Florence organization hopes to improve the community by bridging racial divides

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A group in Florence wants to bring together historically black and white churches to deal with problems in the community.

The Helping Florence Flourish organization wants to focus on four main areas in Florence County.

  • Education
  • Restoring families
  • Homelessness
  • Racial bridging

The Helping Florence Flourish Organization hopes to unite the faith community. Anthony Hodge Pastors for the historically black Cumberland United Methodist Church in Florence. He says change starts with the church coming together.

“Regardless of what we look like or where we come from. We are all God’s people,” Hodge explains. “If the faith community takes the lead, prayerfully, others who are a part of the community of faith or not will say, hmm, they have it right… or at least they are trying.”

Next Thursday and Friday, the Helping Florence Flourish organization will host a free event with guest preacher Tony Evans.

He’ll talk about his book ‘Oneness Embraced’, Evans hopes to unite all churches.

Chris Handley is the Associate Pastor of the historically white First Presbyterian Church.

Handley said, “The hope is that we continue relationships across the racial divide, we call that racial bridging, as we do that we will be able to address issues that need attention.”

After the event, he says more than 20 different churches will meet weekly for the next month and a half for relationship workshops-geared to start the conversation of joining churches to better serve the community.

“We are excited about the opportunity to have the conversations to draw us together so the body of Christ can be together and bless our community,” he concludes.

For more information on the free ‘Oneness Embraced’ event or how you can get involved with the Helping Florence Flourish event visit http://helpingflorenceflourish.org/.