Community churches breaking down walls

By Timothy J. O’Malley
Managing Editor

“Tear down this wall!” were the words rung in the ears of the world from a speech made by US President Ronald Reagan in West Berlin on June 12, 1987. Reagan called for the leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to open up the barrier which had divided West and East Berlin since 1961.
Fast forward to the present, 12 local churches of Mexia, initiated by First Baptist Church, held to a similar purpose to tear down the “walls” that separates people, whether it is of color, religion, or race within the church community. They held a meeting on Sept. 10 to discuss, plan and take action to host five blocks parties in the city of Mexia, broke down by regions, starting Sept 24. The first block party was held in the northeast side of town at Northside Baptist Church.
Pastor Marcus Sheffield of First Baptist Church said, “Several months ago our church had an idea to have block parties. We wanted to say to the people of Mexia, ‘We want to be your neighbor, get to know you better, to tell you we love you.’ When we started meeting with other churches we realized there was a common interest. That led to us all, as many as we could get together to plan these block parties and just invite anybody and everybody to lift up the name of Jesus. [We want to] put God in front and get to know each other better and work with each other.”
Rick Washington, pastor of Greater Little Zion Baptist Church said, “Marcus and I had been talking about this many times along with other black ministers. I have seen this need for years. Some of the church leaders are afraid of suffering by doing the right thing…serving God. As the church there is no color, there are only God’s people and the human race.”

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