Historical Black Churches, Finding The Path Again To This Time Serve A Multicultural, Multi religious And Diverse America And Its Education Needs. The Historical Black Church Knew How To Do Religion And Education Under The Same Roof Without Breaking Any Laws. It Is Time To Pull Out The Old American Blue Prints To Solve Our Educational Crisis

Black Church was a major institution in the lives of the Black community and provided the social service needs of the community. Men played significant leadership roles in the church, and were considered role models for the community. Political decisions, economic decision, relational decisions and education decisions were sanctioned and formulated in these sacred locations. Men and women of outstanding intellectual ability were elevated to positions of leadership in the church.

The Black Church operated its own teacher training academies; where men and women learned the skills of organizational development, classroom management skills, lesson planning and instructional delivery. Churches operated their own after school programs, Sunday school programs, adult Bible study classes and Seminaries Black Christianity was also different from traditional Christianity. Black people viewed Jesus as a living Savior, guide counselor and friend. It was he who made it possible to endure difficult circumstances in the personal realm and the political realm of society. Black Christians did not develop an anger or rage against the oppressors of the Christian community, who went to church on Sundays, and some wore white sheets on Monday to attend rallies planning violence and even deaths of individuals.

The Black Church educational systems required précised language. This was achieved through the reading and discussion of the King James Bible. This book written in Shakespearian style of Shakespearian structure provided the structure of language, phonics, language arts skills, and analysis and interpretation. Students were expected to participate in drama scripts and religious pageants, which focused on moral judgment and character development. These stories provided subliminal programming on delayed gratification, reduced entitlement, and the forgiving love of Christianity. The Church also provided direct instruction teaching strategies, a method used to determine outcome, and to verify that the intended goal had been achieved. The students participating in these programs were silently doing very well in the public schools. They quietly went on to the colleges and universities in the country, specifically Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Churched African American family stayed under the radar, and provided little if any opportunity for white sociologist to enter this protected and private system. Sociological research continue to focus on the fringes of society and those individuals who provided the anti-social behavior, which tended to make for exciting and informative studies. Research into middle class African American population would have to address the role of the Black Church in economical development and social mobility; this type of research often and unpopular in America schools of higher learning because it contradicts studies in Eugenics, as were studies on the positive educational achievements of the group. This worked favorably for the group, because out of sight, out of mind strategies provided sufficient time for a group to develop because they were not expected to have the cognitive skills to achieve.

The Black Church prevented the development of emotional and mental victim personalities as the results of individuals in the outer society placing obstacles in the pathway of progress for countless men and women of color. Jesus was a God of love, and the Black Church and Black Christianity taught people how to truly love the enemy and not permit the sins of the enemy to become their sins. The Black Church taught an oppressed people that they were not made in the image of a racist mind, but made in the image of God, and as such had the ability to transform their lives into the realities of a powerful God regardless of the obstacles or racist Eugenic science.

Men were encouraged to study and become preachers, and women were encouraged to study and become teachers. These preachers would hold the family of God together while they endured the trials of living in a hostile environment. The teachers would dedicate themselves to the task of educating the children so that they would be prepared for a world of the future free of oppression. Teachers were believers of a better world and a better future here on earth.

Black Christianity focused on the quality of life on God’s earthly plane, while at the same time helping Christians to understand that there was life after life, with God in the heavenly realm. The Black Church and Black Christianity had the most effective anti depression and anti neurotic program in the country. Black Christians learned that the attitudes of the behaviors of other Christians, were not their concern, and they had to work out their own soul salvation.

Black Christians learned how to avoid the psychotic behaviors of other Christians who were determined to destroy them in mind, body and spirit. There was a spiritual separation of the two groups and a separation of theologies presented in the churches. Black Christians learned a Black theology, and a theology of liberation. Crazy was something that the black church could not afford. During slavery, the African learned that any emotional excess could result in cruel behavior from the foreman of plantation and no tolerance from the maters of the plantations. Crazy could result in death or separation; therefore the parents quickly adjusted any child demonstrating less than normal behavior in order to protect the child from the violence and reality of the outside world. This suggests that where nature may have presented indication of some form of neurological disturbance, nurture and cultural control variables were put in place to alter behavior, which could suggest weakness. The mind was not free to develop and the strong areas of the body were influenced to control the weaker expressions of the mind.

