Segregation on Sundays: Renee Murphy & Rachel Platt swap churches - Renee's story


by WHAS11

Posted on February 15, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 17 at 12:52 PM

(WHAS11) -- We work together, we go to school together but why don’t we pray together?

WHAS11 took a closer look at worship and race and why we are so segregated on Sunday morning.

WHAS11's Rachel Platt and Renee Murphy switched churches to try and get some answers. Rachel visited St. Stephen Church, a mostly African American congregation. Renee went to Rachel’s church, First Christian Church in Prospect, which is mostly White.

The service at First Christian Church in Prospect is very similar to St. Stephen.  It starts with music, there’s a greeting, the offering and then the sermon.

There was only one African American in the pews.

“[I was] looking for a church home, so I said I just will go in here and they were so very cordial,” said Lillian West, one of a few African Americans who attends First Christian.

“A lot of blacks say, well I don’t want to go to a white church they are kind of status quo.  That’s the way they feel and that’s ok,” said West.

Church member Terry Wooden says the racial make-up of the church really didn’t cross his mind.

“I always thought it was because that’s the make-up here in Prospect.  I never really thought about it a whole lot,” said Wooden.

But 15-year-old member Eli Glancy had thought about it.

“[I] noticed we were not very diverse and I just want people to know we are not a white church,” said Glancy.

We asked Glancy if he would be comfortable going to an all black church.

“I enjoy this church a lot.  So, it’s not like I would want to switch churches.  I guess I wouldn’t be too uncomfortable visiting and seeing what they do,” said Glancy.