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Racial Rejection Sparks a Movement of Love

After an all-white church turned him away, Vincent was determined to worship with those he considered brethren in the faith. This challenged the status quo and change began to blossom. Read Transcript


NARRATOR: The voting rights marches of 1965

put the little known town of Selma, Alabama

in the national spotlight.

That same year, a future Selma University student

was born who would expose the need for more change.

He's Vincent Taylor, who enrolled in the school in 1987

to become a pastor.

I was on the Honor Roll, the Dean's list, the President's

list.

I was well liked, well received.

NARRATOR: In his senior year, Vincent

took a theology course that tested his beliefs.

And that class is designed to look at ways to liberate

society from oppressive views.

I noticed that there was a lot of racist, in my perspective,

statements.

My position was that as Christians our perspective

should be that we are all brothers and sisters,

and that we have got to be able to embrace one another

and to trust one another.

NARRATOR: When Vincent challenged their views,

the professor responded with a challenge of his own.

And basically, he said, "Well, since you love white people so

much, you go to Central Baptist Church

and see if they will receive you."

He bet me $5 that I would not go to that church.

And my point was to prove that the church was not racist.

That the body of Christ was not racist.

And so I took the challenge.

NARRATOR: That next Sunday, he and some friends

went to the church.

And when we got there, the deacons came down the steps,

and they said we wasn't allowed to enter the church.

And, you know, I asked why.

He said, "We don't allow black people to come to our church."

That shocked me.

It shocked the ladies who were with me.

NARRATOR: Vincent was deeply grieved over the situation.

But didn't know what to do.

A friend gave him an idea.

I went to the library, wrote a letter to the newspaper.

And they printed it.

And the letter indicated that I was going back

to Central Baptist Church to worship

with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

NARRATOR: The letter drew a strong response

throughout the community.

Central Baptist Church, they temporarily

changed their policy from excluding African Americans.

Later on, I think a couple weeks later,

they permanently changed the policy.

NARRATOR: He returned to the church twice,

and both times was welcomed to worship with them.

As time went on, Vincent was grateful to see further change

in the city.

A lot of churches then began to look at their policies

and say that this is not right.

It is ungodly.

And that everyone should be welcome to the table of Christ.

So, there was a very positive change.

NARRATOR: Vincent graduated with honors in 1990,

moved back to Ohio, married, and had a family.

In 1997, he started his own church.

Somebody [INAUDIBLE].

And I believe is in your praryers.

Amen.

I want to encourage people that in the end,

that if they will stand up, if they will stand long

enough, if they will hope in the Lord, that in the end

God will bless them.

I think that's what my story is really about.

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