Pastor

Johnny Be Good

It was a remarkable moment in November when Johnny Lee Clary, a 50-year-old white Oklahoman, knelt before Bishop George D. McKinney to be ordained as a minister in one of the nation’s largest African-American congregations. What was even more stunning was how far Clary had come to get to that moment. Clary had once been an imperial wizard in the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan—considered the most militant and violent wing of the U.S. terrorist network. The ordination took place in the fellowship hall at St. Stephen’s Cathedral of the Church of God in Christ in San Diego where McKinney, ruling elder of the denomination, is pastor. Hands were laid on Clary by two dozen African-American church members.

“The worst thing I ever did was swear an allegiance to the KKK,” Clary told The Oklahoman in an interview. Little mention was made of Clary’s past during the ordination, but McKinney acknowledged Clary’s unique ministry to address “the racial fracture and tension that exists that can be attacked and changed only by the power of the living God through Jesus Christ.”

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Sojourners Magazine March 2010
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Five Questions for Rev. Efrem Smith

Bio: Author of The Hip-Hop Church; Senior pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis.
Web site: www.sanctuarycov.org

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Sojourners Magazine February 2010
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Hearing MLK's Full Message

This year, as we celebrate the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we are too often tempted to celebrate what has been achieved rather than examine what God continues to call out of us. Hopefully we know that there is no such thing as "post-racial," even after the election of an African American president.

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