Our Stories about Race Project

CBF Arkansas is starting a new project in January 2017.  We are calling it “Our Stories about Race.”  CBF Arkansas friends will be sharing stories about their race relations experiences.  We will begin January 1 with the story written by J. V. McKinney which he titled “The Field.”

For many of us, race is one of the primary relationship issues in our lifetime and in our daily lives.  Some of us lived during segregation.  Some of us remember the first years of integration.

We have personal experiences that have shaped us, bothered us, challenged us, inspired us, changed us, and now compel us to lead the way, in whatever ways we can, to help us overcome what Jim Wallis calls “America’s Original Sin.”

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), a denomi-network of Baptist churches and individuals, has been working, from its beginning in 1991, to build bridges in race relations and address racism.  

Through CBF leadership and staff, through global missions with the most marginalized people groups, through Together for Hope’s rural poverty initiative, and through President Jimmy Carter’s National Baptist Covenant, CBF is working to build the relationships that lead us to be an incarnational voice on race relations.

In 2002, Together for Hope Arkansas was begun in Helena and Phillips County, one of the country’s poorest counties.  Fourteen years later it is a partner in community development with local organizations and churches, focusing on literacy with children, and leadership development with youth.  From its beginning, TFHAR has been building relationships and friendship between black and white adults, youth, children, and churches.

Nine years ago, CBF Arkansas began a partnership with Arkansas Baptist College, an historic black college university (HBCU) founded in 1884.  In February 2008, we moved our state office from west Little Rock into a newly renovated 1890s Queen Anne cottage on the ABC Campus in order to be a presence with, and a partner with, a sister Baptist institution.

We hope that “Our Stories about Race” will empower our personal values and lifestyles as Christians, and our corporate mission as churches to create mutual understanding, to confront racial prejudice and injustice, and to model the “beloved community” which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned and proclaimed.

If you have an interest this project, a question, or comment, please email Ray Higgins at rhiggins@cbfar.org.

Click here to read stories.