Greg Jarrell is a cultural organizer based in Charlotte, N.C. He is the author of Our Trespasses: White Churches and the Taking of American Neighborhoods, to be published in February 2024 by Fortress Press.

Posts By This Author

When White Christians Saw Black Displacement as ‘Urban Renewal’

by Greg Jarrell 08-04-2023

The exterior of the First Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Jon Bilous / Alamy

I’ve spent the past six years studying churches and urban renewal, a mid-20th century movement in the U.S. intended, according to President Harry S. Truman, to provide “a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family,” but which many activists now see as the foundation of our contemporary housing crisis. As part of my research, I’ve studied how Christians — especially white Christians — participated in the remaking of American cities. It’s not a history we often tell, but buildings like First Baptist are hiding in plain sight, monuments to a time when white churches allied themselves with forces that displaced communities of color and redistributed their lands.

How to Pray When Your Enemy Gets Sick

by Greg Jarrell 10-05-2020

President Donald Trump briefly rides by  supporters in the presidential motorcade in front of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is being treated for COVID-19 in Bethesda, Md., Oct. 4, 2020. REUTERS/Cheriss May

When news broke last week that the president was diagnosed with COVID-19, I tweeted that the psalm of the morning ought to be Psalm 109, which includes startling lines like "may his days be few" and "may his children be orphans." It was not in jest. While people had varying reactions to the news, the imprecatory psalms give Christians guidance on how to pray.