This suggests that the mind may need a supportive environment for neurological challenges, and in fight or flight situations the mind is able to adjust the body to behaviors for its own survival. Life support services are manipulated until the body conforms to acceptable behaviors in challenging situations. The mind makes adjustment from its stronger and healthier parts and help to develop thoughts of survival, which has the effect of healing of the mind. Mothers wanted their children to remain with them during the slavery period, therefore, any behaviors, which would result in possible removal or disposal were systematically programmed out of individuals. This may suggest the reason for low indications of emotional disturbance in highly structured families, and the contributing factor of increasing emotional disturbance in privileged families and single parent homes. In high stressed urban environments behaviors must adjust quickly to the survival mode and privilege is not a factor in survival in a wolf pack environment.

Mothers taught children what they could do and could not do and did not permit them to think about the instructions; this method, although harsh, did not permit the weaker neurological cell to spread, and the cells for survival maintained control. Teachers working in urban centers environment with “high risk” students also use this method; in order to transform students into academic performers, the teacher assumes the alpha position, restricts freedom, reprogram thought and behavior, and permit the intellectual energies of the students to focus on academic excellence. The behaviors required for academic excellence are the only ones permitted and the brain adjust to what is required and transformation takes place. Oppressed groups in America also use this system, realizing that discrimination will prevent progress for select groups, the groups adopts a plan, in private sessions, to delay instant gratification, and work smarter than the oppressing group and secure top positions by out performing the oppressing group in all areas.

Control factors were programmed into children for their own protection. Mothers were cruel as often as they needed to be to adjust the behaviors of their children to ensure that they would develop into adults. There was no such thing as freedom of speech and expressions. A free expression or free behavior could result in the view of the plantation owner as a defective property and they were sold off as soon as possible. In order to maintain the stability of the family, mothers had the responsibility to adjusting the behaviors of their children to ensure their safety and the ability to remain and grow up with the family.

These family behavior systems proved invaluable, for it prevent the development of mental illness in the slave population, and it also developed techniques and methodologies to change behaviors, which were necessary for survival. There were also other factors, which prevented the passing on of behavior traits, which could be defined in today’s terminology as emotional disturbance from developing. The slave population was the human resource work force in the southern parts of the new country. Only very rich people could afford to own a slave or a work force, and the health of that work force determined the success of the business economy for which they were purchased to serve. A worker, who could not carry his own weight, was usually put up for sale in a packaged deal. During the period after slavery and the emancipation of a non-free class of people, the African American was submitted to a form of man’s inhumanity to man to a greater degree than was experienced during the period of slavery. The safety values were lifted from the large corporations and wealth home owners who could afford a labor force, and the African was at the mercy of a poverty angry population determine to vent their frustrations on any group weak enough to accept punishment with out revenge.

Mothers had to devise additional methods of saving their sons and husband from a poverty stricken population. Poverty breed’s violence, and the south were rendered poor as results of their failure in the Civil War. They could not succeed from the Union, and they were forced to follow the order and directions of the supreme commander coming out of Washington. The south hated the country, they hated the government and they really hated these free people of color who they held responsible for all of their problems.

Africans held tight and close to their families, and instructed their children to control their behaviors when they were in the schools and outside of the families. Families were strong, they were nuclear and extended, and they had a strong set of values with respect to God Family and Education. Excluded from inclusion in most of the activates related to the outside society, the African family continued with its development of strong churches and religious institutions, parallel but different from those found in the predominant white society.

During the period after slavery, the black family had to stay together in order to survive. There was no such thing as a rogue family member stepping out on his own in an attempt to find himself. Such foolishness often resulted in the individuals separating for the family circles becoming the fruit handing from a KKK tree, or a religious sacrifice made by a special group of Christians who believe that God ordered them to kill, burn and hang the different.

The rules of the black family and the Black Church were very clear, and deviation from those rules often resulted Christian actions from the white saved and the white mean. The Black Church not only became the message of the Gospel, but hidden codes of survival for a population selected out to be the scapegoat of a society, which did not know what to do with its frustrations and disappointments. Segregation was precise and honest; people did not like you, did not understand you, and did not want to have any interactions with anyone who was not tall blond and beautiful. The Black Church became the urban colleges of the African community, and college attendance was mandatory. It was in this college that psychology, sociology, government, political science, business and management, politics of survival was taught. The youth of the Church were forced to read and memorize scripture, and be able to discuss an analytical meaning of chapter verse and intent; as results, the youth who attended Church tended to do well in academic performance in the classrooms in the public schools. It was in the black church where young people attended Rites of Passage programs and learned how to avoid the pit fall and entrapment scenarios planned by the local police departments.

