By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter May 10, 2018

This series in the “Signature Ministries” project is part of the BNG Storytelling Projects Initiative. By studying ministers or churches who practice “Signature Ministries,” we learn from communities who respond to the needs around them, engaging and energizing members in specific ministries that turn them outward on the world. We will specifically profile ministers who lead through their passion and zeal for an interest or a skill that connects with their community outside of the role they would normally play as pastor, leading their congregants to see Christ in others and reaching the needs of the world around them.

Below you will find the second in this series of articles. Use the link to navigate to the page. Feel free to share the articles in the series each week on social media using the tags: @gospelgothic or @hhbcmacon

~ This series is written by Blake Tommey. Photos and video are by Jenna Eason.

“Ghosts can be very fierce and instructive.”

When Flannery O’Connor left behind these veracious words following her untimely death in 1964, she wasn’t telling spooky stories. She wasn’t invoking images of antebellum ruins, squalid Confederate headstones or the Spanish moss drooping ominously overhead. She wasn’t even conjuring the tortured specter of one her novel’s murderous characters. She was talking about Jesus.

“I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted,” O’Connor wrote.

That is, the Christ on which every last corner of Southern society was supposed to be based but infamously failed to live up to over centuries of slavery and festering anger; or perhaps the graceless, resentful Christ spewed from the mouths of countless sweaty preachers demanding blame for an unjust death on the cross; or, just maybe, the real living Christ — the one who still dwells and dreams with every last haunted Southerner, refusing to let the most wounded denier or overly-faithful pastor settle for anything less than boundless grace and real redemption.

Read the rest of the articles HERE.