Institute’s Backdrop

After examining the rich history of the Black American Church, James H. Costen SR proffered…costen

There are areas of concern, however, that I wish to highlight as unfinished items for the Black witnessing community. They are:

  • Continue the deepening of faith in the redeeming, freeing and revolutionary nature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Continue a commitment to justice and liberation issues as a basis for fidelity to the message of Jesus Christ.
  • Create a new environment that is humane and just, rather than rely upon the standards for conduct in a racist society.
  • Preserve and develop a lifestyle among members that is based on spiritual values and not merely upon thoughtless adherence to the values of a materialistic society.
  • Cultivate and develop deeper bonds within the Black Family. (There are indices suggesting disintegration of the Black family.)
  • Provide new and selfless role models for Black youth that bespeak quality lives and lifestyles.
  • Mobilize the educational institutions charged with promoting the Black Heritage.
  • Continue the struggle, realizing with Frederick Douglass, “Where there is no struggle, there is no progress.”

Costen, SR J.H. 1987. “From Strength to Strength: A Brief History of the Black Church in America.” The Costen Legacy: 1983-1997, pp. 46-47.


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