(MERCER COUNTY) – “Many people call it a divide. I don’t know how you can divide something that’s never been unified. I don’t think we’ve ever been unified,” Pastor Frederick M. Brown of the Faith Center Church in Bluefield, West Virginia said.
Brown is sharing his reaction to another local pastor attending the Trump rally in Washington that ended in riot and insurrection in January.
“I don’t want to judge Pastor Bradford’s heart. As I have been very clear, I don’t know him that well, I have spoken with him, and told him he’s my brother. I love you as a brother in the lord, however I believe Pastor Bradford’s presence in Washington sends a clear message to this region of the country that he’s very bias in his political views, and he has no problems implementing them into his worship experience and I’m challenged with that,” Brown said.
Pastor Doyle Bradford of the Father’s House International Church in Brushfork says he attended the rally due to his personal beliefs. Bradford says he did not participate in any violence,” Pastor Doyle Bradford of the Father’s House International Church said.
“We went to use our constitutional right, to peacefully assemble, we did peacefully assemble and we denounce anyone who didn’t,” Bradford said.
Bradford’s Associate Pastor says he supports Bradford’s decision.
“I support him going to the rally because again, that’s his opinion, that’s him. My job as a Pastor is not to discourage people from what they believe, but more to encourage them to follow what they believe, whether I disagree or agree, that’s not the issue. He went and supported because of the values of which he believes. I also believe those same values, and I also have those same convictions,” Associate Pastor, LaRone Alexander of Father’s House International Church said.
Alexander calls what we’re seeing today, “reverse discrimination.”
“For me to say that you went to support Trump, and you’re a racist is the same stereotype that I receive being black. So because I do, or I come, or I go and act a certain way, I’m being labeled. So what I see is certain groups that went to the rally are being labeled. It’s the same thing that we as blacks has been done for years. Now if I agree with that, then guess what i agree with what’s been done to me for years, and other blacks and other minorities in the community,” Alexander said.
Bradford says there are more issues within the Bluefield community to worry about, instead of his political beliefs.
“Even if we have different opinion, we must never get out of love, we have to come to the table and talk it out. We’ll possibly never agree on everything, but that’s the beauty of being apart of the body of Christ, and being an American,” Bradford said.
“I just believe that it’s time for Bluefield, as we can see in what’s going on in the college and other things. It’s time for us to make a stand together, and not let these little things, little differences of opinion cause a wedge to come between us,” he added.
“My message is, I love these Pastors. We are apart of the body of Christ. It’s going to take brothers like us coming together across racial, and denominational barriers, we can not allow difference of opinion or attending an event stop us from the great things which is the salvation and the blessings of the lord coming upon our city,” Bradford said. “The message I want to get out to this city is, this house believes that we have to stand as one voice across racial and denominational lines.”
Brown’s concern is how does the church, and people who aren’t Christians benefit from politics in the church.
“We will never unify until we sit down and do some real soul searching, and put the issues on the table and whites have an opportunity to listen to the hearts of people that are non white that really want to see diversity and change in this nation without being accused of stirring the pot and causing issues and future problems,” Brown said.
“In our world even though Christians say that God is in control of all things, it’s the people that vote, and Presidents are elected because of a vote, not because god has placed them in that position,” Brown added.
In the end both of these churches believe that they have a difference in background, and opinion, and call for all churches to address social issues.