A Black Lives Matter activist and pastor plans to establish a new Christian denomination in the City of Brotherly Love: the Church for Black Men.
Pastor Jomo Kenyatta Johnson says it’s time for Christians — specifically black men of faith — to fuse their personal politics and spirituality. The activist, who currently lives in Georgia, aims to do just that by launching the Church for Black Men in Philadelphia.
“Most evangelical churches won’t speak on political issues because they are tax-exempt or will cause division,” Mr. Johnsontold the Philadelphia Tribune on Friday. “Churches that don’t speak on Black suffering will not attract Black men that want to address Black suffering. We want to address Black suffering so we can point to the truth on how the suffering can be alleviated.”
The pastor’s plan is to hold the church’s first services in February in Montgomery, Alabama, until logistical details are finalized, while Johnson also plans to roll out services in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., according to reports. The services will be held in homes, as the church will not be taking offerings from congregants and will not be tax exempt.
“The first would be self-identity. [And] for them to realize how valuable they are to God, that they don’t have to conform to American Christianity, that we can be unapologetically Black and spiritual at the same time,” Johnson said of what he hopes black men walk away with at the church.
Marvin Morris, a coordinator in Washington, D.C., agreed.
“There is a need for Black men to develop their sense of identity in Christ,” said Morris. “There is a great deficit oftentimes of Black men fulfilling their destiny and walking in their purpose.
The transformative message of the Gospel is what Black men need in order to embrace their God given power to live above circumstance,” he said.
For interested organizers, training for church hosts begins Jan. 3.