Buckhead Baptist Church will host a special Sunday service Aug. 30 focused on racial reconciliation and featuring recorded remarks by Gov. Brian Kemp and activist Alveda King.

Rev. William Givens, the church’s pastor, said the service is modeled on Chapter 9 of the biblical book of Nehemiah, which recounts a public confession of sins and repentance. He said the service will include Thomas Hammond, executive director of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, confessing some of the denomination’s own faults on racial issues, with a response of forgiveness.

Rev. William Givens, pastor of Buckhead Baptist Church. (Special)

Kemp’s message will thank the church for its efforts, Givens said, and King will speak about reconciliation. King, a niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and a former Georgia state representative, is now known as a Fox News contributor and activist on anti-abortion issues and the Black Voices for Trump campaign.

“Today we find ourselves center stage in arguably our generation’s history-defining moment,” said Givens in a written statement. “We are walking through a time in which there is no sense of normalcy, a time in which racial tensions are at all-time high, and time in which a global pandemic makes life itself seem uncertain. But we are well equipped for these times. We are strong. God has placed us right here, right now to be catalysts; to be change agents for good.”

“This reconciliation service is the first step in the process in which we come together, confess together, repent together, forgive together and make the quality decision to love and walk as one together,” he said.

On its website, Buckhead Baptist describes itself as “a racially, socio-economically, generationally and denominationally diverse church restart that Loves and proclaims the uncompromised Word of God without reservation.”

The service will begin at 11 a.m. at the church at 4100 Roswell Road. It can be viewed remotely on the church’s Facebook page at facebook.com/buckheadbaptistchurch.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.