LISTEN: Colonial Enterprise in the Caribbean, Part 2; An Arena of Political Life; Lack of a Proper Male Image (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #45 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Our Scripture verse for today is Job 19:25 which reads: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, “Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens.” He continues discussing statements which are frequently heard in the black church which he calls “innocent but dangerous.” The sixth such statement is: “You can’t beat God giving, no matter how hard you try.” Lee June comments, “This is part of a song and is usually sung or uttered during the offering. While the phrase above is accurate, what follows these words is problematic. After the phrase ‘you can’t beat God giving,’ next comes ‘the more you give, the more He gives to you.’ The detrimental aspect of this phrase is that it suggests, equates, and correlates a financial return from giving. Thus individuals may develop the wrong motive for giving.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase any one of these books from our website.

Our first topic for today is titled “Colonial Enterprise in the Caribbean, Part 2” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

The rivalry among European countries for control of the islands in the 17th century presaged the more intense rivalry for hegemony on the mainland that was to develop during the following century. Spain, of course, had prior claim to the islands, thanks to the explorations of its sailors in the 15th century and the papal arrangement of 1493. The Spaniards took advantage of this position by channeling their energies and capital into development of their insular possessions, the most important of which were Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Jamaica. Although they were to lose some of these and other islands in various conflicts, they nevertheless made the most of their holdings by producing staple crops, especially tobacco and sugar, with slave labor. Early in the 16th century, large consignments of slaves went to the Spanish islands. In 1518, for example, the king of Spain granted a trader the right to ship 4,000 Africans to the Spanish islands. By 1540, the annual importation had reached approximately 10,000. Moreover, an illicit trade of indeterminate size was already developing.

The breaking of the Spanish monopoly in the Caribbean was closely connected with the slave trade. What the English first sought was an opportunity to share in the Caribbean trade, which, during the early years of Elizabeth’s reign, already gave promise of being decidedly profitable. When Spain rejected this bid, the English, led in both thought and action by John Hawkins, decided that the monopoly could be broken only by force. Hawkins planned to take slaves to the New World with the hope that the colonists’ desire for them would be sufficient to overcome their respect for the royal ban on unlicensed trade. The pattern that he set in selling slaves and other African goods at Hispaniola in 1563 was eagerly followed by other and less discreet English imitators, who were summarily arrested and punished by Spanish officials on the island. Although, for the moment, Spain had checked the encroachment of Hawkins and others, it was only a matter of time before Spain would have to yield valuable ground in regard both to the commercial and the territorial monopoly it had enjoyed.

If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

_______________

Our second topic for today is “The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation, Part 14” from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier.

— An Arena of Political Life, Continued

It should be noted that of the twenty Negroes elected to the House of Representatives of the United States from the South during the Reconstruction period only two were preachers, but one of the two Negroes who were elected to the Senate was a preacher. Senator Hiram R. Revels, one of the two Negroes elected from Mississippi, was born a free Negro in North Carolina in 1822. He moved to the North and was ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. When the Civil War broke out he assisted in organizing two Negro regiments in Maryland. He worked with the Freedmen’s Bureau and, like other preachers, engaged in the establishment of churches and schools before entering politics in Mississippi. Revel’s career in politics, like that of other Negro preachers was of short duration because of the re-establishment of white supremacy in the South. After elimination from politics in the South, the Negro preachers generally devoted themselves to their church though in some cases they became heads of Negro schools.

If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

_______________

Our third and final topic for today is from “The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook” by Dr. William A. Banks.

Today we are looking at part 14 of Chapter 4: “Reconstruction and Retaliation — 1866 to 1914”

We continue looking at the LACK OF A PROPER MALE IMAGE

As the economic situation improved, relatively speaking, some Negro men began assuming their rightful, God-given position of authority in the home. Here the growth of the Negro church helped. Frazier credits the new economic position of the male as a major factor in establishing family life, admitting this gain was consolidated by the moral support of the Negro church. Slowly but surely the leadership of the male emerged; since preachers were men in authority, this helped to create within the community a better black- male image. A close relationship still existed between family-life organization and church organization. Loose, immoral sex and broken-family behavior are not changed overnight, but the Negro church played a major role in improving the sex behavior of its members.

_______________

If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

Let’s have a word of prayer.

In closing, allow me to say that like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people whom I grew up around said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. For example, joining the church, being baptized, doing good things, or being a good person does not mean you are saved. I wrote an article about this matter titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, understand that a horrible punishment eternal Hell awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon the Lord in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you do that today, then you can truly sing in the words of the Old Negro spiritual: Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty I’m free at last.

