was forced to bring to our attention.  Children, Adults, and multiple races all entered the waters of baptism in a single service.  I love my church for many reasons but mainly because it loves all types of people, including a white guy like me.

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

7 Responses to “An African-American Pastor, A White Church, And A Growing Latino Population Have Come Together”

  1. I heard Crawford Lorirts about 20 years ago at a Family Life Conference. He brought and I’m sure still brings a powerful message of family legacy and the impact faith in Christ brings to transform marriages, cultures and community. He is definitely an MVP pastor!

  2. Thanks for the post Brian. I passed this on to Rudy Rasmus, a pastor friend in Houston, along with Tony’s post. We need good examples of African-American leadership in multi-cultural settings.

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  1. An African-American Pastor, A White Church, And A Growing Latino … « Feeds « Church Leadership - 07/13/2011

    […] the whole article here: An African-American Pastor, A White Church, And A Growing Latino … church leadership, leadership, tony […]

  2. Today’s Links | Nubian Stylez - 05/17/2011

    […] An African-American Pastor, A White Church, And A Growing Latino … Crawford, being African-American, followed God’s leading to shepherd our white congregation. I deeply love this man and it is a joy to sit under him each week. Not surprisingly, our church has become more and more culturally diverse…and … […]

  3. BlackPrideNetwork » Blog Archive » An African-American Pastor, A White Church, And A Growing Latino … - 05/17/2011

    […] 05/17/2011 by Brian Dodd on Leadership 0 Comments […]

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