Revelation 7:9- “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”
To be honest, Samford University is not a racially diverse school, and there are some reasons for that. One of the primary reasons why Samford does not have much racial diversity is because it is a suburban Baptist school. It costs an arm and a leg to attend a school like Samford, and most people cannot afford to pursue an education here. There are ways for Christian schools like Samford to cultivate racial diversity. But is not going to happen overnight.
First, I believe that we need to start having conversations on campus. If we claim to be a Christian school and abide by Scripture, then we need to address stereotypes, issues, and anything else that could create division.
“I feel like we should reach out to students in lower income cities and let them know that there are opportunities for them to come here without being an athlete,” said junior Shannon Gilstrap.
As Christians, we are called to be intentional. We need to develop authentic, racially diverse community and develop deep and personal relationships.
“My first pamphlet I got from Samford had no minorities on it, and I didn’t know I would be welcomed until I took a chance and visited,” said Gilstrap.
On this campus, every person should be able to experience the love of Christ and feel welcomed, no matter what their racial makeup is.
It is easy for the American evangelical church to forget about racial diversity because we do not have as much open dialogue about racial reconciliation as we should. Christ came to reconcile all people to himself, regardless of where they come from or what the color of their skin is. The church needs to continuously remind Christians that heaven is not going to be filled with white, middle-upper class people. If we think that, then that is not a picture of the true Gospel. However, on the bright side, there are ways that the church can improve racial diversity.
The church needs to reconcile with brothers and sisters in Christ who are of different racial backgrounds. There needs to be more discussions on racial reconciliation and reconciliation to Christ. We need to ask each other every question in the book, no matter how uncomfortable it is. Because when we build Christ-centered relationships with our brothers and sisters in minority groups, then we paint a picture of the true Gospel together.
Gracie Donoghue, Columnist
[photo courtesy of Page Secreast]