Until next time, may God richly bless you.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

LISTEN: Slavery & the New World, Pt. 3; the Negro Church, Pt. 3; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 3 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #34 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Our Scripture verse for today is Isaiah 7:14 which reads: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, “Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens.” He said, “There is found in some songs a deep religious, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and theological significance. The songs sung in ‘Black churches’ often speak of a brighter day, assurance, hope, being on the battlefield, heaven, victory, and the power of God. Many observers of religion and gospel singing will admit that few sing with such creativity, melody, fervor, and emotion as Black people.”

Our first topic for today is titled “The Slave Trade and the New World (Part 3)” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

Doubtless, some Africans who were sold to the east and north during the period of Muslim domination found their way into the markets of Western Europe. It was not until the end of the fourteenth century, however, that Europeans themselves began to bring slaves into Europe. Both Spanish and Portuguese sailors were exploring the coast of Africa in the wake of the great wave of expansionism that had swept over Europe. They went to the Canary Islands and to innumerable ports on the mainland as far as the Gulf of Guinea…

Our second topic for today is “The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation, Part 3” from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier. He writes:

— The “Invisible Institution” Merges with the Institutional Church (Continued)

It is our purpose here to show how an organized religious life became the chief means by which a structured or organized social life came into existence among the Negro masses. The process by which the “invisible institution” of the slaves merged with the institutional churches built by the free Negroes had to overcome many difficulties. These difficulties arose chiefly from the fact that there were among the free Negroes many mulattoes and that they, as well as the unmixed Negroes, represented a higher degree of assimilation of white or European culture. This was often reflected in the difference of the character of the religious services of those with a background of freedom and those who were just released from slavery…

Our third and final topic for today is from “The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook” by Dr. William A. Banks.

Today we are looking at part 3 of Chapter 4: “Reconstruction and Retaliation — 1866 to 1914”

TREMENDOUS CHURCH GROWTH

But what about the church? How did it fare? It grew by leaps and bounds and easily became the very center of Negro social life: a means for self expression, recognition, and shelter from the cruel white world. Many mutual-aid societies and orders were founded which, along with the churches, offered help in time of sickness and death. The Negro preacher became a very important factor in the life of his people, more so than ever before. Two things happened. The “invisible” church of the Southern plantations during slavery time now became visible, adding for the most part to the size and number of independent Baptist and Methodist Negro churches…

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

LISTEN: The Christian Kongo; Free Negroes Establish Churches, Cont.; Events Leading Up to the Civil War (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #31 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Our Scripture verse for today is Psalm 1:1-2 which reads: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, “Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens.” He said, “Within the ‘Black Church’ and depending on the denomination, the ritual of baptism is performed differently. For some it is done by total immersion and others practice ‘sprinkling.’ Some baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit while others baptize in the name of Jesus only. But regardless of the specific practice, this act has tremendous spiritual and psychological significance to the one being baptized as well as upon the congregation. In baptism, one experiences identification with Jesus Christ, a movement from being a ‘sinner’ to becoming a ‘saint.’ It is a washing away of sins, a cleansing, and is part of becoming a new person in Christ.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic for today is titled “The Christian Kongo” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

The kingdom of Kongo in West Central Africa was founded in the fourteenth century. It was unique for its voluntary conversion to Catholicism, which occurred after the Kongolese king Nzinga a Nkuwu asked Portuguese priests to baptize him in 1491. He adopted his baptismal name João I and established trade and religious relations with Portugal, allowing Portuguese merchants and priests into his kingdom. However, in Kongo, Africans and not the Portuguese controlled the church, and thus Catholic worship melded indigenous religious beliefs and practices with Christianity.

Our second topic for today is “The Institutional Church of the Free Negroes, Part 8” from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier. He writes:

The Free Negroes Establish Their Own Churches (Continued)

With the division of congregations came the development of a distinct religious observance combining elements of African ritual, slave emotionalism, southern suffering, and individual eloquence. Working-class Baptist and Methodist church services fused African and European forms of religious expression to produce a unique version of worship that reflected the anguish, pain, and occasional elation of nineteenth-century black life in the United States.

Our third and final topic for today is from “The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook” by Dr. William A. Banks.

