Multi-racial group of pastors are focused on building unity

Bishop Ernest Burns of Shady Grove Baptist Church in Mt. Airy spoke during the vigil. Burns publicly called on pastors and community leaders to unite against racism following the death of George Floyd. (Margie Williamson/Now Habersham)

Clarkesville has witnessed two events to bring attention to the issues of systematic racism in the United States. The first on Friday, June 5th, was a peaceful protest as hundreds of people gathered to speak out for racial equality and equal treatment. The second, on Wednesday, June 10th, gathered about 80 people in a prayer vigil for unity against racism and injustice.

Now Habersham live-streamed both events and the videos have garnered significant views. To date, the video of the protest has been viewed over 32,000 times, and the video of the prayer vigil has been viewed almost 9,000 times.

In response to the challenge given by Bishop Ernest Burns for the church to be part of the solution to racial injustice, a multi-racial group of pastors has begun to meet. The group’s desire is to build Christian community between one another in a way that goes beyond racial and ethnic barriers. While the group’s meetings may one day lead to a plan of action, the pastors are focusing now on listening to each other to begin to understand the issues of systematic racism from a more experiential level and, in the process, develop unity among them.

The pastors’ group will continue to meet and welcome other local pastors from all denominations to join them. For information on their upcoming meetings, contact Bishop Burns at

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