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William J. Carl III
President, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Conflict is often painful -- but it can also stimulate growth in ways that might never have occurred without it. A Color-Blind Church tells the gripping story of two churches in the little village of Liberty Hill, South Carolina -- one black, one white, both Presbyterian -- and the struggle generated by an attempt to bring them into closer fellowship. From his firsthand perspective, Leininger examines numerous contentious issues this unique opportunity raised, reflects on what he might have done differently and the lessons he learned, and offers specific advice on how to successfully build bridges when bringing together disparate faith communities.
A Color-Blind Church is a real treat! As one who lived through this period in the history of Presbyterians in the South, it is encouraging to read Leininger's account of real live congregations being confronted with the racial divide in our church and seeking to find a way together to embody Christ's call to unity. This is a well-written book that shares both the dreams and the nobility of those who tried to make reunion come alive in new ways and the inevitable barriers that have grown up through centuries of history and are not quickly overcome. A Color-Blind Church is both a very interesting window into the recent history of Presbyterians in the South and a helpful set of learnings for all who seek to be about change in the church. I heartily commend this book!
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (USA)
David E. Leininger is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Warren, Pennsylvania. He has also served congregations in North and South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. His sermons have appeared in the Best Sermons 4 anthology (Harper-Collins), and he has been a contributor to the online preaching service The Immediate Word (www.sermonsuite.com). Leininger is a graduate of Edison State University, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, and Erskine Theological Seminary.