By Ralphine Major

They are similar in size.  Even their buses are much alike!  Over the last couple of years, two churches in Knoxville, Tennessee, have forged a special friendship.  Perhaps, the fellowship of these   congregations with each other is not so unusual but for the fact that one is African American; one is white.  In today’s world, there have been tense moments across the nation that often escalated to racial problems.  Why would these two churches want to pursue a friendship?

“It was truly divine,” Cindy Segers said.  Cindy is the wife of Mike Segers, Pastor of Inskip Baptist Church.  She is the daughter of Carolyn Jensen and the late Tom Jensen.  Carolyn is the one who first shared with me about this unusual relationship.

“How did this all start?” I asked Cindy.

“About three years ago, a Black man was shot by police,” she said.  “Our Sunday School class thought it would be a great idea for our church to become friends with an African-American church and learn more about each other.  With no agenda in mind except to create a positive relationship, we sent e-mails to seven churches,” Cindy continued.  “Payne Avenue Missionary Baptist Church was the only one who answered.”  (To be continued)

In Words of Faith, Cindy shares scripture from Colossians 3:14-15 (NKJV): “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”