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A bridge of the faithful: Progress made to topple churches' racial walls
Challenges persist based on cultural habits, but religious leaders work to cross divide
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Anja Davidovic, Hanh Dinh and Darishone Ellison sing along with the praise band April 5 at Free Chapel Worship Center in Gainesville. Unity has become an emerging topic in the area’s faith community in the past year with pastors of different backgrounds reaching out to other congregations. - photo by Erin O. Smith
Race wasn’t mentioned during the service, but as white and black hands clasped across pews before the closing prayer, the pastor talked about the Christian response to struggles that bind all people. “If we’re going to make it together, the only way we’re going to do it ... is together,” said the Rev. Stephen Samuel, pastor of traditionally black St. John Baptist Church in Gainesville. He was speaking during a community Lenten service Wednesday that brought together several area churches.