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'Putting Unity to Use for Good': Tony Evans Explains Why America Needs Black History Month


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Pastor Tony Evans believes America needs a Black History Month, because "God does his best work in unity."

In a recent article for Relevant Magazine, the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, reminds Christians, "When we got saved, we were baptized into the body of Christ. No matter our race, gender, or class, when each of us came to faith in Jesus, we entered into a new family. We didn't create God's family. We became a part of it."

Citing , Evans wrote, "The Holy Spirit created our unity. It is our job to preserve it." 

He also gave his theory as to why Americans still haven't solved the racial divide in our country even after 157 years. 

It's "because people apart from God are trying to invent unity, while people who belong to God are not living out the unity we already possess. The result of both of these situations has been and will continue to be, disastrous for our nation. Let alone disastrous for the witness of Christ to our nation," he explained

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Evans believes all Americans can attain unity by working through service together.  

"Just like God is made up of three distinct persons—each unique and diverse—unity does not negate individuality. Unity embraces diversity to create a stronger whole," he noted. 

Evans also recalled when he was "growing up in urban America during the Civil Rights Era in a Christian context of racism, segregation, and an incomplete historical education didn't give me an opportunity to know who I really was."

He explains how he sat in school in all-black classrooms where he was taught white culture and white history.  

"I read about Paul Revere and his midnight ride. But what my teachers failed to mention was that on the night of Paul Revere's ride, another man—a Black man named Wentworth Cheswell—also rode on behalf of our nation's security. He rode north with the same exact message," he wrote

Evans also pointed out that even the notes in his Bible reminded him Black people were under the curse of slavery.  But "it also left out the rich history of people of color in the Bible and even that there were Black men and women in the lineage of Jesus Christ," he noted. 

"Without an authentic self-awareness, African-Americans often struggle as we seek to play on the same team toward the same goal in the body of Christ. But my white brothers and sisters also need to be aware of who we are, and who God has created and positioned us to be at this critical time in our world," the pastor wrote

"Black History Month gives us an opportunity to familiarize ourselves with our own past in such a way that will enable us to embrace our diversity to its fullest, putting unity to use for good," Evans explained. "When we do that—when we knowledgeably serve side by side—there will be no stopping what we can do in the name of Jesus Christ."

Countless Stories of Black American History

As CBN News has reported, even a descendant of slaves and a descendant of slave owners have come together to show how we can rise above racism in America. 

African-American Will Ford and white Matt Lockett never expected to become warriors against the racial divide wounding our country. Still, they believe God brought them together miraculously for a profound purpose. Now they're reaching out to a hurting nation in an effort to give it the kind of unity and love they've found, that rises above color.

American history is filled with stories about the many contributions of Black people to our nation. 

One of those stories took place in Williamsburg, VA, where archaeologists uncovered the foundation of one of the country's oldest black churches from Colonial times. The congregation of First Baptist of Williamsburg began meeting secretly outdoors in 1776, but much of its history was lost when the building was covered over by a parking lot. Now, black and white Americans are coming together to tell the whole story.

The role of faith played a huge part in the lives of African-American slaves. The spiritual songs that they sang continue to inspire black Americans today. 

U.S. history also tells us about the crucial role of 180,000 black soldiers who fought in the Union Army during the American Civil War.  President Abraham Lincoln later credited these "men of color" with helping turn the tide of the war, calling them "the sable arm." 

Contrary to popular belief, the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry was the first black regiment raised and trained by a state during the Civil War. They were recruited to serve in the United States Army as a fighting unit. However, Hollywood would have you believe the 54th Massachusetts Infantry was the first black unit to serve as a fighting regiment. The 54th's powerful story was portrayed in the 1989 film "Glory."

But according to history, the honor belongs to the 1st Kansas. After the war, noted Confederate guerilla Bill Truman told people in Butler, MO, that the black troops had fought "like tigers" in the battle of Island Mound, MO on October 28, 1862. Outnumbered five to one, the soldiers of the 1st Kansas were recognized for their "desperate bravery" in the New York Times, Nov. 19, 1862.

Black men and women also made individual, groundbreaking contributions too. Frederick Douglas, Harriet (Ross) Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and President Barrack Obama are just a few examples. 

Then there are also stories of faith and courage like the story of the Tuskegee airmen, documented in the motion picture Red Tails.

And the true story of the Underground Railroad, which would become the first integrated resistance movement in the U.S. 

Thomas Garrett, who helped more than 2,000 slaves make their way to freedom, lost his home after being heavily fined. At the house auction, the sheriff told him, "Thomas, I hope you'll never be caught at this again."

Garrett's reply was typical of most agents in the Underground Railroad: "Friend, I haven't a dollar in the world, but if thee knows a fugitive who needs breakfast, send him to me."

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of