Church provided the skills for survival, and the pastor, as the responsible shepherd of a flock, made sure that all of those in his care know how to survive the mine fields of America. The success of the Civil Rights revolution ended all of that. Black families left the church and their communities and moved into the suburbs of Hades. Children refused to attend non- relevant churches, which were not providing a “hip Hop” message of joy pleasure and possibilities. Women were told that no one has the right to direct or interfere with the social development of another and each person had a right to work out his or her own soul directions.

Men felt jealous of their women’s focus on the Jesus stuff and resent any and all time spent in reading the dead prophets literature. Many felt they did not need the Church, Jesus or even the burden of a family always demanding something different from them. White society, still holding a grudge over the failed results of the Civil War, jumped in where the religious void was evident.

Compulsory education practices in the United States starting in the 1930’s developed an educated citizenry class; it widened the field of knowledge with information about the world coming from other places than the home and the church. African Americans were becoming educated, even in segregated facilities, and were able to attend local colleges and universities. The later years and the end of educational segregation increased the educational experience even more. The mass migration out of the south during the early part of the 20th century resulted in African Americans making more money and building larger and more churches for themselves, which provided a society within a society, with separate rules, expectations and results. America had a theology of its own and the theology of the African American made it possible for him to not only survive, but also thrive.
Social support networks are especially well developed in the Black church.

 

Black Church was a major institution in the lives of the Black community and provided the social service needs of the community. Men played significant leadership roles in the church, and were considered role models for the community. Political decisions, economic decision, relational decisions and education decisions were sanctioned and formulated in these sacred locations. Men and women of outstanding intellectual ability were elevated to positions of leadership in the church. The Black Church operated its own teacher training academies; where men and women learned the skills of organizational development, classroom management skills, lesson planning and instructional delivery. Churches operated their own after school programs, Sunday school programs, adult Bible study classes and Seminaries Black Christianity was also different from traditional Christianity. Black people viewed Jesus as a living Savior, guide counselor and friend. It was he who made it possible to endure difficult circumstances in the personal realm and the political realm of society. Black Christians did not develop an anger or rage against the oppressors of the Christian community, who went to church on Sundays, and some wore white sheets on Monday to attend rallies planning violence and even deaths of individuals.

The Black Church prevented the development of emotional and mental victim personalities as the results of individuals in the outer society placing obstacles in the pathway of progress for countless men and women of color. Jesus was a God of love, and the Black Church and Black Christianity taught people how to truly love the enemy and not permit the sins of the enemy to become their sins.

Men, during and after slavery, were encouraged to study and become preachers, and women were encouraged to study and become teachers. These preachers would hold the family of God together while they endured the trials of living in a hostile environment. The teachers would dedicate themselves to the task of educating the children so that they would be prepared for a world of the future free of oppression. Teachers were believers of a better world and a better future here on earth.

Black Christianity focused on the quality of life on God’s earthly plane, while at the same time helping Christians to understand that there was life after life, with God in the heavenly realm. The Black Church and Black Christianity had the most effective anti depression and anti neurotic program in the country. Black Christians learned that the attitudes of the behaviors of other Christians, were not their concern, and they had to work out their own soul salvation.

Black Christians learned how to avoid the psychotic behaviors of other Christians who were determined to destroy them in mind, body and spirit. There was a spiritual separation of the two groups and a separation of theologies presented in the churches. Black Christians learned a Black theology, and a theology of liberation. Crazy was something that the black church could not afford. During slavery, the African learned that any emotional excess could result in cruel behavior from the foreman of plantation and no tolerance from the maters of the plantations. Crazy could result in death or separation; therefore the parents quickly adjusted any child demonstrating less than normal behavior in order to protect the child from the violence and reality of the outside world. Control factors were programmed into children for their own protection.

Mothers were strict as often as they needed to be in order to adjust the behaviors of their children to ensure that they would develop into adults. There was no such thing as freedom of speech and expressions. A free expression or free behavior could result in the view of the plantation owner as a defective property and they were sold off as soon as possible. In order to maintain the stability of the family, mothers had the responsibility to adjusting the behaviors of their children to ensure their safety and the ability to remain and grow up with the family. These family behavior systems proved invaluable, for it prevent the development of mental illness in the slave population, and it also developed techniques and methodologies to change behaviors, which were necessary for survival. There were also other factors, which prevented the passing on of behavior traits, which could be defined in today’s terminology as emotional disturbance from developing. The slave population was the human resource work force in the southern parts of the new country. Only very rich people could afford to own a slave or a work force, and the health of that work force determined the success of the business economy for which they were purchased to serve. A worker, who could not carry his own weight, was usually put up for sale in a packaged deal.

