Detroit Pastors Build on Reconciliation Efforts Launched by Fla. Pastors

Pastor Derrick Gay of Sanford, Fla.
Pastor Derrick Gay of Sanford, Fla. (Keith Landry)

Pastors from metro Detroit joined Promise Keepers Thursday, Aug. 22, to lead the "Reviving Detroit Summit" in downtown Detroit. The event focused on racial reconciliation and addressed some of Detroit’s toughest economic and social challenges. Almost 40 pastors joined a rabbi and other Detroit spiritual leaders for the daylong dialogue.

Thursday’s summit builds upon the National Reconciliation and Relationship Initiative launched on July 31 by Sanford, Fla., pastors. Dozens of African-American and white pastors from Sanford held a dialogue to heal racial divisions caused by the death of Trayvon Martin and the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.

Sanford pastors signed the Sanford Declaration, a spiritual covenant that affirms their strong faith that God will bless their racial reconciliation efforts and that He will inspire a national conversation to unite Americans. They are urging Christian leaders across America to launch similar forums. You can sign the Sanford Declaration at sanforddeclaration.org.

Detroit is the second of several cities across America to join the National Reconciliation and Relationship Initiative. Dr. Raleigh Washington, president and CEO of Promise Keepers, addressed the forums in Sanford and Detroit.

Washington praised pastors for their reconciliation efforts and encouraged them to keep working.

He said, “It is relationship. You have to have genuine relationships across racial lines to understand one another. Continue to strengthen the relationships that you have started having across race and culture. You’ve got to continue to swap pulpits. You’ve got to continue to do things together.”

Pastor Derrick Gay, of Dominion Church International in Sanford, was the keynote speaker for the "Reviving Detroit Summit" and is leading the National Reconciliation and Relationship Initiative. He addressed his fellow clergymen at the Hotel St. Regis in downtown Detroit.

“Reconciliation is a key that God has placed in the hand of the church and its leadership. If we do not utilize this key, then we’ll never see the sickness of racism healed and our cities made whole,” he said.

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