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Racism

In the 1960’s the church deacon board mobilized lookout squads, and on Sundays these took turns patrolling the entrances lest any black “troublemakers” try to integrate us. I still have one of the cards the deacons printed up to give to any civil rights demonstrators who might appear:

Believing the motives of your group to be ulterior and foreign to the teaching of God’s word, we cannot extend a welcome to you and respectfully request you to leave the premises quietly. Scripture does NOT teach “the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God.” He is the Creator of all, but only the Father of those who have been regenerated. If any one of you is here with a sincere desire to know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, we shall be glad to deal individually with you from the Word of God. (Unanimous Statement of Pastor and Deacons, August 1960)

When Congress passed the Civil Rights Acts, our church founded a private school as a haven for whites, expressly barring all black students. A few “liberal” members left the church in protest when the kindergarten turned down the daughter of a black Bible professor, but most of us approved of the decision. A year later the church board rejected a Carver Bible Institute student for membership (his name was Tony Evans).

Phillip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace, Zondervan, 1977, p. 131