Conversation with Greg Jarrell

Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 11:15 am

About the Event

All ChurchSpiritual Growth

Join us after worship at 11:15 am on Sunday, March 17, for a conversation with Greg Jarrell about his extraordinary new book Our Trespasses: White Churches and the Taking of American Neighborhoods, which discusses the way bad theology created bad policy in Charlotte and led to the destruction of the Brooklyn neighborhood. In addition to being an author and organizer, Greg is the founder of our MOJO partner QC Family Tree, the leader and saxophone player of the Carolina Social Music Club jazz ensemble, and a long-time friend of our church. 

Our Trespasses uncovers how race, geography, policy, and religion have created haunted landscapes in Charlotte, North Carolina, and throughout the United States. How do we value our lands, livelihoods, and communities? How does our theology inform our capacity--or lack thereof--for memory? What responsibilities do we bear toward those who have been harmed, not just by individuals but by our structures and collective ways of being in the world? 

Abram and Annie North, both born enslaved, purchased a home in the historically Black neighborhood of Brooklyn in the years following the Civil War. Today, the site of that home stands tucked beneath a corner of the First Baptist Church property on a site purchased under the favorable terms of Urban Renewal campaigns in the mid-1960s. How did FBC wind up in what used to be Brooklyn--a neighborhood that no longer exists? What happened to the Norths? How might we heal these hauntings? This is an American story with implications far beyond Brooklyn, Charlotte, or even the South. By carefully tracing the intertwined fortunes of First Baptist Church and the formerly enslaved North family, Jarrell opens our eyes to uncomfortable truths with which we all must reckon.