As a group of racially, ethnically and politically diverse church leaders in the Deep South areas of Charleston, SC, Montgomery, AL, and Mobile, AL, we recognize and lament how the historic nature of our cities and region contributed to racial oppression and division in our country.
However, we now see growing networks of Christian pastors and churches from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds loving, praying and serving together in their communities as they work together to follow Jesus in the midst of continuing challenges. It is from these historic cities that we speak.
We believe every person no matter color, culture or creed is made in the image of God, and because of that they have infinite worth, value and dignity.
As followers of Jesus, we believe every life is irreplaceable, unique and valuable and that the pursuit of justice is absolutely essential as commanded by God throughout the Bible.
Because of this, we believe that all followers of Jesus are called to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31), value others above ourselves and look not to our own interests, but to the interest of others (Phil. 2:3–4), and be peacemakers in the midst of conflict (Matt. 5:9).
We commit to act locally in our own cities and region to sacrificially love our neighbors of all backgrounds, to lay down our lives for one another, to work for justice to right past wrongs and to rebuild our ancient cultural and relational ruins and raise up the age-old foundations (Isa. 58:12) of trust, peace and integrity so that the Church would be unified in love and concern.
Excerpt from “Deep South Joint Statement on the Gospel, Racial Reconciliation, and Justice” (Read the full statement at tabonline.org/deep-south-joint-statement)