I wonder reader... before you take in any more of this.. what is your 'existing' opinion about 'The Churches' and African Americans? The impression I've gained through the media has been that "the white south supported slavery" and this is usually extrapolated to mean "The White south was Christian, therefore the Churches supported slavery"..
But the reality seems to be firstly much more complex and secondly very different. As for the complexity, I strongly recommend a read of the Wiki article as it's quite fascinating.
What I found quite striking was that there was not only a large section of 'poor blacks' in the community, but there was also a large number of poor whites, even child labor.
|From the Wiki Article|
But the relevant bit to this entry is here..
The revivals of the Great Awakening in the late 18th and early 19th centuries initially attracted the "plain folk" by reaching out to all members of society, including women and blacks. Both slaves and free blacks were welcomed into Methodist and Baptist churches. Independent black Baptist churches were established before 1800 in Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Georgia, and later developed in Mississippi as well.
I'm glad this was connected to the Great Awakening.. and the reader will definitely benefit from a bit of reading on that period too.
While the Awakening brought people out of their slumber and into a new life with Christ.. liberal ministers such as Harry Emmerson Fosdick put them soundly back to sleep after the Scopes trial.
The dangers of a social gospel are that they operate without the spiritual life vital for values to have meaning. The result is decay and ultimately decadence.
Our "verse for the day" is a great one...
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal 3)
The only possible reference to 'skin color' in there is that..."it doesn't matter" in God's eyes.