Plantation Church Summary

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Peter Randolph, "Plantation Churches," African American Religious History: A Documentary Witness. 2nd ed. The C. Eric Lincoln Series On the Black Experience. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999. Reverend Peter Randolph was a licensed Baptist minister who grew up as a child who listened to his mother encouraging him to “look to Jesus.” However, he witnessed challenges with his faith after seeing how Christian doctrine favored white people and dehumanized black people. The teaching of white churches was used as a tool of oppression and enslavement of black people. In his eyes, Sunday morning churches services justified white supremacy. He argued in his writing “Many say the Negroes receive religious education, that Sabbath worship
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Yes, they are preached to, and their doctrine and practices.” (63) Furthermore, in this article, Reverend Peter Randolph, knew that the white plantation churches and leaders preached a message that continued to favor their judgment. Yet, he also addressed that law should have prohibited their teaching. However, Reverend Randolph knew the hope found in Jesus. He stated “Ah such a gospel had better be buried in oblivion, for it makes more heathens than Christian. Such preachers ought to be forbidden by the laws of the land every to mock again at the blessed religion of Jesus, which was sent as a light to the world.” (65) He later argued that if we are to see the gospel of Christ as good new of Christ, we are mixed with the idea of slavery and not salvation for all people. He stated “The Gospel was so mixed with slavery, that the people could see no beauty in it, and feel no reverence for it.” (64) Therefore, blacks worshipped differently and away from the worship spaces created by their masters. As a result, the article allowed the readers to see how plantation churches were categorized as being visible and invisible. In this paper, I argue that the invisible churches for enslaved blacks created communal support and revolutionary fervor in the struggle for freedom and …show more content…
Therefore, the slave’s connected to God differently. In one gathering, he stated “The colored people had a very small place allotted them to sit in, so they used to get as near the window as they could hear the preacher talk to his congregation.” (64) Indeed, those visible churches on the plantation preached that God affirmed slavery and the teaching of white preachers kept the slaves under such law. The author also acknowledged that harsh doctrine was taught, he explained, “The prominent preaching to the slaves was, “Servants, obey your masters. Do not steal or lie, for this is very wrong. Such conduct is sinning against the Holy Ghost, and is base ingratitude to your kind masters, who feed, clothe and protect you.” (?) This offered the slaves to see their wrong, not only towards God, but how they failed to obey their masters. On the other hand, invisible churches offered an opportunity for slaves to be free in their expression and deeper understanding of God, even at the cost of punishment. The author shared “Sometime the slaves meet in an old log-cabin, when they find it necessary to keep a watch. If discovered, they escape, if possible, but those who are caught often get whipped, some are willing to be punished thus for Jesus sake.” (67) The invisible churches on the plantations were a place of hope for the slaves. It was place in which

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