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By John D. Pierce

AlAbDr. Albert Paul Brinson shared stories of the civil rights movement and his close relationship to the King family with my daughter, Abigail, during a recent visit to his home in Atlanta.

As a Morehouse senior in 1960, Al was part of the Atlanta Student Movement that through peaceful “sit-in” protests helped integrate public spaces. I tell that story (with his good help) in the inaugural Nurturing Faith Journal (from Baptists Today) coming soon. (Subscriptions are available here.)

On this King Holiday, we are reminded of and grateful for the many who shared — and continue to share — in the struggle for equality and justice for all.

We also note that many Christians who loudly proclaim racial equality today were latecomers to the idea and continue to advance inequality and injustice related to gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion.

As in the past, there are always ways of justifying one’s fear of change by claiming biblical endorsements of attitudes and actions that simply do not reflect the life and teachings of Jesus.

Yet it is more honest, helpful and hopeful when the church is the engine rather than the caboose of society regarding issues of equality and justice.

“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24 NRSV)

John Pierce

About John Pierce

John D. Pierce is editor of Nurturing Faith Journal — the signature publication of Baptists Today, Inc. He is also publisher of Nurturing Faith Books and Resources. Previously he served as managing editor of The Christian Index and as Baptist campus minister at Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University. A native of Ringgold, Ga., he is a graduate of Berry College (B.A.), Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Columbia Theological Seminary (D.Min.). He speaks frequently in churches, consults with congregations concerning communications and holds interim pastorates.