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Old 05-08-2011, 09:03 PM
 
104 posts, read 105,904 times
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Hello Everyone!

I have a question that I have yet to see addressed on this forum! I know a couple of us have multiracial/interracial families and are constantly looking for a church that is not only diverse in congregation but diverse in leadership as well (not just the music/nursery pastor)!

Many of us know it can be a frustrating experience. Some of us have adopted children from Haiti, Africa, and Latin America and we want to feel that not only us but our children have the ability to relate to the leadership of our church and feel they can fit in anywhere without invisible barriers.

I find that churches in Northeast/west Houston can be highly segregated...and even if it is diverse the pastoral leadership does not reflect any true diversity!

I would like to know if there are churches in Spring and Humble, TX that reflect TRUE diversity (minority/interracial lead pastors) with a diverse congregation?

Or perhaps someone could recommend a church with Black, Asian or Hispanic pastor with a diverse congregation.

Btw, we dont mind venturing further out of the area! As long as the church is heavily bible based and a true reflection of the Body of Christ.

Last edited by Lauren_Ashley; 05-08-2011 at 09:29 PM..
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:24 PM
 
104 posts, read 105,904 times
Reputation: 39
Forgot to mention, but I have yet to see a church led by an interracial couple which truly blows my mind considering that Houston has so much diversity? Is there such a church in Houston? Why is it so uncommon?

I know I sound terribly focused on the makeup of the church. The exterior makeup is truly not that important...but Houston is so large and sometimes it is hard to know these things unless you reach out to others and ask.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:33 PM
 
5,457 posts, read 12,669,089 times
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Default Hmmm.....

I've never heard, or have been to a church that was segrated. Churches are not like that, people are.

I remember when I first moved to Houston in 1980, I was working an evening shift and going to school full time. I used to sit alone in the company cafeteria, way at the back because I studied, did homework on my lunch hour which happened to be at ~8:30, I remember because I used to see the fireworks at Astroworld out of the windows.

There was always a large group of African Americans who would all congregate and eat lunch together at the back as well, close to me. I used to overhear their conversations, sometimes they'd even talk to me and pick on me, but in a fun way.

This lasted about two years, and their conversations were similar to any water-cooler conversations I've heard in all my years at the office. When it came to race, however, they did complain about white people, but not in an offensive, or ugly way. 'So and so does not like me because I'm black', or the managers don't care about us, that is why we work this shift', or 'I never feel comfortable at the happy hours', etc. A myriad of innocuous complaints.

Anyway, that was it; it was never too mean, or hateful. But looking back at all those years, I once realized that as much as they complained about a perception of racism, or segregation, it was they who segrated themselves from everyone else. They never wanted to sit anywhere else in the cafeteria where "white" people were. They did not go to the happy hours for what ever reason.

What does this have to do with Church? Nothing. But looking for a "diverse" church to avoid segration where it does not exist is wanting to be segregated. Most congregations reflect the population that live close by, except for mega churches where people come from all over to feel good. Perhaps choosing a church based on your religion, and close proximity is all you need to look for.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:49 PM
 
104 posts, read 105,904 times
Reputation: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by HookTheBrotherUp View Post
I've never heard, or have been to a church that was segrated. Churches are not like that, people are.

I remember when I first moved to Houston in 1980, I was working an evening shift and going to school full time. I used to sit alone in the company cafeteria, way at the back because I studied, did homework on my lunch hour which happened to be at ~8:30, I remember because I used to see the fireworks at Astroworld out of the windows.

There was always a large group of African Americans who would all congregate and eat lunch together at the back as well, close to me. I used to overhear their conversations, sometimes they'd even talk to me and pick on me, but in a fun way.

This lasted about two years, and their conversations were similar to any water-cooler conversations I've heard in all my years at the office. When it came to race, however, they did complain about white people, but not in an offensive, or ugly way. 'So and so does not like me because I'm black', or the managers don't care about us, that is why we work this shift', or 'I never feel comfortable at the happy hours', etc. A myriad of innocuous complaints.

