The racially motivated shooting at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015 was a wake-up call for Christians across the United States that racism still affects the church. This video tells the story of racial reconciliation efforts that have since emerged among the Black Church and White Evangelical church both nationally and locally.
At the end of Wednesday night Bible study on June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof, a young man with racist views, shot and killed nine members of Mother Emanuel, including the pastor. The murder sent ripple effects all the way to Southern California, where Reverend Mark Whitlock, executive director of the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, was leading Bible study at his church, Christ Our Redeemer AME in Irvine.
Since then, Rev. Whitlock and the Murray Center have been involved in the racial reconciliation efforts both nationally and locally. The first half of the video tells the story of the Civilitas Group, which held consultations among top Christian leaders across the United States. The Los Angeles consultation, hosted at University of Southern California by the Cecil Murray Center, was the first of five such conversation. Click here to read more about Civilitas.
At the same time, members of ROCKHARBOR, a predominantly white evangelical church in Orange County, reached out Whitlock at Christ Our Redeemer, creating an exchange between the pastors of the church. The second half of the video shows the two churches as they figure out how they can begin to work toward racial harmony and a wider vision of Christian unity. Click here to read more about this relationship.