During the period after slavery and the emancipation of a non-free class of people, the African American was submitted to a form of man’s inhumanity to man to a greater degree than was experienced during the period of slavery. The safety values were lifted from the large corporations and wealth home owners who could afford a labor force, and the African was at the mercy of a poverty angry population determine to vent their frustrations on any group weak enough to accept punishment with out revenge. Mothers had to devise additional methods of saving their sons and husband from a poverty stricken population. Poverty breed’s violence, and the south was rendered poor as a results of their failure in the Civil War. They could not succeed from the Union, and they were forced to follow the order and directions of the supreme commander coming out of Washington.

The south hated the country, they hated the government and they really hated these free people of color who they held responsible for all of their problems. Africans held tight and close to their families, and instructed their children to control their behaviors when they were in the schools and outside of the families. Families were strong, they were nuclear and extended, and they had a strong set of values with respect to God Family and Education. Excluded from inclusion in most of the activates related to the outside society, the African family continued with its development of strong churches and religious institutions, parallel but different from those found in the predominant white society.

During the period after slavery, the black family had to stay together in order to survive. There was no such thing as a rogue family member stepping out on his own in an attempt to find himself. Such foolishness often resulted in the individuals separating for the family circles becoming the fruit handing from a KKK tree, or a religious sacrifice made by a special group of Christians who believe that God ordered them to kill, burn and hang the different.

The rules of the black family and the Black Church were very clear, and deviation from those rules often resulted Christian actions from the white saved and the white mean. The Black Church not only became the message of the Gospel, but hidden codes of survival for a population selected out to be the scapegoat of a society, which did not know what to do with its frustrations and disappointments. Segregation was precise and honest; people did not like you, did not understand you, and did not want to have any interactions with anyone who was not tall blond and beautiful.

The Black Church became the urban colleges of the African community, and college attendance was mandatory. It was in this college that psychology, sociology, government, political science, business and management, politics of survival was taught. The youth of the Church were forced to read and memorize scripture, and be able to discuss an analytical meaning of chapter verse and intent; as results, the youth who attended Church tended to do well in academic performance in the classrooms in the public schools.

It was in the black church where young people attended Rites of Passage programs and learned how to avoid the pit fall and entrapment scenarios planned by the local police departments. Church provided the skills for survival, and the pastor, as the responsible shepherd of a flock, made sure that all of those in his care know how to survive the mine fields of America. The success of the Civil Rights revolution ended all of that. Black families left the church and their communities and moved into the suburbs of Hades. Children refused to attend non- relevant churches, which were not providing a “hip Hop” message of joy pleasure and possibilities. Women were told that no one has the right to direct or interfere with the social development of another and each person had a right to work out his or her own soul directions. Men felt jealous of their women’s focus on the Jesus stuff and resent any and all time spent in reading the dead prophets literature. Many felt they did not need the Church, Jesus or even the burden of a family always demanding something different from them. White society, still holding a grudge over the failed results of the Civil War, jumped in where the religious void was evident. Some decided to develop programs and capitalize on a people lost in the wilderness; some decided to develop mega prison systems, waiting to the thousands of the lost who usually end up in prisons. In the midst of all of this, the Black Church lost its voice, the message and the messenger were not relevant, and the shepherd had to find bread to feed himself before he could search out the loaves of bread and two fishes to feed others. Pastors slinked back into their drabbed offices and prepared sermons for the seniors of yesterday, patiently waiting the grand day of their own funeral in the church of their youth. Fortunately for the American society, most Black families stayed the course, taking their work underground but encouraging the development of strong families with strong religious values.

An Example Of A Historical Black Church In New York City

St. Mark’s United Methodist Church

History From The Archives

Slavery ended in New York in 1827 providing African Americans with a head start over their Southern brothers and sisters.

The Northern states were home to a significant number of Africans who had never experienced the institution of slavery. American history and sociology does not discuss the developments of these families. Free slaves and African progress would negate the theory of Black inferiority necessary to demoralize and control a population. The Black Church had the responsibility of teach the development, responsibility and achievement of men of color in order to give the strength to survive.
               St. Mark’s Methodist Episcopal Church was part of the Mother Zion A.M.E. Church, was organized in June 1871 by the Reverend William F. Butler. Located at Washington Hall on Broadway, between 37th and 38th Streets New York City until 1873. Moving to 65 West 35th Street, purchasing the former Church of the Resurrection for $50,000. Black people had the financial resources to purchase property for these large sums is a testimony to the quality of life some African Americans were privileged to have at this time.