Today we are continuing with part 5 of Chapter 3: “Reaction — 1820 to 1865”

EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE CIVIL WAR

By the 1850s, cotton had become king, accounting for nearly half of the total value of our exports. And the black man who worked the cotton had become a great divider of men. Things were heading toward a climax in the 1850s and, as time wore on, turbulence increased. Deciding which states would become free of slavery was a problem. Slave owners and abolitionists were at each others’ throats. The novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by H. B. Stowe appeared in 1352 and had a tremendous impact against slavery. The Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court was handed down in 1857. Scott, taken to free territory by his master, filed a lawsuit for his freedom, but the court denied it, claiming he could not sue because he was not a citizen.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

LISTEN: Blacks, the Second Great Awakening, Hush Harbors, and Abolition (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #VA8 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Welcome to episode #8 of the The History of Black Americans and the Black Church podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. Since it is hard to separate Black American history and Black Church history I am combining the two because they are so intertwined. As many of you know, the church and religion has played and continues to play a big role in the African American community. Yet, many of us who grew up in the traditional black church do not have an understanding of how our faith evolved under the duress of slavery and discrimination to be and to represent what it does today. The purpose of this broadcast is to provide that background knowledge while also pointing out the dividing line between what is just tradition and true faith in Jesus Christ.

Our Scripture verse for today is John 8:36 which reads: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Arthur Ashe, the World No. 1 tennis player and the first black man to be selected for the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team. He said, “If I were to say, ‘God, why me?’ about the bad things, then I should have said, ‘God, why me?’ about the good things that happened in my life.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America/The Black Church Since Frazier by E. Franklin Frazier and C. Eric Lincoln, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic today is a continuation of some good work done for the “God In America” series titled “The Origins of the Black Church” which was aired by the Public Broadcasting Service. This is just a brief historical overview; we will delve into these topics in great detail in upcoming episodes

THE SECOND GREAT AWAKENING AND “HUSH HARBORS”

In the late 18th and early 19th century, thousands of Americans, black and white, enslaved and free, were swept up in the revival known as the Second Great Awakening. In the South, the religious fervor of evangelical Christianity resonated easily with the emotive religious traditions brought from West Africa. Forging a unique synthesis, slaves gathered in “hush harbors” — woods, gullies, ravines, thickets and swamps — for heartfelt worship which stressed deliverance from the toil and troubles of the present world, and salvation in the heavenly life to come.

Yet most of the enslaved lay outside the institutional church. In the 1830s and 1840s, Southern churchmen undertook an active campaign to persuade plantation owners that slaves must be brought into the Christian fold. Because plantations were located far from churches, this meant that the church had to be carried to the plantation. Aided by denominational missionary societies and associations, plantation missions became popular institutions. But missionaries recognized that Christianity would not appeal to all enslaved blacks. Novice missionaries were warned: “He who carries the Gospel to them …discovers deism, skepticism, universalism…all the strong objections against the truth of God; objections which he may perhaps have considered peculiar only to the cultivated minds…of critics and philosophers!”

The Methodists were the most active among missionary societies, but Baptists also had strong appeal. The Baptists’ insistence that each congregation should have its own autonomy meant that blacks could exercise more control over their religious affairs. Yet the independence of black churches was curbed by law and by the white Southern response to slave uprisings and abolition.

ABOLITION

In the years leading up to the Civil War, the black church found its political and prophetic voice in the cause of abolition. Black ministers took to their pulpits to speak out against slavery and warned that any nation that condoned slavery would suffer divine punishment. Former slave and Methodist convert Frederick Douglass challenged Christians to confront an institution that violated the central tenets of the Christian faith, including the principle of equality before God. In 1829, African American abolitionist David Walker issued his famous tract, “Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World,” urging slaves to resort to violence, if necessary. He, too, warned of divine punishment. He said, “God rules in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth… His ears are continually open to the tears and groans of His oppressed people…”

In the North, black ministers and members of the African American community joined white abolitionists in organizing the Underground Railroad, an informal network that helped persons escaping bondage to make their way to freedom. Prominent among these activists was Harriet Tubman, who escaped from slavery in 1849 and made her way to Philadelphia. Having secured her freedom, Tubman put herself in jeopardy by making repeated return trips to the South to assist others. Her courage and determination earned her the affectionate nickname of “Moses.”

We will continue this brief historical overview of the black church in our next podcast.

