President Obama - His Chicago Home Church: Trinity United Church of Christ


President Obama by NEWTONSTEIN at MINISTERS-BEST-FRIEND.com

Welcome to Ministers-Best-Friend.com

"A Christian Nation, in a Christian World, in our Lifetime!"

Worth Living For? Dying For? Fighting For?

"YES!"


Search Web's Most Comprehensive Christian Site

All-Things-Bible, Church, History, Leadership, Psychology, Politics, Science, Health,
Sermon Resources, "Starters", Illustrations & Stories, Humor, Quotes, Sermons (Audio & Print)
From Ancient Rome & Greece & Jewish History to TOP-TEN News Headlines!

The Web Ministers-Best-Friend

Please visit ‘Index' before leaving. See our TOP-TEN-SERIES

INDEX: Top-Ten Series, Most Recent Webpages, **Urgent!, etc,


Our Basic Categories Updated Continually

[ GENERAL HOME PAGE ] [ MINISTERS HOME PAGE ] [ ANTI-AGING & HEALTH ] [ BIBLE & KJV? ] [ CATHOLICS ] [ CHURCH HISTORY ] [ ECONOMICS & WEALTH ] [ JEWISH ] [ TALK-RADIO-CONSERVATIVES ] [ REPUBLICANS ] [ RUSH LIMBAUGH 'BLOG & FORUM' ] [ G.W. BUSH ] [ SARAH PALIN 'BLOG & FORUM' ] [ PRO-LIFE ] [ PRESIDENTS ][ SPEAKERS-&-SERMON RESOURCES ] [ INDEX PAGE ]

A Christian Net Top 1000

SEEN THE "TOP-TEN" NEWS STORIES YET TODAY?

Consider making "TOP-TEN DAILY NEWS-NOTES & NUGGETS" the first news page you read!
For News Important to Conservatives & Christians, that Modern Media often ignore!
"TOP-TEN" NEWS NOTES for Conservatives & Christians



How it became the Largest Church in its Denomination under Pastor Wright




President Obama - His Home Church of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago - is one of the most influential Churches in the USA.

Chicago - the City of Elijah Muhammed's Headquarters for the Nation of Islam, City of Malcolm X & his famous Black Newspaper, & home of Jeremiah Wright - the great African American Pastor and Political Activist: Church builder extrodinaire.

Read their background & timeline!

1910-20’s

Migration of African Americans as scores of thousands of blacks migrated from the south, with many settled in southern Chicago. They brought with them the forms of Christianity they had practiced in the South: somewhat Baptistic, emotional, Negro-spiritual’, heaven oriented.

1930-40’s

Elijah Muhammad, Nation of Islam leader moved his headquarters from Detroit to Chicago. Mixing elements of the Bible and the Koran, Elijah Muhammad taught that Africans were the Earth's first and most important people, prophesying that a time was coming when African Americans would be fully vindicated, released from their various oppressions.

Elijah Muhammad taught that blacks had to radically separate from all whites to achieve this goal, rather than the more common integration model.

During the 1940s,

The Nation of Islam's radical message had drawn in thousands of Chicago's blacks, many converted from the forms of Christianity their parents & grandparents brought from the deep south.

1950-60’s

This era saw ‘white flight from inner-cities to suburbs. It also included the upper-class blacks and those who wanted to leave the ghettos behind. In Chicago, this migration was wealth & education to the north side - where it remains today - leaving the poor, immobile, lower-class, high-school-dropouts in the Chicago southside, the City of South Chicago and Gary Indiana [only separated by imaginary lines].

During the 1960’s

The Nation of Islam national spokesperson Malcolm X had founded a ’Black Newspaper’ with great success - ‘Mr. Muhammad Speaks in Chicago’, circulation of over 600,000, to help the continued spread of the Nation of Islam message. The newspaper became one of the most prominent black American newspapers of the time, and the Nation of Islam ideology held significant sway over Chicago blacks in general

All of this set the backdrop for President Obama's Home Church in Chicago: Trinity United Church of Christ!



Birth of Trinity! A dozen Familes met in a School for Worship at Christmas Time!


FIRST PASTOR of TRINITY: Kenneth B. Smith




1961

The Birth of President Obama's Home Church in Chicago, Trinity Church, occurred when a dozen middle class families met in a school gymnasium for worship around Christmas time, not far from Chicago's Halsted Street which marked the infamous ‘color line’.

Pastor Smith, had been appointed by the Chicago Congregational Christian Association the far-removed radically different descendents of the Puritan-Pilgrims who came to the New World for freedom. The expressed goal of the Association was to raise up a church comprised of middle-class blacks, who would later merge with a congregation of suburban whites and have white and black co-pastors.

