By: Victor Trammell
Two of Albany, Georgia’s oldest churches will come together for a revival this week. One of the churches is predominantly black and the other is predominantly white. Spiritual leaders say they hope this will serve as a catalyst for breaking down the racial tensions that still plague Albany 50 years after the start of the civil rights movement.
The congregation of Bethel African Methodist Episcopalian church on Washington Street has invited the Rev. Garrett Andrew, the pastor of First Presbyterian on Jefferson, to preach at Bethel’s three-night revival this week.
The Rev. Ernest Davis, the pastor at Bethel, said the idea came to him following the city’s annual joint Holy Week services earlier this year. Davis quoted the following to a local newspaper:
“I thought it was a good thing that the different churches in this community were coming together during the Holy Week services, and we’d always talk about doing other things, but once the week was over, we’d all go back to our churches and that was that. So I went to Garrett(pastor of predominantly white church) and asked him if he had the time to do it, and if he was interested. He was.”
The revival’s mission is to bond residents of the city in a positive setting and show solidarity in what has been called a “post-racial America.” Many states in the Deep South are still racially divided and have revitalized bases of resistance for the Ku Klux Klan. This is a positive step in a region of the country that is still affected by deep-seeded racism.