Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1, Forerunner: Vernon Johns,)
In the opening chapter, two Negro groups split off from the First Baptist Church of Montgomery. The first group calls its church First Baptist and the second group calls its church Dexter Avenue. First Baptist Church has a large, poorer congregation, while Dexter Avenue attracts a middle class congregation.
The aim of this lesson is to examine the relationship between blacks and Christianity.
1) Class discussion. Where did black people worship before segregation? What was their religion before they came to America as slaves? Why do the students think the blacks seemed to accept Christianity so readily? Were they forced to accept Christianity? How do blacks worship in comparison to how whites worship? Do the students think faith is important for people living in extreme circumstances?
2) Divide the students into two groups and ask each group to research and reconstruct a traditional black Christian congregation. One...
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