Worship services at Trinity during the 1960s followed the standard order of service for Congregationalist Churches: ’Formal Prayers, followed by Formal Liturgy and Formal Hymns from The Pilgrim’s Hymnal, then a Formal Sermon with a Formal Benediction. Services were confined to one hour total, with no shouting, hand waving, or displays of emotions.

One of Trinity's black ministers once stated from the pulpit, "We will have no 'niggerisms' in our services." That approach collapsed after the assassination of King in 1968, as a large segment of the black community had turned against King's Christian, nonviolent challenge to racial segregation.

For President Obama's Home Church in Chicago, the vision was bold for the time and a similar vision had been followed by others in the Chicago area. At the same time produced apprehension within Trinity's upwardly mobile blacks, since some blacks in Chicago had had their homes burned for transgressing the color line.

This vision failed to address the many blacks who were unable to reach upward mobility - still on the South Side, in public housing projects on the other side of Halsted Street. These blacks did not figure into the Association's vision because they were not considered "the right kind of black people".

With the church's vision still maturing, Kenneth B. Smith remained as pastor and led the still growing congregation, while noting two things.

ONE - He said the church's affiliation with a white denomination provided his congregants with a sense of unity and purpose within the mainline religious tradition of America.

TWO - The congregation began to find a kindred spirit with the denomination's commitment to justice and equality, as congregant activism began to emerge.

Smith pointed to the march from Montgomery to Selma in 1965 under Martin Luther King, Jr. as an event that fueled that activism, noting how his congregants made picket signs and joined a Chicago area march in symbolic solidarity with southern blacks.

However, Speller notes that the congregation's concern for the voting rights of southern blacks "stood in stark contrast to their obvious blind spot of the Association's position on church growth among African Americans in Chicago—one that supported only middle-class churches".

The first African American minister in the United Church of Christ, the Rev. Dr. W. Sterling Cary, explained it s follows: "Historically, the Association made special efforts to seek out 'high potential' churches within the black community," which he said were understood as groups of blacks likely willing to be culturally assimilated into the forms and functions of worship of the Chicago Congregational Christian Association.

American religion historian Julia Speller summarizes this way: "It was this racial reality that informed the planting of Trinity on the South Side of Chicago." This period of the church culminated when plans to merge with a white congregation fell through—"whites were not much interested in integration" at the time

Along the way, the ‘Congregationalist movement‘ disappeared into the United Church of Christ: born when several groups merged.

1966

In 1966 President Obama's Home Church in Chicago, Trinity and the black congregation, moved into its first church building, seating about two-hundred. It was located among the growing community of southern Chicago's middle-class blacks, east of the color line. Meanwhile, the Association continued its push for the church to focus ministry toward middle-class blacks.



SECOND PASTOR of TRINITY: Willie J. Jamerson




1966 to 1971:

When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, President Obama's Home Church of trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago was changed forever. Larry Pickens declared: "Following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr...our family moved into a racially changing Chicago community, . . .

Racism manifested itself in insurance redlining, predatory lending practices and religious authorities working to maintain a line of segregation. The local activist catholic priest declared no 'niggers' were allowed across Ashland Avenue...

Out of this experience of brokenness and spiritual hope...black liberation theology emerged”

Thus Trinity's second pastor arrived a just as the American civil rights movement reached its peak. Rev. Willie J. Jamerson brought "a desire to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable", while "perhaps being more drawn to the role of prophet than that of priest", as he said, although Jamerson winded up doing much more comforting as a priest than afflicting as a prophet.

As Jamerson recounted, the church soon began a further decline in membership, due to the constriction of vision that resulted from what he described as the church's continued major purpose to affirm the middle-class Congregationalism of its members.

As Speller explains, "The failure of the civil rights movement to usher in an era of genuine integration and harmony between the races turned into a search for an alternative experience of Purpose and belonging for many African Americans."

Thus a small rift began to form among Trinity's congregants, one that was also occurring in other predominantly black churches in the U.S. at the time. As the influence of the civil rights movement began to diminish in wake of King's assassination, the Black Power movement rushed in to fill the void.

1970's

By 1971, however, President Obama's Home Church membership had dwindled from its peak of 250 down to 100, and Jamerson resigned to be a schoolteacher. Trinity was faced with possibly closing its doors.

1971-72: THIRD PASTOR of TRINITY: Reuben A. Sheares II

Sheares's brief tenure with Trinity marked an important shift in the congregation's sense of purpose. One core leader said:

"for years we had prided ourselves on being a middle-class congregation within a mainline denomination, but suddenly the values within the black community had shifted. Aspirations for integration and assimilation were being replaced by those of black pride and separation."

