We spent Saturday at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the 16th Street Baptist Church at "Celebrate Unity," the New Baptist Covenant event, where we heard Wayne Flynt speak and lead a discussion on the origins of poverty in Alabama and in the world. Later we heard President Jimmy Carter speak and remind us that if we, as individuals, would just love God, and love the person standing in front (or beside) us, then the world would be a much better place.
The New Baptist Covenant is all about bringing black Baptists and white Baptists together to address the problems that face our country today. Poverty, for instance. As an example of working together, 16th Street Baptist has paired up with Vestavia Hills Baptist and share in worship and ministries.
You cannot go into the 16th Street Baptist Church without being reminded of the history of the place. Even if the four girls were not killed there the building would still be a historic site, being the oldest black church in the city and a place where numerous meetings occurred during the civil rights struggle.
Here is a picture of the stained glass window, which, had the face of Jesus blown out during the bombing.
One person's comment in the email that I received this in was "Some of these idiots still show their cowardice ignorance by hiding behind sheets and cloaks of darkness....."
There is still so much work to be done. One thing we can rely on, though, is that the old racists are slowly dying off. The young people, for the most part, reject the hatred of the previous generations. The world is becoming a better place.