Anyway, that was it; it was never too mean, or hateful. But looking back all those years, I once realized that as much as they complained about a perception of racism, or segregation, it was they who segrated themselves from everyone else. They never wanted to sit anywhere else in the cafeteria where "white" people were. They did not go to the happy hours for what ever reason.

What does this have to do with Church? Nothing. But looking a "diverse" church to avoid segration where it does not exist is wanting to be segregated. Most congregations reflect the population that live close by, except for mega churches where people come from all over to feel good. Perhaps choosing a church based on your religion, and close proximity is all you need to look for.
We are looking for a church with diversity in its leadership as well as a diverse congregation. Many churches in Houston were forced to integrate (or they did so because it was profitable) and struggle with building a solid foundation for its diverse congregations. When you have a diverse leadership you have diverse perspectives that are given equal weight which not only helps to develop and foster trust with your congregation but also make better decisions. When you have only one race sitting in a boardroom making all the decisions there is often a much greater room for error when trying to understand what a diverse church needs and solving problems you may face. People from the same background and race are more prone to silently share stereotypical perspectives without argument. Often when a group of people (of the same race) try to implement "diversity" into their strategy it is often one dimensional and caricatured. You can sometimes find an "us versus them" mentality instead of all being part of the same family. All whites are not the same and all blacks are the same and you need a system of "checks and balances" so one group of people do not have a silent dominance over another. It is honestly a major problem. A church is a place where people are suppose to break down barriers and show the world what it is to be Christ like. Racism is a very common occurence in our churches today and it rears itself in the ugliest of ways. While our communities may not be completely segregated...many our church congregations and leadership are with a thin veneer of tolerance. Not all...but many.

I understand if it is not a problem for you. However I know plenty of people that have children and/or a spouse that is from a different background of their own and it is a concern for them. They want to find a church with an interracial (blk/white) pastoral family or diverse congregation with a Black or Hispanic pastor. I know that there are many with the same questions and concerns and thats why I asked.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HookTheBrotherUp View Post
Perhaps choosing a church based on your religion, and close proximity is all you need to look for.
I would have to give a big NO for that. Some people based their choice of a community based on the proximity to a good school and heaven forbid the TAKS scores or demographics change by a .05 percent...they are packed up and moved before you can blink. Salvation does not depend on what church you go to but God gives you a mind to think and reason. Church is not a McDonalds...well not yet. I've learned, trust God but dont be blind.

Last edited by Lauren_Ashley; 05-08-2011 at 10:46 PM..
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:45 PM
 
104 posts, read 105,904 times
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Anyone would like to share? It would be quite helpful to several families I know!
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Westbury
3,283 posts, read 5,099,820 times
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this might strike people the wrong way but from my experience churches in low to moderate income neighborhoods have more diversity i.e. blacks, hispanics, some whites, asians. the churches i went to were Catholic. i went to a baptism and most of the people there were hispanic, the priest was from Bangladesh, the next service the priest was a Vietnamese guy who i guess it learning how to be a priest. good sprinkling of white people there. it was truly interesting from the perspective of a person who is militantly secular. that catholic church was in Humble too

but some peoples wish for diversity doesnt extend to income levels
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:20 AM
 
104 posts, read 105,904 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by testmo View Post
this might strike people the wrong way but from my experience churches in low to moderate income neighborhoods have more diversity i.e. blacks, hispanics, some whites, asians. the churches i went to were Catholic. i went to a baptism and most of the people there were hispanic, the priest was from Bangladesh, the next service the priest was a Vietnamese guy who i guess it learning how to be a priest. good sprinkling of white people there. it was truly interesting from the perspective of a person who is militantly secular. that catholic church was in Humble too

but some peoples wish for diversity doesnt extend to income levels
Well my family is relatively low to moderate income. We are in the 100k+ income range but definitely not over 250k+ like most of the regulars that frequent this board. Once I finish my masters that may bring it up a bit...but in my opinion income is really quite irrevelant. I have never sought out a church based on income level (people actually do that?!).

I think what you find in most communities people look for a church that fit their level of spiritual growth. Some may also look for a church in which the congregation shares the same morals and values that they do.