Concurrently Chicago had already become an organizing center for militant black religious groups like The Nation of Islam and The Black Hebrew Israelites.

[ A ] They strenuously argued that "black" & "Christian" were contradictory terms.

[ B ] Many blacks had been leaving Christianity as a result.

To begin this change, Sheares coined the Trinity Church Motto "Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian".

Some explain that Africentrism contained in the statement "should not be more offensive than that synagogues should be 'Judeo-centric' or that Chicago's Irish parishes be 'Celtic-centric'."

In addition to Sheares's new motto, the leadership called for a new vision: “. . .to serve as instruments of God and church in our communities and the world, confronting, transforming and eliminating those thing in our culture that lead to the dehumanization of persons and tend to perpetuate their psychological enslavement.”

As Trinity sought a new pastor to lead growth, they gave the mission statement to each applicant. President Obama's Home Church in Chicago was about to become ehat it is today!



Trinity Church Motto "Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian".


FOURTH PASTOR of TRINITY: Jeremiah Wright




1972-2008:

Jeremiah Wright interviewed for the Trinity pastorate on 31 December 1971.

Wright exuded excitement and vision for the church's new mission statement, and that Wright's response to the question "How do you see the role of the Black Church in the black struggle?" indicated he was the only possible candidate for Trinity.

The church also impressed with Wright's educational credentials—Wright held graduate degrees in English studies and Divinity and was studying for a doctorate in religious history—he was shortly confirmed as the new pastor.

Context and challenges

Speller points out that Wright's arrival at Trinity coincided with the height of the U.S. Black Consciousness Revolution (also see South African Black Consciousness Movement). Speller additionally notes that Wright was keenly aware of the challenges that this deeply racialized context presented to Trinity.

As Byassee notes, Wright during graduate school argued strenuously against radical black Islamic groups who had been drawing blacks away from Christianity by asserting that the religion was inherently racist and only for whites.

Wright anticipated that he would need to co-opt the positive elements of the Black Power message. This was an idea around which a larger Christian theological movement had been forming, as evidenced by a full-page New York Times ad entitled "Black Power" run in November 1967 by the National Committee of Negro Churchmen, and Black Theology and Black Power published in 1969 by James H. Cone.

However, the majority of Trinity's eighty-seven remaining congregants had largely sheltered themselves from the dramatic changes that had been occurring within black communities over the years, and still held that the solution to racial injustices was to culturally assimilate.

Accordingly, Trinity's congregants under Wright confronted themselves with an unsettling question: "whether they wanted to be a white Congregationalist church in black face or a black church in the black community."

It was at this point that President Obama's Home Church in Chicago's journey as a small and struggling congregation - small in its numbers, small in its vision, and struggling for survival in its identity as well - Trinity decided to begin the painful process of shedding the shame associated with blackness and claiming a new Purpose that called them to a Christianity of liberation and empowerment.

The psychological and spiritual shift at Trinity quickly resulted in changes at Trinity. The first change occurred in late 1972 when Trinity's youth lobbied for a greater role in the church. Under a dynamic new youth choir director, they led musical worship using Urban contemporary gospel music while incorporating dramatic visual props.

Thus the youth choir ushered in a new day at Trinity Church, and through their enthusiastic music they ignited a burning flame. Thus the Church was born that would form the thinking of a pPresident of the USA, of which Church, President Obama would call his Home.

The nearly sacred Pilgrim Hymnal was laid to rest with the Mayflower, and some of Trinity's congregants left because of what Wright described as "fear of change—change in the style of worship but, more importantly, change in the kind of members that would desire to join our church."

In sum, Trinity began to more fully move away from its earlier purpose surrounding "middle-classness" to one where devotion to God and the poor took much greater prominence.

Trinity journeyed "from assimilation and fear to liberation and courage", and the freedom to be black as a matter of cultural identity, and to be Christian as a matter of purpose and belonging to God.

Byassee argues that "African Americans have generated distinctly black forms of Christianity since they arrived on these [American] shores" and further asserts that “Trinity is well within the mainstream of the black church, and is remarkable in the mainline world for its size and influence."

Trinity evolved as a proto-type for The Ethnic Community-prophetic Model, following the research of Nelson an Nelson in the 1970s, . Black churches that have been categorized as such are those that have been marked by blacks who spoke out and undertook activism against economic and political injustices from a heightened awareness of black pride and power.

The Compensatory Model has been a designation of black churches where congregants find acceptance, appreciation, and applause often denied them within dominant society. Motivation stems from a promise of achieving personal empowerment and recognition.

