John Thornton Jr. is an associate pastor at First Baptist on Fifth in Winston-Salem, N.C. He received a B.A. in Religious Studies from Baylor University and a Masters of Divinity from Duke Divinity School.
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Why a Southern Church Is Hosting Socialist Meetings
What began with a panel of organizers and activists presenting on the realities of inequality in our city turned into a community conversation led by people directly affected by pressing issues like the lack of affordable housing and low wages. The forum created the occasion for people to speak prophetically, just as it created the occasion for members of the church to hear them, to repent, and to leave changed. All of this happened because the church opened its doors to people from the outside without fear of the fact that they came with serious questions about capitalism.