Springfield churches merge to break down racial walls
by Tiffany Y. Latta (Springfield News-Sun — October 2, 2015)
It has been said that Sunday at 11 a.m. is the most segregated hour of the week in America.
But that will change for two local churches — one predominately white, the other African-American — which have merged and will come together Sunday for their first combined worship service at Champion City Vineyard, 137 E. Main St.
The merger of the Uniting Faith Church and Champion City Vineyard is an attempt to cross the racial divide, Pastors Jason Channels and Bruce Willman said.
Channels and Willman say they’ve always dreamed of pastoring a diverse church. After hearing a sermon this summer about a “church without walls” that challenged worshipers “to tear down those walls that divide us,” particularly the racial divide, both were compelled to act.
“What we see most of the time in America on Sunday morning, we see a black church, a white church and an Asian church and a Latino church, but not a whole lot of coming together and actually being the body of Christ,” said Willman, pastor of Champion City Vineyard. ... Channels called the merger as a dream come true.