Just the very word racism can be a buzzword. It also can be a difficult issue to talk about. It causes us to reflect on the condition of our hearts and challenges our belief: Do we really see others as God does?
The theme for the Women’s Ministry dinner at the Annual Homecoming was Breaking Down the Dividing Walls. Eydie Thomas, wife of First Baptist Church of Norfolk’s senior pastor and former SBCV president, and Doris McFarland, wife of Calvary Evangelical Baptist Church’s pastor and current SBCV president, shared their personal journeys in dealing with the issue of racism.
Eydie and Doris began meeting almost a year ago to prepare for how they would discuss this topic. It was through these meetings that God knitted together the hearts of these women from different racial backgrounds. As they openly confessed their personal struggles with racism, God challenged their beliefs. “In over 25 years of ministry to women, I have never seen more open and honest communication between two women,” said Donna Paulk, Women’s Ministry Strategist, SBCV.
According to God’s Word, we are one in Christ: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, nor male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) Our heavenly father makes no distinctions between races, but we do?
Doris McFarland said, “No one wants to admit they are prejudiced or bias. Deep wounds need healing, but we must remember that God can ‘heal the brokenhearted and bind their wounds.’ (Psalms 147:3). As Eydie and I planned for the conference, there was a great sense of tearing down walls that have separated us for so long. We are more confident of God’s message, that love is the greatest gift. (1 Corinthians 13:13) ‘Love covers a multitude of sins.’” ■