Episode 69: The Color of Compromise – “The Great Almost Awakening.”

The Great Awakening of the mid 1700’s brought crowds of white and black Americans to revivals, where many people turned their lives over to following Jesus. For many white people, their eyes were opened to their individual sinfulness. Yet, this awakening did not awaken the white population to the sinfulness of institutional slavery, white supremacy, or racial discrimination. Even the religious celebrities of the day were not immune. George Whitefield supported his orphanage with slave labor. Jonathan Edwards, known as “America’s Greatest Theologian” also owned slaves. Segregated seating was the norm in houses of worship where free blacks and whites worshiped together. Two of the founding fathers of the black church, Rev. Richard Allen and Rev. Absalom Jones were forced out of a church for praying in the white section of the building. These two men went on to found Bethel African Church, the first predominantly black denomination in the United States. These historical events became a springboard for the conversation with the Antioch Team this week.