President Obama's Home Church in Chicago continues to struggle in varying degrees to balance the polarities of ‘this world vs. the ‘other world’ - called the dialectic model by Lincoln and Mamiya (see The Dialectical Model), and that the church's greatest challenge has been "mediating the tension between being black and Christian."



SOULMATES: Willow Creek & Trinity United, Jeremiah Wright & Bill Hybels:

Amazingly, this move into contemporary music & drama which is now the ‘life blood of the emerging church’ began in the Chicago area - but NOT across town on the North side - where Pastor Bill Hybels & Willow Creek are now located.

It actually began diametrically across town on Chicago’s south Side with Pastor Wright & Trinity United!

As we read how the psychological and spiritual shift at Trinity quickly resulted in changes, with the first in late 1972 when Trinity's youth lobbied for a greater role in the church.

Under a dynamic new youth choir director, they led musical worship using Urban contemporary gospel music while incorporating dramatic visual props. This is Hybels & Willow Creek 101!

Thus the youth choir ushered in a new day at Trinity Church, and through their enthusiastic music they ignited a burning flame.

Next comes a page found in Rick warren's playbook of the 'Purpose Driven Church'.

Trinity's new leadership decided the nearly-sacred-Pilgrim Hymnal was laid to rest with the Mayflower, and some of Trinity's congregants left because of what Wright described as "fear of change—change in the style of worship but, more importantly, change in the kind of members that would desire to join our church."

This is just the beginning of Pastor Wright's leading this small Church from less than 100 to over 10,000 today!

DON'T MISS





President Obama's Home Church in Chicago PART-2



President Obama's Home Church in Chicago PART-2

Top Ten African American Church Success Stories

FROM: Barak Obama - His Chicago Church TO Home Page





TO: MAIN INDEX Top Ten Series, Most Recent Pages Added, *Urgent!

GENERAL HOME PAGE

TOP-TEN-News-Notes & Nuggets for Conservatives & Christians

Thank You Christian Friends

For visiting us at Ministers-Best-Friend.com

Come often and Will You Please tell a Friend?

For personal needs & prayer requests, please email David & Marlene

at UnitedFORChristUSA@gmail.com. We will reply!

Most Important Questions You'll Ever Answer?

Do you understand "Eternal Life as God's FREE GIFT" - Unearned and Undeserved?
"Eternal Life as God's FREE GIFT!"

Do you know FOR SURE that you have Eternal Life: Here & Now?

"Eternal Life: Here & Now FOR SURE!"

In 'VERY FEW MINUTES' ... you can Know for Certain if you're saved ... or not!
In 'TWO MINUTES' - Know if you're Saved or not!



Search Web's Most Comprehensive Christian Site

All-Things-Bible, Church, History, Leadership, Psychology, Politics, Science, Health,
Sermon Resources, "Starters", Illustrations & Stories, Humor, Quotes, Sermons (Audio & Print)
From Ancient Rome, Greece & Jewish History to Latest News Headlines!

The Web Ministers-Best-Friend

Please visit ‘Index' before leaving. See our TOP-TEN-SERIES

INDEX: Top-Ten Series, Most Recent Webpages, **Urgent!, etc,

Basic Categories Updated Continually

[ GENERAL HOME PAGE ] [ MINISTERS HOME PAGE ][ ANTI-AGING & HEALTH ] [ BIBLE & KJV? ] [ CATHOLICS ] [ CHURCH HISTORY ] [ ECONOMICS & WEALTH ] [ JEWISH ] [ TALK-RADIO-CONSERVATIVES ] [ REPUBLICANS ] [ RUSH LIMBAUGH 'BLOG & FORUM' ] [ G.W. BUSH ] [ SARAH PALIN 'BLOG & FORUM' ] [ PRO-LIFE ] [ PRESIDENTS ] [ INDEX PAGE ]

NEED TO SEE THE "TOP NEWS STORIES" BEFORE LEAVING?

Consider making our TOP-TEN Daily Stories your FIRST NEWS of Your Day!
For News Important to Conservatives & Christians (that modern media often ignore!)
"TOP-TEN" NEWS NOTES for Conservatives & Christians

A Christian Net Top 1000

CatholicTop1000 for Catholic and Christian websites and webmasters.JCSM's Top 1000 Christian Sites - Free Traffic Sharing Service!The BaptistTop1000.com


Could you share your State of Salvation that we may better serve our readers?


At this time, I do not believe Jesus is the Saviour!

I do believe Jesus is the Saviour and I know I have eternal Life!

I do not believe it is possible to 'Know in this life' if one has Eternal Life.



A Christian Family in Every House, in YOUR Community, in YOUR Lifetime!

Worth Giving For? Worth Trying For? Worth Working For?

Please name "Ministers-Best-Friend.com" aloud in Prayer Daily? PLEASE?