The move to Harlem had not taken place, and African Americans lived in the lower middle parts of the City the St. Mark’s congregation remained at the 35th street NYC site for 16 years. “In 1889, the church purchased and moved to the former All Souls Church at 139 West 48th Street. New growth in the membership caused the congregation to move in 1895 to the former St. John’s Methodist Church at 231 West 53rd Street.”

“As an outreach of St. Mark’s, new churches were organized in other parts of the city, including Salem Methodist Episcopal Church and Brooks Memorial Church. During the pastorate of Dr. Brooks from 1897-1923, properties were purchased then subsequently sold to purchase a site facing St. Nicholas Avenue, which cost $43,000. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the present facilities were held on October 22, 1922. The cornerstone was laid on September 9, 1924, and the church was dedicated on December 5, 1926.”

                 St. Marks United Methodist Church located in the central Harlem provides an excellent example of the role played by the Black Church in leadership training, managing large organizations, and understanding the complexities of group dynamics. The Church was open seven days a week. It was a second home and refuge for black children struggling to achieve excellence in school environments filled with first generation immigrant children. Harlem was very integrated during the depression and post war years, and ethnics from the southeastern parts of Europe were competing for spots in the City College, which offered a free college education to any student with an academic average of 85 percent or better. Synagogues opened tutorial programs to help Jewish children achieve the prize, and Black Churches also jumped into the game and provided academic learning environments for children of color. [1] These after school programs were responsible for the high academic achievements of students in the African American communities. The church was the academic support service for the schools. The Church became the family values guide in the lives of children and their families. Young ministers were hired to work with the large youth and young adult population. These ministers focused on the

The church is over 100 years old. It can boast of distinguish middle and upper middle class membership in its past. St. Mark’s a place where it was necessary to have what was considered the “proper” attire. In Black traditions that would suggest that you would wear your “Sunday best” when going to church. The church had a large and active congregation and youth department. The Church provided after-school programs during and after the depression.

The members of the congregation consisted of many lawyers, doctors, bankers, congressmen and state Senators. The choir was famous for the quality of its musicians. Some of the first Black Americans to sing with the Metropolitan Opera Company attended St. Mark’s Church.

The members were proud of the church, and were given opportunities of leadership that prepared them to accept responsible positions in the secular world. The church holds 1,500 people. Its Gothic structure is similar to City College of the City University of New York, which is located within walking distance. The area in which the church is located was considered “Sugar Hill’ and was the home to upper middle class population. The church started to lose its population, as more and more members were able to purchase homes in the suburbs and as results they also moved their membership.[1] Some members tried to stay in the community, but there was a significant decline of the academic progress in the public schools, and many parents moved to where their children would have a better chance for an educational opportunity.

[1] The new members moving into the community represented the large influx from the Caribbean and Africa. The Caribbean and African population did not receive a welcome response from the members of the Central Harlem community, and as such found it difficult adjusting to the cultural differences between the African American, Caribbean and the African. The church did make an attempt to bring in Caribbean ministers as assistant pastors, the language and dialect concerns made it difficult for some members to accept.

 

             The church did not reach out to the new members coming into the community. The new members moving into the community represented the large influx from the Caribbean and Africa. The Caribbean and African population did not receive a welcome response from the members of the Central Harlem community, and as such found it difficult adjusting to the cultural differences between the African American, Caribbean and the African. The church did make an attempt to bring in Caribbean ministers as assistant pastors, the language and dialect concerns made it difficult for some members to accept.

Eventually many of the programs were discontinued, and today the membership consists of about one hundred people who are seniors. The average age of the congregation is seventy- five years old. Most of the members remember the church the way it used to be, and are reluctant to make any changes. The Methodist conference, which owns all churches in the United Methodist denomination, has threaten to merge the church with another church, or close the church[1]. This would be a regretful event St. Mark’s members have an average age of 75 years. They are content to live in the past and celebrate the accomplishments of the church prior to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. Concern about the needs of the post baby boomers were not considered in their best interest.

  • [1] Information relating to the structure of the United Methodist Church as obtained from Wikipedia, free encyclopedia on the internet.“ American Methodist churches are generally organized on a connectional model, related but not identical to that used in Britain. Pastors are assigned to congregations by bishops, distinguishing it from presbyterian government. Methodist denominations typically give lay members representation at regional and national meetings (conferences) at which the business of the church is conducted, making it different from episcopal government. This connectional organizational model differs further from the congregational model, for example of Baptist, and Congregationalist Churches, among others” Methodism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 5-27-08en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methodism – 138k 5-27-08.

 

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