Conference of National Black Churches Leader: Majority of Black Churches Refuse to Gather on the Lord’s Day

The vast majority of black churches are down nearly 60 percent in attendance compared to pre-pandemic days, with no optimistic uptick on the horizon, according to the chairman of the Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC).

Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson, the megachurch pastor of the 4000-member multisite Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, New York and the chair of the CNBC is pessimistic about the prospects for their congregation to return to pre-pandemic numbers anytime soon, according to RNS.

The CNBC is comprised of the national leadership of the seven largest historically Black denominations in America. The organization represents more than 80 percent of African American Christians across the nation and have a combined membership of over 20 million people and 30 thousand congregations*.

Richardson explains that trying to coax congregants off the internet and into the pews has by and large been unsuccessful, noting that several large churches are not planning to re-open for in-person services until 2022, nearly two years since they last had a corporate gathering. This includes his own, which has been all-virtual since March of 2020. According to RNS, Richardson is “not aware of any Black church that has more than 40 percent of its pre-pandemic in-person attendance.”

The issue is that, yes, you can open the church, but if the atmosphere, the climate, is not conducive for people to come back, you just open the door and they won’t be there.

Pastrix Leslie Callahan of the progressive St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Philadelphia agrees. They have been having outdoor services, capped at 75 people, all of whom must wear masks and social distance. She commented on the plight of black folk and suggests they have endured especially difficult travails and have disparately been impacted by the disease, which has necessitated greater caution in returning.

COVID has been harder on us. Black people know people who’ve died. Black people know people who are sick now.

In a study conducted by LifeWay Research back in February 2021, they noted that “Whites (38%) are more likely to select “In-person services stopped for a short period of time and then resumed” than African Americans (13%),” while also revealing that “African Americans are the most likely to select “In-person services stopped many months ago and have not resumed” (40%).” 

Our suggestion is that enough is enough. These churches need to cut off the live stream as soon as possible and call for the congregants to emerge from their disobedience and back to gathering as one.


*Given that these member denominations include African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ), Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME), Church of God In Christ (COGIC), National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., International (NBCA), National Baptist Convention, U. S. A. Inc. (NBC USA), and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. (PNBC)” it’s pretty safe to say there is a whole heck of a lot of false converts there.



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5 thoughts on “Conference of National Black Churches Leader: Majority of Black Churches Refuse to Gather on the Lord’s Day

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  4. I’m wondering if many of these black churches are in the south. The covid the numbers have been high in the south in august and September but are thankfully trending down. I think the black community has been hit harder with covid due to the high numbers who are obese, and have high blood pressure and/or diabetes.
    There’s a black Missionary Baptist church near me, I’ve seen them coming out of church all dressed up, women in their hats and such. When I drive by the last few weeks there’s always several fresh graves in their small cemetery next to the church. Of course I don’t know if it was covid. The covid wave is trending down in the south now and heading back up north.

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