Black pastor hopes for end to 'black majority' churches

Published 26 March 2012
A black pastor who recently pipped Barack Obama and Martin Luther King to be named the most inspirational black person by Londoners wants to see greater unity in the church.

Agu Irukwu, senior pastor of Jesus House in London, tells Christianity Magazine that he hopes the term 'black majority' will no longer apply to churches within the next two decades.

“When I look at my children, they speak with a perfect English public school accent," he says in the interview.

"Half my son’s close friends are white Caucasian – to that generation those old barriers won’t be there. The challenge is presenting the gospel to them in a way that is relevant.”

At present, Jesus House is a black-majority church, with around 3,000 attending services each Sunday. Pastor Irukwu has been engaging for some time in pioneering work to cross cultural barriers by partnering with white churches, such as Holy Trinity Brompton, the church of Nicky Gumbel.

He acknowledges that the way black and white churches do things is "very different".

In spite of this, he believes that they can become one.

"There is something about unity that God loves, without bringing in uniformity. We bring different things to the table. We laugh a lot and have a lot of fun; you must have a good sense of humour on all sides.”

He added that he had found in white church leaders like Gumbel "people who were passionate about the work of God”.

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