In Hebrews 11:1-12:3, we’re reminded of the “great cloud of spiritual witnesses” who have gone before us. The author of Hebrews reminds us that their endurance of suffering points us to the One who is the greatest example of enduring suffering—Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
There are modern heroes and heroines of the faith—a modern cloud of spiritual witnesses—who also point us to Christ who is the faithful witness. We find these heroes and heroines of the faith as we study the history of the Black Church in America. Who could better teach us about enduring suffering through the power of faith and hope in Christ, then these godly Christian men and women?
Their lives have so encouraged me that I have spent the last several decades studying and applying their stories to my life story and their ministry to my ministry. One result of this study is the book I co-authored with Karole Edwards, an African American graduate school in the biblical counseling MA program I chaired: Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction.
Because I want you to be encouraged and empowered by their lives and ministries as I have been, I’ve made available to you as a free PDF chapter six of the book, “The Old Ship of Zion: More Than Just Sunday Meetings.” This chapter highlights the one-another ministry of the Black Church. Long before the modern biblical counseling movement, African American Christians providing one another with Christ-centered, grace-based, hope-focused, compassionate biblical counseling.
You can learn from them and download the PDF at: The Old Ship of Zion.