Folks have been asking me what’s developing with EmpowerWest since its big coming out party back in early fall. As a reminder, EmpowerWest is a coalition of Louisville area pastors and churches, which seeks to unleash the educational, economic, and spiritual power of West Louisville residents so that they might maximize their God-given potential and capacity.

This coalition is still in the early stages of its development, but over the past few months, here are a few things which have been going on:

  • Small groups are beginning to form for fellowship and learning together.
  • A “Stokely’s List” of West Louisville businesses has been developed so that people can support them.  It is in the process of being communicated to the broader community.
  • A microlending ministry is being promoted through EmpowerWest.
  • On MLK weekend we had:
    • Friday night breakout sessions on a variety of topics, such as Racial Reconciliation, Asset Based Community Development, and Networking in the Community.
    • Saturday prayer breakfast featuring world-renowned Old Testament scholar, Walter Brueggemann.
    • Music presented by a joint choir made up of EmpowerWest churches.
  • Many events have taken place on a church-to-church basis as the congregations get to know each other better.

The next major thing is coming up the end of this month.  As you might have read in the Courier-Journal, EmpowerWest has challenged Louisville and its leaders to read a book together: The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, by Edward E. Baptist.  I’ve read this book, and although it’s not easy to review history and the prominent place slavery had in the development of our nation, the path to reconciliation leads through truth.  Our goal is more than integration; it is reconciliation. And for folks to be reconciled going forward, they need first to be honest about where we have been.  The author will be speaking at a community event on Monday, February 29, and we will offer a small group for those who might be interested in reading the book.   For more information on the author forum, go to https://goo.gl/kunaX6. To sign up for a free ticket please call Highland Baptist Church at 502.583.6798 X1038.