WPSU Hosts Discussion on the Black Church

Story posted March 17, 2021 in CommRadio, News by Rachel Suga

STATE COLLEGE, Pa.— Thursday, March 11, 2021, WPSU facilitated a conversation via Zoom about the Black Church and the recent PBS program “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song.”

Among the panelists were State College School District’s First Black principal Barbara Farmer, pastor of Albright-Bethune/Park Forest Village United Methodist Church in State College Paul McReynolds, pastor of Payne Church in Huntingdon Sylvia Morris, and Gary Abdullah.

Abdullah was the founding member of the Black Caucus at Penn State and has been active in his local State College church for decades. Abdullah was happy to have had a community of people attending the event to experience togetherness and a connection to one another.

“Think globally and act locally,” Abdullah said. “We don’t see that from a church perspective.” 

Abdullah also noted that while many people tend to look at the big picture and find worldwide issues daunting or overwhelming, working in one’s own community can be just as impactful.

“God has always said that his eyes are on the sparrow—on the smallest of things,” Abdullah said. “It’s easy to look for the huge meaning behind all of this that’s going on.”

The pandemic, political turmoil and intense polarization between groups have been extremely prevalent issues within the past year. While many people have been grappling with wanting to help others, Abdullah has said that starting small is a great way to change the world.

Excited by the public’s response to WPSU’s discussion, Abdullah was thrilled that at one point 53 people joined the conversation. In the Zoom chat messages, many audience members wanted to know how they could help or contribute to the Black Church. 

“People said… This does not have to end here,’” Abdullah said. “Ask yourself: ‘What is the next thing that I can do?’”  

Inside and outside the church, action can be taken to make the world a better place to live in by increasing relationships with people within the community.


Rachel Suga is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and criminology. She can be reached at rms6538@psu.edu.

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