A Black Lives Matter activist and Christian minister is starting a new denomination with the purpose of spreading the gospel in a way that addresses “black suffering,” according to The Christian Post.
Who is the founder?
Jomo Kenyatta Johnson is a minister from Savannah, Georgia.
He has a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies from Beacon University and a Master of Divinity from Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia.
What’s the denomination about?
Johnson’s denomination will be called Church for Black Men.
Some of the unique tenets of the denomination include:
- The denomination will never collect tithes and offerings, to avoid perceptions of greed.
- They will not be a tax-exempt organization, so that the church can endorse or speak out against political candidates.
- The church will “unapologetically address issues of black suffering,” which Johnson says haven’t been “properly translated in corporate church culture.”
Johnson said despite his previous work with Black Lives Matter, the church would not be directly affiliated with BLM, and he would be stepping away from BLM to focus on the Church for Black Men.
Why is he creating this?
Johnson said he wants to take the lessons he’s learned as a minister and a Black Lives Matter activist to combine them as the concept for the Church for Black Men.
“Most evangelical churches won’t speak on political issues because they are tax exempt or will cause division,” Johnson said. “Churches that don’t speak on black suffering will not attract black men that want to address black suffering We want to address black suffering so we can point to the truth on how the suffering can be alleviated.”
Why the racial emphasis?
Johnson is aware of critics that will say the Church for Black Men is an inherently racist concept.
“Some of the comments that we see, some of the news stories and things like that, people say that it’s a racist concept,” Johnson said to the Philadelphia Tribune. “I refer myself and people to the Korean Presbyterian Church, or the Russian Orthodox Church, or the Greek Orthodox Church. No one would say those churches are racist.
“They just have to focus on a particular ethnic group because of language barrier,” Johnson continued, using the example of black suffering as a sort of barrier to draw the comparison.
Johnson said the church will start out as a series of house churches of approximately 25 members in various cities.
“Right now, we are in recruitment,” Johnson said. “Because it is a house church model, we need many people, black Christians who are willing to be trained and then to open up their homes.
He plans to officially start the denomination in February.