Friday, October 1, 2004

Spiritual leaders reach across racial lines in Franklin's Gathering

"Five years ago, the pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church said he hoped to see a little bit of heaven at the first Gathering, an event promoting racial and denominational reconciliation."

"About 150 church leaders and lay members of varying denominations and races are now involved in the group, said Russell Hardeman, who is organizing the music for this year's Gathering. About 50 or so meet weekly to pray and get to know one another."

"Past speakers have included three Franklin pastors. Hewitt Sawyers spoke about growing up in Franklin as an African-American. Jose Duran of La Casa De Mi Padre talked about Hispanic experiences, and Scott Roley of Christ Community Church described his previous insensitivity to black churches and his eventual partnership with Denson as two of the founding members of Empty Hands."

The Tennessean

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