I find it strange that at some churches all the whites are in one group and all the blacks and hispanics are in another group. Some churches dont even want to give you a choice...the design in itself can often be divisive and it can be hard to be yourself. Sure, it can make management much more streamline but its not for everyone. It works great for many people but not for me nor my family.

Last edited by Lauren_Ashley; 05-10-2011 at 10:37 AM..
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:39 AM
 
51 posts, read 84,293 times
Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitlyn&Matt View Post
Hello Everyone!

I have a question that I have yet to see addressed on this forum! I know a couple of us have multiracial/interracial families and are constantly looking for a church that is not only diverse in congregation but diverse in leadership as well (not just the music/nursery pastor)!

Many of us know it can be a frustrating experience. Some of us have adopted children from Haiti, Africa, and Latin America and we want to feel that not only us but our children have the ability to relate to the leadership of our church and feel they can fit in anywhere without invisible barriers.

I find that churches in Northeast/west Houston can be highly segregated...and even if it is diverse the pastoral leadership does not reflect any true diversity!

I would like to know if there are churches in Spring and Humble, TX that reflect TRUE diversity (minority/interracial lead pastors) with a diverse congregation?

Or perhaps someone could recommend a church with Black, Asian or Hispanic pastor with a diverse congregation.

Btw, we dont mind venturing further out of the area! As long as the church is heavily bible based and a true reflection of the Body of Christ.
I'll play along.....

Check out Sovereign Grace Church. Pearland is far from the northern portion of Houston, but it fits your description of a diverse church (one af. am. and one caucasian pastor, with an equally diverse congregation). Also check out Founders Baptist Church Home Page. It is located in Spring and has a diverse church leadership, but the congregation is not as "diverse" as the Pearland church.

Assuming your main focus is TRUTH you won't go wrong with either church.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:01 AM
 
104 posts, read 105,904 times
Reputation: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajuncajun View Post
I'll play along.....

Check out Sovereign Grace Church. Pearland is far from the northern portion of Houston, but it fits your description of a diverse church (one af. am. and one caucasian pastor, with an equally diverse congregation). Also check out Founders Baptist Church Home Page. It is located in Spring and has a diverse church leadership, but the congregation is not as "diverse" as the Pearland church.

Assuming your main focus is TRUTH you won't go wrong with either church.
Thank you for your suggestions! Honestly, if it was up to me I could be very cozy doing a home bible study with my family/friends every Sunday and never venturing off to a church. It is absolutely in my comfort zone to never venture out in that aspect...and it has been a silent battle between me and God to get out there and followship with other Christians. God wants us to fellowship with one another. Despite how I feel, I understand that part of our spiritual growth comes from taking a step of faith and trusting God in all aspects of our life even when it comes to dealing with other Christians.

Truth doesn't come from a perfectly diverse church and leadership. There are churches that are 100% White that are filled with true Christians. There are churches that are 100% Black that are filled with the best of Christians. However, just because that is the case does not mean it is the right church for everyone.

I do not believe anyone should force themselves on a church, or a congregation that holds different values and beliefs than their own. You leave. You dont try to change it...you leave. You don't sit there and try to deal with it...you leave and you find a place that is right for you. I don't understand the reservations that people have with what I am saying. It does a great disservice to a church when people think they can try to change it or try to fit in where they dont. I don't believe in that at all. Lets be transparent and be honest about what many people may think but dont say. I dont know what you mean by you will play along but if you have any trepidations about what I am saying...please do tell!

Last edited by Lauren_Ashley; 05-10-2011 at 11:25 AM..
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:03 PM
 
1,290 posts, read 4,935,159 times
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@ Kaitlyn&Matt: I just had to comment. At $100K a year in income, you are firmly in the top 10% or so of the nation's earners. I certainly wouldn't say that you are "low to moderate". Over $250K is in the top 1.5% of earners in the US.

I wouldn't call you rich (I don't actually like using earnings as a barometer of wealth, more about what you actually have in assets), but you are certainly in the higher end of middle class.

Just found that a little strange that you would consider yourself "low to moderate" income. Everything relative, I guess.

Take about 30% off what most people act or tell you they make and you are probably closer to their real income.
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