Pastor dating member congregation
Large denominations like the Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians split over race in the 19th century when their members clashed over the issue of slavery, Michael Emerson, a scholar on interracial churches, recounted in his book, "Divided by Faith." But interracial church advocates say the church was never meant to be segregated.
They point to the New Testament description of the first Christian church as an ethnic stew -- it deliberately broke social divisions by uniting groups that were traditionally hostile to one another, they say.
American churches haven't traditionally done a good job at being racially inclusive, scholars say."The fear there was people would think I was Chinese," he says.