An evening of music and messages on Sunday, February 19, 2023, at the Plano Texas Stake center commemorated Black History Month and was widely attended by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their neighbors and friends.
The event—titled “Stories of Faith by Black American Latter-day Saints”—celebrated various cultures and featured poems and gospel songs.
Elder Paul B. Pieper, General Authority Seventy and president of the North America Southwest Area, said the event came about from a desire to expand the message of unity.
“We’ve been talking [about] how do we do a better job of helping the Church look the same inside our buildings as it does outside in our communities,” Elder Pieper said. “Asking how we can do a better job connecting with cultures so they can feel like we are a place where they would like to be, and they know we want them to be there with us.”
Around 900 people attended in person, and more than 1,000 members watched virtually in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Arizona.
Author and African-American advocate Alice Faulkner Burch addressed the congregation. She recently released a collection of faithful stories of Black American members of the Church titled My Lord, He Calls Me and is passionate about inspiring inclusion and unity among members.
“To see the entire chapel filled with people that came to attend was so beautiful, but more so all the people that stayed around. … They didn’t want to leave because of what they experienced and what the Holy Spirit shared with them,” Burch said.
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