Traditionally black church now headed by white pastor

Second Christian Church Pastor John Underwood speaks during a Bible study group.

Second Christian Church Pastor John Underwood speaks during a Bible study group. Photo by Kelley McCall.

Evidence of God’s hand at work is all around John Underwood these days.

The first several decades of his life may have been fairly nondescript by his own admission. But as a middle-aged Caucasian, just beginning in the ministry, Underwood believes God can do anything — even call him to be pastor at a historically black church.

For Underwood and the congregation at Second Christian Church, their relationship is color-blind. Their mission is building a solid spiritual base to reach out into the community.

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As a black man serving on the pastor search committee, Farrell Roundtree said he didn’t want Underwood at first. His concern was based on how a white pastor might affect the fellowship. “Now that he’s here, we just love him,” Roundtree said. “He’s the perfect ....

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