Funk on Faith

Charlotte faith events will feature Baptists, bikers, walkers and more

Last year’s CROP Hunger Walk in Charlotte (shown in photo) drew thousands and raised more than $292,000. This year, the goal is $310,000., much of which goes to local agencies helping the hungry. It starts 2:30 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 18) at Independence Park. Churches aloways supply many of the walkers.
Last year’s CROP Hunger Walk in Charlotte (shown in photo) drew thousands and raised more than $292,000. This year, the goal is $310,000., much of which goes to local agencies helping the hungry. It starts 2:30 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 18) at Independence Park. Churches aloways supply many of the walkers. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

One reason I love covering the faith scene in Charlotte is that there’s always so much going on all over town. Take this month ...

American Baptists meet

There are all kinds of Baptists: Southern Baptists, National Baptists, Independent Baptists, Primitive Baptists. And American Baptists, members of a diverse and progressive denomination meeting this weekend in Charlotte.

Specifically, representatives from about 25 churches in the Carolinas and Georgia – including Myers Park Baptist and Mt. Carmel Baptist – are gathering at First Baptist Church-West to discuss “potential solutions” to such issues as income disparity and police violence, said its pastor, the Rev. Ricky Woods. “We want to build bridges and look for alternative responses other than protests.”

This weekend’s meeting is a prelude to one in April 2016, when churches from 15 states will send representatives to Charlotte for the 46th annual session of the American Baptist Churches in the South.

‘Bikers with Boxes’

The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte will welcome hundreds of motorcyclists bearing gifts Saturday as part of its annual “Bikers with Boxes” event.

Wheeling in from all over the Southeast, the bikers will bring shoe boxes filled with holiday presents for children. They’ll be distributed around the world via Operation Christmas Child, a project of the Boone-based international relief agency, Samaritan’s Purse.

Franklin Graham heads both Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte. A motorcycle enthusiast himself, he’ll thank the bikers at 1 p.m.

CROP Hunger Walk

On Sunday, as many as 5,000 people are expected to participate in Charlotte’s 37th annual CROP Walk for Hunger – still the largest of the 1,300 CROP Walks around the country.

Last year’s Charlotte Walk brought in more than $292,000. The goal this year: $310,000. Among the beneficiaries: Loaves & Fishes, Crisis Assistance Ministry and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

A pre-walk ceremony will begin at 1:55 p.m. at Independence Park, 300 Hawthorne Lane. The Walk will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Racial reconciliation forum

“Bridging the Great Divide: The Church’s Call to Racial Reconciliation” – that’s what Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte is calling its two-day forum next weekend, Oct. 23-24.

It will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday (Oct. 23) with a panel discussion at The Park Church, 6029 Beatties Ford Road, It’s free but requires registration: https://my.gordonconwell.edu/EngageOurCulture3. The speakers: Bishop Claude Alexander of The Park; Margaret Yu of the Epic Movement of Cru Ministry; Mark DeYmaz of the Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas; Soong-Chan Rah of North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago.

On Saturday (Oct. 24), the forum will move to Gordon-Conwell’s Charlotte campus, 14542 Choate Circle, with breakout sessions. Among them: “Critical Issues Facing the African-American Church,” featuring several local black ministers. Cost: $10. Registration required.

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