Sunday, September 22, 2013

Report from the Field: Redeemer Pres, Jackson, MS.

Redeemer Sanctuary
This is the second in a series of blog posts I am writing for the Project on Lived Theology. They are reports and reflections on my two-week lived theology road trip from New Orleans to Memphis. To read the first post “New Orleans and CCDA”, click here.
I crossed the Pontchartrain and drove on up to Jackson, Mississippi, in time to go to Redeemer Presbyterian Church for Sunday morning worship. Redeemer is a fascinating and unlikely congregation. A church in the conservative Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), its existence is the result of a church split nine years ago in a North Jackson congregation called Trinity Pres. In the 1950s, when Trinity had started, Northside Drive had been a white neighborhood. By 2004, it had “transitioned,” as they say, into an African-American neighborhood. The split in the church may not have been directly about race, but race had played a complicating factor — it was over whether the congregation should stay and work in the neighborhood or move four miles down the road (and across the highway and color line) into a bigger facility.