Controversy has erupted in Birmingham because Church of the Highlands plans to move a campus into an area that has been described as “high-crime” and they are not receiving a warm welcome from a local pastor, according to a local television report.
Birmingham NBC affiliate WVTM reports that Pastor Michael Jordan of New Era Baptist Church off Cotton Avenue SW posted this message on one side of his church sign: “Black folks need to stay out of white churches” and this on the other side: “White folks refused to be our neighbors.”
“White folk have proved they don’t want to live next door to us, or be our neighbors, or worship with us,” Jordan told WVTM. “Now they want to plant a white church in a black neighborhood under the umbrella of supposedly to fight crime. The real reason Church of the Highlands wants to put a white church in a black neighborhood is they have too many black folks at their main campus and they want them to leave and come to a church in their inner city.”
Church of the Highlands is a multi-site megachurch founded by Chris Hodges in the suburbs of Birmingham in 2001. It is the largest congregation in Alabama and the second largest in the United States.
When asked about the church’s plans to help fight crime, Jordan told WVTM he’s against it because the motive is “not pure.”
“It’s hypocritical,” he said. “If you don’t want to be our neighbors, if you don’t want to live next door to black African-Americans, how can you put a white church over here to help fight crime? As soon as you finish worshipping, you’re going to go back to the suburbs like you’ve done for 30 years.”
WATCH the WVTM 13 video:
Jordan goes on to urge blacks to leave “white churches” and describes the white church as being historically “racist” and “hypocritical” for their failure to preach against lynchings and slavery and because “the white church elected a racist president Donald Trump.”
This is not the first time the 26-year pastor has posted controversial words that put him in the news, according to Al.com.
Last year his sign read: “Undercover racist elected Trump” on one side and “Trump deceived poor white folks” on the other.
Rachel Blackmon Bryars is managing editor of Yellowhammer News
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