The Christian Science Monitor

Multicultural churches are on the rise. Here’s why.

Erin Rose, a pastor at East End Fellowship, spoke on the importance of 'place' as she began a new series on the New Testament book of Colossians, during a service in Richmond, Virginia, Sept. 15, 2019. To integrate its congregation, the church has developed new liturgy, new worship styles, and new traditions. Source: Noah Robertson/The Christian Science Monitor

Toya Obasi sacrifices something each Sunday when she goes to a church where people don’t all look like her. Ms. Obasi is African American. Her church is not. Instead, East End Fellowship, based in Richmond, Virginia, is split almost evenly between white people and people of color. That’s no accident.

“It’s like more of a sacrifice than I think people really realize,” says Ms. Obasi. “[The black church is] literally the only cultural thing that I have.”

Ms. Obasi loves the community at East End – so much so that after years as a congregant she now works as church administrator. But their work isn’t always easy. Historically an African American area,

Achieving integration, but not equity ‘Relationships hold the church together’ 

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