I had the privilege this month to be part of an historic event at one of our Kentucky Baptist Convention churches. Consolidated Baptist Church, a predominantly African American congregation in Lexington, hosted a celebration and commissioning service for a church they planted in partnership with the KBC. Consolidated Baptist, under the leadership of Pastor Richard Gaines for the past 16 years, was founded in 1884 through the merger of two congregations.
While Consolidated has touched countless generations for the Kingdom of God, one reason the event I attended on April 15 was so historic is that Consolidated was commissioning their very first church plant in their 128 year history. Another reason the event was so significant is the nature of the church they have planted.
Consolidated’s church plant, also located in Lexington, is called Mosaic. This new congregation is an intentional effort to display the gospel through racial reconciliation. The church aims to be multiracial, multicultural, and multigenerational.
Leaders of Mosaic explain the vision for Mosaic as follows: “The African and Anglo American ethnicities are only two human melodies that the Divine Conductor has developed in this human symphony which sin has ravaged from harmony to dissonance. Our desire is to experience a greater understanding of the nature of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, through an intentional pursuit to love and be led by men and women from numerous ethnicities and various socio-economic realities, all of whom reflect the Beauty of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. However, the African/Anglo division, historically speaking, has been the bleeding artery in our current context. Church going men and women in Lexington dine on streets nicknamed for the slave trading that once existed behind our city’s courthouse. Therefore, this is the wound that must be addressed first as we triage our work towards racial reconciliation and a more holistic Gospel.”
During the commissioning service I witnessed ways Mosaic is attempting to give life to this vision. In the baptismal pool, one of Mosaic’s elders, who is also one of our Hispanic missionaries, Job Juarez, baptized an African American woman, who is a new believer, into the membership of Mosaic. Later in the service, two Anglo elders from Mosaic stood alongside Job, surrounded by the African American deacons of Consolidated, for a prayer of commissioning for the elders.
Next, all of the members of Mosaic came forward for a prayer of commissioning for the congregation. The ethnic diversity was unmistakable and presented a beautiful picture of what awaits us when people from every tongue and tribe with gather together around Christ’s throne.
I must say, seeing the return on our investment in Mosaic made me, once again, proud to be a Kentucky Baptist.