God Made Black and God Made White

Article by

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

We are a church in the city. A fairly big city—forty-second largest city in the country. We are fairly average when it comes to racial proportion: the U.S. has 80.3% white and 19.7% minority while Minneapolis has 78.4% white and 21.6% minority. We are even more average when it comes to racial proportion between African-American and white. The U.S. has 12.1% African-American and 80.3% white while Minneapolis has 13% African-American and 78.4% white. We are not like Orange City, Iowa where at last count there was one black citizen. Here is one racial picture of our community. The numbers are from State of the City, 1993 (including the conundrums of the percentages).



African-American 47,948 13.0%
Native American 12,335 3.3%
Asian-Pacific 15,723 4.3%
Chicano-Latino 7,900 2.1%
White 288,967 78.4%
St. Paul    
African-American 20, 083 7.4%
Native American 3,697 1.4%
Asian-Pacific 19,197 7.1%
Chicano-Latino 11,476 4.2%
White 223,947 82.3%
Suburban Metropolitan Area
African-American 21,428 1.3%
Native American 7,308 .4%
Asian-Pacific 29,663 1.8%
Chicano-Latino 17,340 1.1%
White 1,583,745 96.1%
Seven County Metropolitan Area
African-American 89,459 3.9%
Native American 23,340 1.0%
Asian-Pacific 64,583 2.8%
Chicano-Latino 36,716 1.6%
White 2,096,659 91.6%

Does any of this matter? On May 13-15 here at Bethlehem two men, one African-American, one white, will help us answer that question. When Spencer Perkins was 16 he visited his bloodied father John Perkins in jail. White police had beaten him. Spencer could not imagine having a trusting friendship with a white man. Chris Rice grew up in Vermont, white and Yankee. Today they serve as elders of the same church in Jackson, Mississippi, and live in an interracial Christian community called Antioch, and edit the magazine Urban Family.

Bethlehem is passing through several defining moments. One of them relates to our sense of calling regarding racial reconciliation. I hope you will come and learn from these men.

Pastor John