A mask-clad John Piper, former pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, stood among the crowd listening quietly. His wife sat nearby. They’ve lived in downtown Minneapolis for 44 years. Bethlehem’s current pastor, Jason Meyer, prayed: “You will build your church as You tear down racism,” and invoked God to help the church love each other as family, not simply tolerate each other as different. Meyer gave the final prayer, calling upon God to heal and for His people to respond rightly by living the truth of the Gospel.
While the diverse crowd of single people, couples, and small families listened and prayed, the streets lining the small square park streamed with citizens of different races. Many carried brooms and shovels, heading to the debris-filled streets of the previous nights’ destructive riots. Meyer had been there earlier, joining in a massive clean-up. He exhorted the Church to help: “Stand up and speak up.”
WORLD has updated this story to correctly attribute a quote from Jason Meyer.