Christian Chronicle

At Tulsa massacre’s centennial, two Oklahoma churches focus on racial unity

‘When we’re segregated … then how can we look like Christ?’ one minister asks.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — At the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, two preachers — one Black, one White — stand on stage at a suburban church.

They face each other, hold hands and bow their heads.

“Help us, Father, to learn to erase the past and live for the future … as one in Christ,” prays Tim Luster, the Black minister.

After the final amen, Luster leans forward, hugs Tim Pyles, the White minister, and says softly, “God bless you, man.”

The interaction comes at the end of a 45-minute dialogue on racism that emphasizes the massacre’s centennial, which will be commemorated Monday and Tuesday. 

On May 31-June 1, 1921, White mob violence destroyed Tulsa’s Greenwood District — an affluent African American community known as “Black Wall Street” — and claimed as many as 300 lives.

Last Sunday’s Bible class discussion resulted from a five-year racial unity effort between the Broken Arrow Church of Christ, about 15 miles southeast of Tulsa, and the North Sheridan Church of Christ in Tulsa.

Read the full story.

This story appears in the online edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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