To Live in Peace: Biblical Faith and the Changing Inner City

To Live in Peace: Biblical Faith and the Changing Inner City

To Live in Peace: Biblical Faith and the Changing Inner City

To Live in Peace: Biblical Faith and the Changing Inner City

Synopsis

Who previously served as the founding pastor of New Song Community Church in Baltimore, shows how the life of the church, the strategies of community development, and the practices of peacemaking can make a transformational difference.

Excerpt

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his
friends
.”

John 15:13

Igrew up in Baltimore in an African-American community called Sandtown. Sandtown was an exciting place for a little girl growing up in the 1950s and early ‘60s. The streets were teeming with neighbors; the corner stores were run by friendly shopowners; nearby Pennsylvania Avenue was vibrant with jazz clubs, movie houses, and seemingly every variety of shopping; and active churches were packed every Sunday. There were no vacant houses, and jobs, while certainly not high-paying for black workers, were available. I never knew we were “poor.” We never had much money or many material possessions, but tight-knit extended families, a strong sense of community, a depth of faith in God, and the joy of life were abundant.

As the sixties wore on, several forces converged to bring decline to Sandtown. The manufacturing base, foundational to decent job opportunities for black workers, continued to decline in Baltimore. Housing legislation opened new opportunities for black families, and thousands began to move elsewhere. And when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, the ensuing riots further decimated an already deteriorating neighborhood, and many shopowners fled, never to return.

And so a once-proud neighborhood began the struggle to cope with lack of jobs, vacant housing, and the onslaught of more and more drugs. By 1980, Sandtown had a population of fewer than 15,000 — a significant decline from . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.