_______

Our second topic for today is “The First West African States: Mali (Part 2)” from John Hope Franklin’s book, From Slavery to Freedom. He writes:

The best information that the period affords on the level of attainment of these early West African comes from the accounts of royal pilgrimages to Mecca. The kings, newly converted to the religion, were as ardent and pious as any Arabs of their day. As good Muslims, they looked forward to making the traditional pilgrimage to Mecca. Such a pilgrimage, moreover, was an excellent opportunity to display the wealth of the kingdom and to attract trade. The historic pilgrimage of Man-sa-Musa in 1324 exceeded all visits to Mecca by previous royal personages from the West. Cairo’s El O-ma-ni said that the entourage was composed of thousands of people, a large portion of which constituted a military escort. Gifts were lavished on the populace, and mosques were built where they were needed. As the camels approached Mecca, their burden was considerably lighter than it had been when they departed for the East.

Since any such pilgrimage was a display of wealth and power as well as a holy journey, there was no need to proceed directly to and from Mecca. Man-sa-Musa first visited various parts of his kingdom to show his subjects and vassals his tremendous wealth and to demonstrate his benevolence. He then proceeded to Tu-at, in the land of the Berbers, and after making a deep impression there, he crossed the desert, visited Cairo, and finally went to the holy places of Mecca and Me-di-na. He returned by way of Ghadames [GA-DA-MEES], in Tripoli, where he received many honors and from which point he was accompanied to his kingdom by El-Mo-mar, a descendant of the founder of the dynasty of the Al-mo-hads. A more significant visitor to return with Man-sa-Musa was Ibrahim Es Sa-he-li, a distinguished Arabian poet and architect from a Granada family, whom Man-sa-Musa engaged to supervise the building of elaborate mosques at Timbuktu, Jenne [JEN], Gao, and elsewhere. These structures added further splendor to the already well-developed kingdom of Mali.

——-

We will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

In closing, allow me to say that like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what church people said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Second, understand that a horrible punishment eternal Hell awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon the Lord in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will. Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Then you can sing in the words of the Old Negro spiritual:

Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty I’m free at last.

Until next time, may God richly bless you.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

LISTEN: Emancipation, Reconstruction, and Women in the Black Church (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #9 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Welcome to episode #9 of the The History of Black Americans and the Black Church podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. Since it is hard to separate Black American history and Black Church history I am combining the two because they are so intertwined. As many of you know, the church and religion has played and continues to play a big role in the African American community. Yet, many of us who grew up in the traditional black church do not have an understanding of how our faith evolved under the duress of slavery and discrimination to be and to represent what it does today. The purpose of this broadcast is to provide that background knowledge while also pointing out the dividing line between what is just tradition and true faith in Jesus Christ.

Our Scripture verse for today is Acts 17:26-27 which reads: “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, “Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens.” He said, “It is extremely important psychologically to recognize that Blacks were involved with Christianity long before the American sojourn in mass numbers because if we do not recognize the rich history of achievements prior to America, then we will have primarily a ‘slave mentality’ and this can damage is psychologically.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America/The Black Church Since Frazier by E. Franklin Frazier and C. Eric Lincoln, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic today is a continuation of some good work done for the “God In America” series titled “The Origins of the Black Church” which was aired by the Public Broadcasting Service. This is just a brief historical overview; we will delve into these topics in great detail in upcoming episodes

EMANCIPATION AND RECONSTRUCTION

For those who yearned for freedom, the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863, seemed to re-enact the Exodus story of the ancient Israelites: God had intervened in human history to liberate his chosen people. But the stroke of a presidential pen did not eliminate poverty and dislocation, chaos and uncertainty. In the North, black churches organized missions to the South to help newly freed persons find the skills and develop the talents that would allow them to lead independent lives. Education was paramount. African American missionaries, including AME Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne, established schools and educational institutions. White denominations, including Presbyterian, Congregational and Episcopal congregations, also sent missionaries to teach reading and math skills to a population previously denied the opportunity for education. Over time, these missionary efforts gave rise to the establishment of independent black institutions of higher education, including Morehouse College and Spelman College in Atlanta.

But there were tensions. Some Northerners, including Payne, did not approve of the emotional worship style of their Southern counterparts; he stressed that “true” Christian worship meant proper decorum and attention to reading the Bible. Many Southerners were disinterested in Payne’s admonitions. They liked their emotive form of worship and saw no reason to cast it aside. Nevertheless, most black Southerners ended up joining independent black churches that had been formed in the North before the Civil War. These included the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ). In 1870, Southerners formed the Colored (now “Christian”) Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1894, black Baptists formed the National Baptist Convention.

