Here’s a timely find! A kind reader sent in a recommendation for The Struggle for Unity by retired Lutheran pastor Richard O. Ziehr. The Amazon blurb describes it as “a personal look at the integration of Lutheran churches in the South.”
Frankly, the recommendation is so good and strong, I’ll just quote it:
This pastor lived through it in Alabama, and upon retiring, he and his wife interviewed numerous Pastors and LCMS members to get all the perspectives for this book. It is an amazing and eye-opening account with personal anecdotes and excellent research, and it helps the reader gain an appreciation for the tension between immediately desegregating (because that’s the right thing to do) and working through the process carefully (because it is hard to change people’s hearts and minds overnight!).
There are not a lot of copies available through Amazon at this time, but I have it from a good source that additional copies may soon become available. (I’ll let you know if I find out they are available somewhere other than Amazon.)
I am very thankful to get this recommendation! If you know of other Lutheran works, I’d love to hear & share all about them! 🙂
Also, if I remember correctly, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has shared over 140-years of intentional life together with Black ministry. Which means, within 35-years of being founded as a synod, there were formal, as well as informal, efforts to reach out with the Gospel and gifts of God. Praise the Lord!
The struggle for unity is worth it. Thanks be to Christ, who He gives it to us by making us one in His own Body, the Church!