Six weeks after becoming the first African American elected to the number-two post in the Southern Baptist Convention, Fred Luter brought a message about relationships to Tuscaloosa as two churches reached across racial lines in a special worship service Monday night.
It wasn’t the first time that the predominantly white Valley View Baptist Church and Cornerstone Full Gospel Baptist Church , one of the largest African American churches in Tuscaloosa, have gathered together for worship.
The last time the two churches got together, Dr. Billy Joy was not pastor of Valley View Baptist Church.
Joy, senior pastor of Valley View, wasn’t quite sure how to introduce the praise team and Voices of Cornerstone as he began the service, one in a series of Monday evening worship experiences the church located on Highway 69 has sponsored this summer.
PRAISING GOD TOGETHER
The relationship between members of the two Baptist churches was quite evident at several points during Monday’s service.
Right before Luter’s message, Mark Patterson and Greg Stone of Valley View and Roland Lewis from Cornerstone formed a trio to minister the song “I Will Follow Christ.”
The mix of praise music, contemporary and traditional Gospel songs from the music ministry at Cornerstone was just the prelude to a 35-minute message where Luter challenged those in attendance to consider their relationships with God and one another.
A MESSAGE FOR BODY OF CHRIST
“Those who say they are saved, those who say they are born again, those who say they are Christians, those who say they are believers, we should have a genuine, authentic love for all of the saints,” Luter said. “How I wished the saints of God truly loved each other.”
Based on the first chapter of the book of Ephesians, Luter’s message was entitled “Your Most Important Relationship.”
“If you truly have a relationship with the Savior, you can’t help but have a relationship with the saints,” Luter said.