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Racial unity still a focus years after N.C. church merger

Church member Troy Savage says Martin Luther King Jr.’s decades-old criticism of the racial divide in the U.S. church still rings true today.

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — More than five years after a Black congregation merged with a mostly white North Carolina church, members of The Refuge Church continue striving to be an example of unity and racial reconciliation in the American South. 

Church member Troy Savage says Martin Luther King Jr.’s decades-old criticism of the racial divide in the U.S. church still rings true today. Be he does not think it has to stay that way.

Credit: AP
Congregation members worship at The Refuge Church in Kannapolis, N.C., on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022. More than five years after a Black congregation merged with a mostly white North Carolina church, members of the church continue to want to be an example of unity and racial reconciliation in the American South. (AP Photo/Aron Ranen)

Across the U.S., research shows congregational diversity is growing, but a majority of Black adults who attend religious services continue to worship with congregations and clergy that are mostly or all Black.

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