Today’s generation of African-Americans needs to return to religion, and black churches should work together to reach them, said Bishop John R. Bryant, of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Bryant brings his message of spiritual renewal to Wesley AME Church in the Third Ward, where just prior to the Juneteenth holiday he’ll preach during a two-day summer revival. He said he hopes to offer parishioners a sense of empowerment during tough times.
“People are dealing with the pressures of the economy,” he said. “There’s a lot of fear and foreboding in the community, and the greatest resource that we have is spiritual.”
Nearly eight in 10 black men and women say that religion is very important in their lives, according to a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, compared with about five in 10 of the overall population.
Although they remain more religious than most Americans, clergy fear that the black community is no longer living scripturally and relying on their faith in God like they once did.