Gladys Knight Meets Joseph Smith
— Wednesday, May 24th, 2006 —
The Washington Post reports on what seemed to be a rocking revival meeting in the nation’s capital, featuring music and testimony from R&B singer Gladys Knight. The gathering was unique in that it was sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints as part of a Mormon initiative to reach African-Americans.
At the event, Knight testified of her own conversion from Baptist to Latter Day Saint, a church that banned blacks from the priesthood until the 1970s. The Post reports:
“I am pressed so surely in my spirit to give you my testimony,” said Knight, telling the crowd about her conversion from the Baptist Church (sic) to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1997. “They thought I was crazy. They thought that I had lost my mind. ‘What are you doing over there with those Mormons? They don’t like black people.’ Yes, when I came to this church, I asked, ‘Do y’all like black people or not?’ “
Of course, it will take much more than has-been musical stars to reach African-Americans for Mormonism. But the LDS seems to see an opening, an opening they plan to fill. Biblical Christianity shouldn’t ignore Mormon expansionism. The answer is to preach the gospel everywhere and to everyone, and to be ready to give an answer when we’re asked: “Do y’all like black people or not?”
Hamil R. Harris, "A Star Act Helps Unite the Faithful with Song," Washington Post, 23 May 2006, B03.