“First Presbyterian? Who, Where? … Oh yeah, that’s the church that refused to let black people in.” Comment from a Montgomery resident, made to a Montgomery PCA pastor, 2012.
While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly. … Now then make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.“ Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, "It is so; we must do as you have said. (Ezra 10:1, 11-12)
We acknowledge the sin of our fathers. In particular, we acknowledge that the sin of racism was present in First Presbyterian Church of Montgomery. Let it be known that this is no longer the heart of the church (now named "The Church at Chantilly") and that all peoples are welcome. For more information on the history of this matter, as well as the heart and mind of the church with regard to repentance, please view the PowerPoint presentation that was presented in 2014 (HERE). For more than two years, we studied on this matter, searching the scriptures and praying that God would show us what he would have us to do. In early 2017, after much careful and prayerful consideration, we obediently followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and publicly repented of the sins of the past, even though most of our members were not even present when the sins were committed. We formally signed and published a Resolution of Repentance, which now hangs on the wall of our church, so that we will never forget our sin and how God led us to repentance (HERE).
But the story does not end here. Not long after we publicly repented, things began to happen at Chantilly. The Montgomery Advertiser heard of our public repentance and published a multiple-page article in the Religion section Easter Sunday (HERE). It occurred to us that we should build a monument on our site, given the history of the property as well as our own. To this end, a GoFundMe project was started to raise money in stages and a video was created that describes what we are doing and why (HERE - but turn your volume up before watching!). Not long after this project started, the local NBC affiliate, WSFA Television, interviewed our pastor about what we were doing (HERE). The local CBS affiliate (Alabama News Network) interviewed us and broadcast a lengthy spot during the evening news on 3 May 2018 (HERE). Things continue to happen, but you get the idea.
Feel free to contact the church leadership team if you have any questions or concerns.
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Ch 7:14)
Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:9-10)
I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. (Joel 2:25-26)