We all know that controversy can be a good form of advertising however, I'm not so sure that flies when it comes to the house of God. An Alabama Pastor by the name of Rev. Michael R. Jordan has been known for the outrageous church signs for New Era Baptist Church but, his newest one is definitely rubbing folks the wrong way.
"The Rev. Michael R. Jordan, pastor of New Era Baptist Church in Birmingham's West End, said the sign expresses his opposition to the Church of the Highlands starting a church in his neighborhood.
Rev. Michael R. Jordan posted messages on both sides of the New Era Baptist Church sign.Photo by Greg Garrison/AL.com The flip side of the sign says, "White Folks Refused to Be Our Neighbors.
"The Church of the Highlands, which has 16 branch locations that attract more than 40,000 worshippers weekly to hear sermons by founding Pastor Chris Hodges, recently announced a plan to open a church in a high-crime neighborhood of Birmingham.
Jordan assumes that means his side of the city - either West End, Ensley or the Fair Park areas.Hodges announced that a black minister on the Highlands staff, former Auburn University football player Mayo Sowell, would be the pastor."
"It's a slavemaster church," Jordan said in an interview with AL.com. "I call it plantation religion, slavemaster religion. The white rich folks start a church and put a black pastor in charge of it.
"Responding to the sign at New Era Baptist Church, Mayor Randall Woodfin posted the church sign on social media with a message.
"There is a spirit over this city that has to be brought down," Woodfin wrote. "A spirit of racism and division. We have to change the conversation to what we need it to evolve into.
"Jordan said he also worries that the Church of the Highlands will get City of Birmingham funding for its project, at the expense of black organizations including neighborhood associations.
"Now you're supporting the white church coming into a black neighborhood?" Jordan said. "I think our young mayor is oblivious to what's going on here.
"The Church of the Highlands plan needs to be considered in historic context, Jordan said.
"Because of white flight and societal change where whites left the city, they did not want to be our neighbors, did not want their kids to go to school with our children," Jordan said. "They left the churches too. They sold the churches to us. White folks don't want to be our neighbors. If you don't want to be our neighbor, why do you feel comfortable putting a white church in the inner city? Their response is we will have a black pastor. He'll be a token. They'll still control the sermons, they'll still control the choir, the white administrative leadership will still run the church.
"Meanwhile, the Church of the Highlands has attracted black worshippers who desire the status of attending a trendy church, Jordan said."Blacks have flooded white churches and moved into white neighborhoods," Jordan said.
"It's for status reasons. It's a sense of self-worth. But 99 percent of whites won't go to a black church."
Jordan suspects the Church of the Highlands would prefer its black members attend another campus, not the main campus.
"The main campus has gotten fed up with blacks joining their church, so they decided, 'Let's put you a church over there,'" Jordan said.
"We can't stop him," Jordan said of Hodges. "I've been called a bigot. This is divisive, but you have to just tell the truth.
"Jordan said that evangelical leaders including Jerry Falwell Jr. and Franklin Graham have shown they are racist with their political stance. "They supported a racist, promiscuous Donald Trump for president," Jordan said. "This last election revealed the major hypocrisy of the white institutional church.
"White churches deserve blame for the segregation of neighborhoods and schools, Jordan said."The Bible says love your neighbor as yourself," Jordan said. "If you don't want to live next door to me, and be my neighbor, why do you want to come over and plant a church in my neighborhood?"
I get trying to get the people in your own community to come together and support Black Owned Businesses, as well as Black churches, but this might be a little extreme. Although this country has a (somewhat blurred) separation of church and state, I don't think that the separation meant for churches to YOLO their signs on a daily basis. Do you think this has gone too far, or nah?