So, You’re Looking for the “Black Church”?

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If you’ve been engaged in any form of discussion pertaining to education, social justice and/or race of late, then you more than likely have heard the million dollar question. Particularly as the injustices against black people flood our media streams and leadership within the Black community is questioned, the conversation always leads to; Where is the Black Church and is it still relevant? The Black Church has been accused of having lost touch with the community and being more concerned with the busine$$ of church as opposed to church business, if you get what I am saying.  Even as the #BlackLivesMatter movement continues to spread, we recognize that the “movement” is informing us that we all need to take some personal responsibility for creating the kind of community we want.

“Be the Change You Want to See in The World” -Mahatama Gandhi

Now I know this may be perceived as biased since I am an active member (full disclosure) yet, I believe that my readers trust and value my views and perspective so I’m just going to put that here.

After a weekend of celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Service of my Pastor and First Lady, Reverend Anthony Trufant and Muriel Goode-Trufant, I’m reminded of how we don’t have to dig to deep or look so far for the Black Church in Brooklyn because Emmanuel Baptist Church (EBC) is right on the front-lines.  While we are not the only great church in the borough of churches, I can attest to the amazing work happening within the ministry.

25th Anniversary Gala Photo Credit: Chronicles Photography

25th Anniversary Gala – Photo Credit: Chronicles Photography

When many make the choice to join a church, unfortunately it’s usually as a result of some form of loss and in search of restoration and/or healing.  I remember when I made the decision to join the EBC family, and honestly it wasn’t for me at the time, (I thought) it was for my children.  Growing up Brooklyn in the 80’s & 90’s, I can clearly can recall experiencing a sense of community where we  knew our neighbors, people still looked out for one another’s children and some of our educators actually live in the neighborhood.  Even people who weren’t regular church goers still went on Palm Sunday, Easter, Christmas, New Years and Mother’s Day  and you had to memorize the Lords Prayer therefor; a fear of God was instilled from a very early age.  Fast forward to that time 2007 and the loss of a close family member prompted me to explain death to my children and every attempt lead to God | Jesus | Heaven and yet they blankly stared at me with no connection.  While we visited a few churches around Brooklyn, we didn’t read the Bible at home or attend on any kind of consistent basis.  Then when faced with having the discussion around death, it was at that point that I realized, I needed to do better and expose my children to God and his teachings by way of church.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

I was already taking my daughter to Girl Scouts at EBC and observed how much of a presence the youth and young adults had, just kind of hanging out around the church on Friday evenings, which was impressive. My experience had been at that age, if you weren’t made to go, you were not at church and especially on a Friday.  Then randomly speaking to a Girl Scout mom, I asked if she attended the church and that was when she raved about all of the happenings at the church and particularly the Chosen Women’s Ministry.  So with an open mind, I attended a service not too long following that conversation.

In making my decision to join EBC, it was because the overall ministry was aligned with who I was as an individual, my values as well as the goals I had for my family.  And oh-em-gee, did I get more than I could even asked for in a church family.  When taking my new members classes, I remember just being in awe of the number service opportunities and how much it was encouraged that I get and stay connected.  There was a clear and astounding message that membership was not just about what the church was going to do for me but, just as importantly, what I could do for the church community and overall kingdom.

EBC Member: NYC Public Advocate, Letitia "Tish" James

EBC Member: NYC Public Advocate, Letitia “Tish” James

The point of it all; members are the church and the church is just as good as its collective members are willing to give in time, talents and trea$ures.  Emmanuel Baptist Church and it’s success as a ministry is in fact a reflection of amazing leadership but just as important, the work/witness of its congregation.  Connecting people to Christ in both the local and global community, EBC is intentional about how they show the God’s love.  I have personally been a benefactor of what EBC has to offer whether it’s programs for my children (and not just on Sunday),  a support system through real and authentic relationships and the teachings of the bible.  On the flip side of that, I have had access to some of the most life changing  and humbling service opportunities that have not only just enriched my life, but set a Godly example for my entire family.  I believe that we are here to serve in whatever capacity that we can and if you’ve read just about anything that I’ve written, you know that it’s one of my favorite to-do’s.


EBC Service Event: #HastagLunchBag 

Youth Leaders Of Emmanuel (YLE)

Youth Leaders Of Emmanuel (YLE)

Too many are looking for someone or something to blame for the ills of the Black community, and yes, churches will fall short.   The church’s presence or lack thereof is not the blame for structurally racist systems and polices that are in place to oppress a particular group of people.  So don’t be fooled, and/or misinformed by the role of the Black Church in the Black community.  The church alive and strong with members that are committed change agents in both their personal and professional lives. Teachers of the biblical principles, a place of comfort and a safe haven; the Black Church is right here in Brooklyn doing Gods work often with little to no fanfare so you just may not find that on your feed.

Brooklyn's Top Elected Officials DA, City Council, Public Advocate, The Trufants, District Leader, Borough President & Congressional Rep

Brooklyn’s Top Elected Officials
DA, City Council, Public Advocate, The Trufants, District Leader, Borough President & Congressional Rep

I am encouraged by how clear EBC is about the church building (in all of its beauty) is where we come to worship, and that being the church is what we do outside of those walls.  So if you’ve asked or have been asked the question of where’s the Black Church; know that Emmanuel Baptist Church is in South Africa, Haiti, Texas, all over NYC, and in Brooklyn serving Sandy survivors, non-profit organizations and just about everything in between.

A Praying Church that Serves

A Praying Church that Serves

For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves. Luke 22:27 

So if you’re not connected, get connected and do your part, be the Black Church:  Spread Love, It’s the BrooKlyn Kisha Way!


Not a "Mommy Blogger" but a Mom that Blogs!


  1. Adriane

    Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I’ve been an active member of Emmanuel Baptist Church for a little over 17 years. If I were not, and after reading this article, I’d surely be rushing to find out more about what it is and what they do! EBC is Christ centered, culturally relevant, serves it’s community, and welcomes all. It’s a true blessing! Great article Ms. LaKisha.

    • Lakisha

      Sunday, November 29, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      Thanks for reading Adriane, EBC is indeed a place that is about the kingdoms business!

  2. Bree

    Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    This is {sadly} refreshing to read. So many churches have somehow found themselves not living the gospel. It has turned curious folks away from the word of God- seeing us as hypocrites. I am proud to be a member of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria VA who preaches the gospel and lives the gospel though a number efforts. I am so happy that there are churches all over that are in the community and spreading love and hope and faith. Blessings to you all!

    • Lakisha

      Sunday, November 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Hi Bree!!
      Thanks for visiting! I’m always so happy and proud to learn about ministers that are indeed living the gospel.

  3. Chaquetta Grace

    Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Beautifully written words, Kish, about our place of worship and our messenger from God, Pastor Trufant. His leadership, the several ministries, & the blessed role EBC has played in our lives have been truly touched by God’d Holy spirit. You have relayed this perfectly!

  4. Lakisha

    Sunday, November 29, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    xoxoxoxox Quetta! Just speaking my truth as the Black Church seems to get so much of the blame for having fallen short in the community.

  5. Tiffany

    Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Beautifully written #teamEBCforever #teamservice

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