How an ABWE Church Planter in Ferguson Is Building Trust After George Floyd’s Death

Pastors and believers are rallying not in protest, but in prayer.

From Message magazine issue "Christ in the Crisis"

Ten days after the death of George Floyd, a crowd of 80 people marched the streets of Ferguson, Mo., and raised their voices—not in protest, but in prayer.

In response to national riots and violence, a group of pastors both black and white organized a prayer walk with members of local churches. Among them was EveryEthne church planter Chris Brown.

After gathering together at the First Baptist Church of Ferguson to pray corporately, the group walked to the police station and prayed with the chief of police, who welcomed their support and spiritual encouragement. Some of the building’s windows remained shattered, smashed by protesters with bats four nights earlier.

The group continued throughout the city, praying and delivering Bibles to passersby. As Chris walked the streets and prayed with pedestrians and fellow believers, his foremost prayer was not for a social or political cause merely, but that lost souls would come to know Jesus Christ in the midst of injustice.

“It’s been a wound reopened,” said Chris, referring to the controversy over the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer. “Now it’s time to begin the healing process and help the gospel move forward. The best way to do that is by finding ways to serve.”

Activists and political organizations flocked to Ferguson in the wake of the Michael Brown incident, but many left the city as soon as the national attention faded. Their abandonment sowed distrust between the people of Ferguson and outside groups offering help, according to Chris.

Chris hopes local churches can use the chaotic circumstances surrounding the George Floyd aftermath as an opportunity to prove its permanence and dedication to cities like Ferguson, with the prayer walk as a step to winning trust.

“In the years I have known Chris, I have continually noticed how he leads with Christ and the hope the gospel brings amid chaos,” comments Thad Bergmeier, Midwest Regional Director for ABWE North America. “I believe this path towards redemption is exactly why the Lord opened the door for him to plant a church in Ferguson.”

Pray for pastors in cities across the United States as they seek to present the gospel and shepherd their congregations amid chaos and injustice. Support Chris and Kaitlyn Brown’s ministry.