Local churches holding community revival amid tensions in country

By Irisha Jones - Reporter

BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. - Local pastors say now is the time to not only talk but lead by example and do something about racial injustice happening across the nation. They are starting with a plan here at home.

"I didn't know some of the other area pastors in my own community from predominately African-American churches. So I reached out we began a friendship and started having lunch together and one thing led to another. And with all the events we see happening in our nation, especially recently in Charlottesville we decided to come together and do a community revival," said the Rev. Kevin Cummings, pastor at Fincastle Baptist Church. 

Several pastors are stepping up along with other churches in Botetourt County for a three day revival called "Unity for the Community."

And they say the purpose is to give hope to the current racial tension and division in the country. 

"The reality is racism is still real and the divide is still real but also what's real is the opportunity to work together and come together," said the Rev. Sean Burch, pastor at First Baptist Church Amsterdam. 

They attribute the recent deadly Charlottesville protests this summer and debate over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem for the increasing tensions.
     
The Rev. Pastor Montie Brown, pastor of First Baptist Church of Fincastle says he looks to the Bible as a guide on how to deal with these issues.  

"He's giving us an opportunity as a nation to make the decision as to which road were going to travel. Are we going to be a nation of love or a nation of hate . We got to go with a nation of love," said Brown. 

The planning of the revival first started with several African-American churches in Botetourt. They're now are coming together with a predominantly white church for a unique revival and a focus to heal the nation 

"A lot of African American churches were getting ready to have joint revival and they called us and asked if they could use our facility and I said sure under one condition--that we could be part of the revival," said Cummings. 

The revival starts Sunday night at 6 and Monday and Tuesday nights at 7 at Fincastle Baptist Church. It's open to the public. There will be music, fellowship and a message from a different pastor each night.

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