It will use historical evidence to examine the role of the church is a spiritual entity. It will examine the role of the church as a political entity throughout changing political landscapes. It will explore the role of the church as a social service provider with regards to the importance of this role in helping black people to redeem themselves in light of historical cultural atrocities that they have faced.
In order to examine that topics of interest un this research study the following research questions be addressed.
1. How has the black church served as redemptive force in helping the black people to heal?
2. What factors served as a redemptive force in helping the image of black people in the black church to improve?
3. How has a black church helped black communities to regain and maintain their self-sufficiency?
4. How has the black church served as a means to identify common cultural constructs and as a means to preserve them?
5. Has the role of the black church changed since the civil rights movement of the nineteen sixties?
6. What role could the black church expect fulfill on the future?
The research questions will help to support following hypotheses.
H1: Historical evidence will demonstrate that the black church has served as redemptive force in the eyes of the dominant culture.
H2: Historical evidence will demonstrate the black church has served as a redemptive force in the healing of black communities.
H3: Historical evidence will demonstrate that the role of black church has changed significantly since the nineteen sixties.
Limitations, Assumptions, and Design Controls
This study will take a historical view of the role of the black church as redemptive force within black communities. This type of study does not lend itself to quantitative research methods. Therefore, this study will use qualitative methods using historical evidence of as its key research methods. This method has several limitations that may affect the outcome of the research study.
The first limitation of the study is that relying on historical evidence to demonstrate a principle is subjective. The author might have a tendency to analyze the data in a way that is favorable to the outcome the study. In order to prevent this from happening, the researcher must be careful in to attempt to find evidence that is contrary to their hypothesis and taken into consideration. Maintaining an awareness of this possibility is the best defense against it.
This study will use historical data and evidence to draw its conclusions. Any study that uses historical evidence upon which to base its conclusions runs the risk of taking information out of context. However, the evidence found will be from primarily secondary source and discussions. It will also use an interpretive approach to the evidence. This is not a historical research paper. It is an interpretive look at the role of the black church and its importance in building the social roles of the black church, as we know them today.
Black church has played an important role in the black communities that surround it. Historically, the church was a central part of black community. It served as a religious institution as well as a political and community asset. In more recent times, the black church has become not only an asset to the black community, but to the white community as well. This study will examine the redemptive qualities of the black church in relation to its role within the community.
The dissertation will use a literature review and collection of data from various academic sources to examine the role of the black church from a historical perspective. Chapter 2 will contain the literature review. The methodology for the selection and analysis of materials will be presented in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 will discuss the findings of the study. Chapter 5 will summarize the key points of the study. It will state the conclusions of the research study and will take a futuristic look into the potential role of the black church in the future.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
In order to understand how the role of the black church has changed through the years the research will examine literature on the topic. Distortion of the research will attempt to identify the patterns and gaps in the current body of literature. The matter to be researched its highly subjective and it is expected that a variety of viewpoints will be found. Literature will be divided courting to the research questions that it addresses.
The literature review will be divided to several sections. It will address current body of literature regarding the role of the black church of the community and within black society. The first section of the literature review will explore the development of the role of the black church from a historical perspective. It would be difficult to understand the redemptive purpose of the black church without this time analysis.
After a historical review the history of the black church, the literature review will then begin to address each of the research questions. The hypothesis will be analyzed in light of the information obtained in the literature review. The literature review will use both primary and secondary sources to achieve its goals. The literature will not only address the redemptive role of the black church from a spiritual perspective, but it will also address the redemptive role of the church from a political, communal, and social role.
Historical Role of the Black Church as a symbol of Power
In the background section of this report we addressed briefly the historical role black church since Revolutionary War times. In this analysis it appears that the black church was a centre of the black community and held it together to many difficult times. The church became the fabric that held the black community together. The earlier analysis only briefly touched on the role of the black church the civil rights movement. From this analysis would appear that the role of the church changed little since its early inception. Let us now embark on a more thorough examination of the historical role of the black church.
First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia began its life in 1777 as the First Colored Baptist Church (Brooks, 2004). However, there are reports of Negro Baptists in providence Rhode Island as early as 1774 (Brooks, 2004). These early churches spawned others movement quickly in the movement grew rapidly. Another such church began its life is the First Baptist Church in Wilmington, North Carolina (Reaves, 1998). Black Baptist movement began to take root and church congregations continued to grow.
Many of these churches came into being when blacks requested permission to have separate afternoon meetings from whites. As congregations grew whites became concerned that black churches were gaining too much power and posed a threat (Reaves, 1998). Many of them, such as the First Baptist Church in North Carolina, passed regulations that would not allow blacks to serve in positions of power. Many times, they had a white pastor and were prohibited from doing culturally relevant worship services. Congregations continued to grow and by the 1960s they had gained permission to split off and become their own entities.
This was a major step in gaining independence not only for the black churches, but for the black people themselves. Like their white counterparts, they were likely to suffer from internal struggles and pressures from outside influences. There were disagreements and splits in the congregation, but the splits only helped to allow the black church to continue to grow. Every time there was a split it in a new congregation could be grown into a formidable church Body. This is how a black church grew into a political force by the 1860s.
Black ministers were often seen as agitators or troublemakers by their white counterparts. They had to prove themselves and the sincerity of their got the intentions (Reaves, 1998). Often black churches had to bear the name "colored" to distinguish them from white congregations of the same denomination. These names for later changed, that does not mean that the churches war in the more inclusive or desegregated than they were from their very beginnings.
During the Civil War in shortly after black churches were the targets of arson and other attempts to destroy the building. For example, First Baptist Church in Wilmington North Carolina was the target of such an attempt. Fortunately, nearby shop owner saw the fire in time to save the building (Reaves, 1998). These attempts to destroy the church one not attempts to lash out at the black church as a religious institution, but rather to lash out at black people in general. By that time the church had become a symbol and central focal point of the black community. Attempts to destroy the church or attempts just for the…