Multicultural Church in a “Single Culture” Community
by Dan Van Veen (PE NEWS – 27 May 2015)
When Damon and Saehee Duran, both students at AG Theological Seminary, tell people they’re planting a multicultural church to minister to the ethnic populations of the greater Springfield, Missouri, area, eyebrows frequently raise.
The greater Springfield area is made up of about 500,000 people and whether a person is white or of a minority ethnicity, one thing frequently stands out about the area — it’s very “white.” Damon, who is Hispanic, says that according to the statistics he has seen, the area is one of the “whitest” in the nation, with about a 92 percent white population.
“It would seem that planting a multicultural church in Southwest Missouri doesn’t make any sense,” Damon says, “but if you look at 8 percent of 500,000, it’s 40,000 people — and that is a significant number of people.”
The Durans’ heart is to reach the multiethnic community — not just one ethnicity, but all of them. In a sense, they want their church to reflect more what heaven will be like, with all different nations represented.
Currently, Life 360 Intercultural Church is in the pre-launch stage. A growing core group of about 30 people meet every Saturday night at the community center on the former campus of Central Bible College (CBC) for a potluck meal, a service, and relationship building.