In all these denominations, the black preacher stood as the central figure. W.E.B. Du Bois immortalized these men in his famous essay, “Of the Faith of the Fathers,” that appeared in his seminal work, The Souls of Black Folk. Du Bois described the preacher as “the most unique personality developed by the Negro on American soil,” a man who “found his function as the healer of the sick, the interpreter of the Unknown, the comforter of the sorrowing, the supernatural avenger of wrong, and the one who rudely but picturesquely expressed the longing, disappointment, and resentment of a stolen and oppressed people.”

WOMEN

Men commanded the pulpits of the black church; they also dominated church power and politics. Denied the chance to preach, growing numbers of women, mostly middle class, found ways to participate in religious life. They organized social services, missionary societies, temperance associations and reading groups. They fought for suffrage and demanded social reform. They wrote for religious periodicals, promoting Victorian ideals of respectability and womanhood. Like the crusading newspaper reporter Ida B. Wells, they protested racial injustice, lynching and violence.

Among the most influential women was Nannie Burroughs, who served as corresponding secretary of the Woman’s Convention of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A. In a major address to the NBC delivered in 1920, Burroughs chastised black ministers when he said: “We might as well be frank and face the truth. While we have hundreds of superior men in the pulpits, North and South, East and West, the majority of our religious leaders have preached too much Heaven and too little practical Christian living. In many, the spirit of greed, like the horse-leach, is ever crying, ‘Give me, give me, give me.’ Does the absorbing task of supplying their personal needs bind leaders to the moral, social and spiritual needs of our people?”

Men, she argued, must welcome women into the affairs of government. Women must organize and educate. “There will be protest against politics in the Church,” she predicted, but insisted, “It is better to have politics than ignorance.”

We will continue this brief historical overview of the black church in our next podcast.

_______

Our second topic for today is “The First West African States: Mali (Part 3)” from John Hope Franklin’s book, From Slavery to Freedom. He writes:

When Man-sa-Musa died in 1337, Mali could boast of a powerful and well-organized political state. Traveling in the area a few years later, Ibn Ba-tu-ta, the celebrated Arabian geographer, reported that he was greatly impressed by “the discipline of its officials and provincial governors, the excellent condition of public finance, the luxury, the rigorous and complicated ceremonial of the royal receptions, and the respect accorded to the decisions of justice and to the authority of the sovereign.”

In the middle of the fourteenth century Europe was just beginning to feel the effects of its commercial revolution and European states had not yet achieved anything resembling national unity; but Mali under Man-sa-Musa and his successor, Suleiman [SU-LAY-MAN], enjoyed a flourishing economy with good international trade relations and could point with pride to a stable government extending several hundred miles from the Atlantic to Lake Chad. The people adhered to a state religion that had international connections, and learning flourished in the many schools that had been established. It was not until the fifteenth century that the kingdom showed definite signs of decline and disintegration. The powerful blows of the Song-hay and the attacks of the Mos-si combined to reduce the power of Mali. The decline did not go on indefinitely, however, and Mali continued to exist for many years as a small, semi-independent state.

——-

We will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

In closing, allow me to say that like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what church people said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Second, understand that a horrible punishment eternal Hell awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon the Lord in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will. Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Then you can sing in the words of the Old Negro spiritual:

Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty I’m free at last.

Until next time, may God richly bless you.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

LISTEN: Blacks, the Second Great Awakening, Hush Harbors, and Abolition (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #8 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Welcome to episode #8 of the The History of Black Americans and the Black Church podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. Since it is hard to separate Black American history and Black Church history I am combining the two because they are so intertwined. As many of you know, the church and religion has played and continues to play a big role in the African American community. Yet, many of us who grew up in the traditional black church do not have an understanding of how our faith evolved under the duress of slavery and discrimination to be and to represent what it does today. The purpose of this broadcast is to provide that background knowledge while also pointing out the dividing line between what is just tradition and true faith in Jesus Christ.

Our Scripture verse for today is John 8:36 which reads: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Arthur Ashe, the World No. 1 tennis player and the first black man to be selected for the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team. He said, “If I were to say, ‘God, why me?’ about the bad things, then I should have said, ‘God, why me?’ about the good things that happened in my life.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America/The Black Church Since Frazier by E. Franklin Frazier and C. Eric Lincoln, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic today is a continuation of some good work done for the “God In America” series titled “The Origins of the Black Church” which was aired by the Public Broadcasting Service. This is just a brief historical overview; we will delve into these topics in great detail in upcoming episodes

THE SECOND GREAT AWAKENING AND “HUSH HARBORS”

In the late 18th and early 19th century, thousands of Americans, black and white, enslaved and free, were swept up in the revival known as the Second Great Awakening. In the South, the religious fervor of evangelical Christianity resonated easily with the emotive religious traditions brought from West Africa. Forging a unique synthesis, slaves gathered in “hush harbors” — woods, gullies, ravines, thickets and swamps — for heartfelt worship which stressed deliverance from the toil and troubles of the present world, and salvation in the heavenly life to come.

Yet most of the enslaved lay outside the institutional church. In the 1830s and 1840s, Southern churchmen undertook an active campaign to persuade plantation owners that slaves must be brought into the Christian fold. Because plantations were located far from churches, this meant that the church had to be carried to the plantation. Aided by denominational missionary societies and associations, plantation missions became popular institutions. But missionaries recognized that Christianity would not appeal to all enslaved blacks. Novice missionaries were warned: “He who carries the Gospel to them …discovers deism, skepticism, universalism…all the strong objections against the truth of God; objections which he may perhaps have considered peculiar only to the cultivated minds…of critics and philosophers!”

The Methodists were the most active among missionary societies, but Baptists also had strong appeal. The Baptists’ insistence that each congregation should have its own autonomy meant that blacks could exercise more control over their religious affairs. Yet the independence of black churches was curbed by law and by the white Southern response to slave uprisings and abolition.

ABOLITION

In the years leading up to the Civil War, the black church found its political and prophetic voice in the cause of abolition. Black ministers took to their pulpits to speak out against slavery and warned that any nation that condoned slavery would suffer divine punishment. Former slave and Methodist convert Frederick Douglass challenged Christians to confront an institution that violated the central tenets of the Christian faith, including the principle of equality before God. In 1829, African American abolitionist David Walker issued his famous tract, “Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World,” urging slaves to resort to violence, if necessary. He, too, warned of divine punishment. He said, “God rules in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth… His ears are continually open to the tears and groans of His oppressed people…”

In the North, black ministers and members of the African American community joined white abolitionists in organizing the Underground Railroad, an informal network that helped persons escaping bondage to make their way to freedom. Prominent among these activists was Harriet Tubman, who escaped from slavery in 1849 and made her way to Philadelphia. Having secured her freedom, Tubman put herself in jeopardy by making repeated return trips to the South to assist others. Her courage and determination earned her the affectionate nickname of “Moses.”

We will continue this brief historical overview of the black church in our next podcast.

_______

Our second topic for today is “The First West African States: Mali (Part 2)” from John Hope Franklin’s book, From Slavery to Freedom. He writes:

The best information that the period affords on the level of attainment of these early West African comes from the accounts of royal pilgrimages to Mecca. The kings, newly converted to the religion, were as ardent and pious as any Arabs of their day. As good Muslims, they looked forward to making the traditional pilgrimage to Mecca. Such a pilgrimage, moreover, was an excellent opportunity to display the wealth of the kingdom and to attract trade. The historic pilgrimage of Man-sa-Musa in 1324 exceeded all visits to Mecca by previous royal personages from the West. Cairo’s El O-ma-ni said that the entourage was composed of thousands of people, a large portion of which constituted a military escort. Gifts were lavished on the populace, and mosques were built where they were needed. As the camels approached Mecca, their burden was considerably lighter than it had been when they departed for the East.

Since any such pilgrimage was a display of wealth and power as well as a holy journey, there was no need to proceed directly to and from Mecca. Man-sa-Musa first visited various parts of his kingdom to show his subjects and vassals his tremendous wealth and to demonstrate his benevolence. He then proceeded to Tu-at, in the land of the Berbers, and after making a deep impression there, he crossed the desert, visited Cairo, and finally went to the holy places of Mecca and Me-di-na. He returned by way of Ghadames [GA-DA-MEES], in Tripoli, where he received many honors and from which point he was accompanied to his kingdom by El-Mo-mar, a descendant of the founder of the dynasty of the Al-mo-hads. A more significant visitor to return with Man-sa-Musa was Ibrahim Es Sa-he-li, a distinguished Arabian poet and architect from a Granada family, whom Man-sa-Musa engaged to supervise the building of elaborate mosques at Timbuktu, Jenne [JEN], Gao, and elsewhere. These structures added further splendor to the already well-developed kingdom of Mali.

——-

We will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

In closing, allow me to say that like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what church people said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Second, understand that a horrible punishment eternal Hell awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon the Lord in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will. Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Then you can sing in the words of the Old Negro spiritual:

Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty I’m free at last.

Until next time, may God richly bless you.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.